The Wichita Public Library is hosting a Mario Kart tournament throughout the month of April.
“The Advanced Learning Library has a lot of gaming systems for kids and teens to use and we decided to create a program called Nintendo Knockout,” said Wichita Public Library Communications Specialist Sean Jones.
Nintendo Knockout consists of four days of play. Sixth graders and up will go head-to-head each Friday leading up to the championship round on April 26.
Jones said he hopes the competition will help break the stigma surrounding video games.
“A lot of people think it’s just something kids do to hang out on the couch, eat potato chips and play video games, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. There’s a huge learning component that is part of gaming,” Jones said.
Jones said a majority of the games at the library focus on critical thinking.
“So you have to really think outside the box to complete levels and challenges in the video game,” he said. “We also like the video games here because they all have literature based in them.”
Twins Zane and Zoe Tinder, 12, are thrilled to be competing.
“I thought it was going to be cool. I would meet a lot of other kids that actually play Nintendo games,” said Zane Tinder.
When asked who would win, Zane seemed confident.
“Me! I play more games than her most of the time,” Zane said.
“I have no idea. Sometimes he can be good, sometimes I can be good. It depends,” laughed Zoe.
No matter the outcome, Zane and Zoe said they had a good time at the event and look forward to coming back again.
Jones said he is hopeful the tournament will attract new users to the library.
“The fabric of libraries is changing and we are just doing our best to keep up with the changing time,” Jones said. “We have something for everyone. It is truly a community place where you can come, relax, unwind and just have fun.”
Nintendo Knockout will conclude at the end of the month with a championship round.
The competition is free. Competitors can join anytime before the final round.
Click here for competition details.