Tabletop games training program

The tabletop games training program consists of up to 3 days of training about how to more effectively use games and play in general in a library context. It draws on the games in the tabletop game bundle, but is applicable well beyond those games, and covers not just tabletop games but videogames and other forms of play.

A single day of training is worthwhile, but each day builds on the previous days, and the advanced content around games and literacy is covered on Day 3 – so (obvious conflict of interest aside) I do recommend all three days if you can afford them.


Day 1

  • Learning through play:
    • Werewolf (games, the “magic circle”, and the social contract)
    • Pandemic (co-operative play)
    • Hanabi (theory of mind and strategic use of information)
    • Qwirkle or Blokus (group’s choice; abstract spatial reasoning)
  • Learn about games in the wider cultural context – history, overview of modern games
  • Brief overview of bundle games, as an introduction to the extraordinary range of activities that come under the heading “games and play” (if you have not bought the bundle, I am fine to skip to the general content)
  • Logistics of games in libraries
  • Uses of games – outreach, community-building, and more

Day 2

  • Learning through play:
    • Marrying Mr Darcy (story/play tension, tie-in games)
    • Dixit (imaginative/associative play)
    • Escape (real-time play)
    • group’s choice (applied games discussion skills)
  • Discuss running games-based programs and events
  • Partnering with local gaming communities & game stores
  • Games criticism & taxonomies
  • Games clubs
  • Making games and related projects for library activities

Day 3 – advanced games

  • Tabletop RPGs
  • Story games
  • Trading Card Games/Collectible Card Games and Living Card Games
  • Wargames
  • Live-action games & performative play
  • Organised play and worldwide fictions
  • Discussion of story, literacy (including systems literacy), and reading in games
  • Featuring brief introductions to D&D*, Fiasco, and Magic: the Gathering


The cost of training is $1200/day for up to 12 people, plus another $50/head for additional attendees (up to a maximum of 20 people and $1600), plus travel and potentially venue costs. Note that this means that for any group of 8 or more, the base cost for a full day’s training is $150 a head or less, and for 20 it’s a mere $80 each!

What’s more, each tabletop game bundle purchased confers a $100 discount on this training, and you are encouraged to organise shared training with other library services in order to pool the discounts. If you can get the training free, and I can afford to offer it free, everyone wins!

Note that the discounts are not transferable – to redeem a discount you must have staff actually attending the training. Normally, the discounts are valid for one year after the date of purchase of the bundle, and apply only to the cost of training, not additional costs such as travel. However, I am willing to review both these rules on a case-by-case basis.

Travel & accommodation

I am currently based in St Albans, Victoria. If you are within an hour or so of my location, I will not charge you for travel. More extensive/expensive travel will be negotiated with you, but I will endeavour to keep associated costs to an absolute minimum, including attempting to schedule my itinerary (in consultation with you and your needs) so that I can split any travel costs between as many clients as possible, thus reducing the amount each needs to pay.


Because I come to you, you will be expected to select and provide the venue. I am more than happy to use an existing library meeting or community space – in fact, I recommend it, both to keep costs down and because this is one of the key places you will most likely be using the games!


The chosen venue will need enough room to comfortably fit all the attendees, plus two other people, suitable furniture, and some boxes. “Suitable furniture” means tables and chairs that can be easily moved about to reconfigure the room appropriately for various sorts of play. Tables should ideally be anywhere between a card table and a trestle table in size, but the key requirement is that they be easily moved.

The venue will need to be soundproof, indoors, a comfortable temperature with decent air flow, and reasonably private. (I personally don’t mind the session being visible to the public, provided that they cannot interrupt; if the rest of the group feels the same way, privacy is less of an issue.) Strong scents and other potential allergens should obviously be avoided, as in any community-use space. (In particular, I would ask that it be a reasonable distance from any smoking areas.)

Ideally you will also need to supply a data projector and screen (and power points!), but alternative arrangements can be made if this is a problem.


Because I will be travelling to the host libraries’ locations, I am typically not in a position to arrange catering for the training, but I will discuss arrangements with the host venue. As a default, I do not expect catering to be supplied for me or for other attendees.


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