by Lisa Tome
Gerald Slayman won't let his teen son play Pokemon Go.
Kyle Slayman, 13, also doesn't have a smart phone and neither does his dad.
Last week, both Slaymans were out at the North East Branch Library, where Kyle was geared up to play games where the characters weren't virtual.
"He comes here during the summer and gets books and videos. He's not allowed to play Pokemon. Coming here is better than gluing your eyes on something that sucks out your brains. We try to get our boys outside," said Gerald Slayman.
Teen Librarian Alysia VanLooy was leading the board games program. She was teaching teens to play Sushi Go, Love Letter, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. VanLooy explained that the games were geared to those ages 11-17. She also said that they were atypical board games.
"The goal is to have fun. They learn skills, cooperation, and problem solving," said VanLooy. She also said that the board games program is help monthly and it's one of the most popular library programs.
Fortified by Oreos and Rice Krispies Treats, VanLooy started the program with the two teen boys who arrived first. More arrived as the day wore on. VanLooy led the game of Sushi Go, a card game where hands are rotated and players work to match a variety of sushi characters.
Jasmine Queen, 14, joined the game in progress. "It's fun. Everybody getting together to play and I like it. It's nice being with some kids from the community to have fun. It's really fun and I'm glad it doesn't cost anything," said Queen.
The One Night Ultimate Werewolf game had the teens portraying different characters - insomniacs, villagers, seers, robbers, troublemakers, and a werewolf. They then had to guess who was who.
VanLooy said she enjoys the board game program. "I like it when people bring their friends. We had an adult board game once and it was a whole other dynamic," she said.
Charles Wolinski brought his 14-year-old daughter to the program. "It's more the social aspect than anything. Anytime I can encourage her to read and broaden her viewpoint on the world is good," said Wolinski.