Carnagecast 28: Ben T. Matchstick and Library Gaming

In episode 28 of Carnagecast, Ben T. Matchstick, Dungeon Master at large, comes on the show to tell us about founding a tradition of gaming in the local public library, and bringing the tabletop hobby to the next generation. At Montpelier, Vermont’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Ben brought comic books and tabletop games into the mix. In addition to running Dungeons & Dragons for children, he taught them to run it for their peers.

The motivations range from passing on a beloved hobby, to providing social encounters for a generation predisposed to video games, to bringing youth in general and boys in particular back into the library, to encouraging reading. As Ben points out, everything that happens at the table is life lessons: courtesy, cooperation, patience and more. With the advent of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, young gamers have a great opportunity to learn that ultimately any game they run is belongs to them. If they’re having fun, they’re playing right.

Ben closes with a challenge to game masters to bring their gaming hobby to the public library, getting more people, children and their whole families, involved in the hobby. “It’s important that kids can be heroes again and create a game of their own.” Continue reading