Loving Lovecraft: Nebraska Teens Host Life-Size ‘Arkham Horror’ Game

Lindsey TomsuThree cheers for Miskatonic University! That’s the rallying cry of the La Vista Public Library (NE)’s teen advisory board—who, under the exuberant guidance of youth librarian and advisor Lindsey Tomsu, a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker—turned its 2012 Teen Read Week into a massive celebration of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, complete with crafts, workshops, and a life-sized version of the complex, cooperative Arkham Horror board game based on the Cthulhu Mythos. The event was so successful and engaging that the teens hope to repeat it every year.

“I like complex board games for teens because they teach a variety of different skills in a fun setting,” Tomsu tells School Library Journal.  “Arkham involves teamwork (since it is players versus the board), lots of reading, mathematical skills, and critical thinking.”

In Arkham Horror, up to eight players take on the roles of investigators in 1920s Prohibition-era Arkham, MA, the fictional town where Lovecraft set many of his stories, Tomsu explains. Each investigator has a special occupation—such as chef, archeologist, explorer, and librarian—and his or her own special abilities and talents. “The goal of the game,” Tomsu says, “is for the players to work together to kill monsters and stop gates to other dimensions from opening. If they fail, the Ancient One (a super tough monster) will awaken and attempt to take over the world.”

Says teen advisory board member Keyahna Wood, “I like that we work as a team to win,” while Mary Bragg says, “It is more complex than most normal board games and a lot more challenging.” Huyen-Yen Hoang agrees: “It’s awesome. It is fun and complex but in an easy-to-understand way.”

Read the full article (especially to check out the foul Hounds of Tindalos,) @ SchoolLibraryJournal.

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