Cindy Crushes Programming: Mario Kart Live Home Circuit
My library did an after hours last Friday, using Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. The teens made their own track and were able to use the library to play Mario Kart. It was super fun and easy to do. My two co-teen librarians Jessi Wakefield and Faith Healy are going to talk about how we did it.
- Two Switches (Teen can bring theirs from home to help)
- Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit – Mario Set (Donation)
- Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit – Luigi Set (Donation)
- Random items to make the course
How did you come up with the idea for this program?
Faith: I was researching the Nintendo Switch as our Library was thinking of purchasing one per branch or one overall for the library when I stumbled upon Mario Kart Live on Amazon. I thought it would be so cool to make a race track in real life in the library that teens could race real cars on. They went on sale so I was able to snag them for the library by just using a bunch of reward points I had saved up.
How did you get ready for the program?
Jessi: It was a real group effort. I knew that Faith had the cars and knew how to set that up, Cindy made the buttons to help divide up the teams, and the rest was finding items around the library that would make cool obstacles. There was an element of winging it when it came to the actual night of. By that I mean, we left it really open for the teens to use their imaginations and we facilitated that as best we could. There wasn’t a whole lot of prep compared to other programs.
How hard was it to put the tech together and do you have any tips?
Faith: Honestly, Mario Kart Live makes setup super easy. You do have to download the game to the Nintendo Switch which takes 30-45 minutes but we were able to do it in advance. From there you simply had to make sure the actual karts and switch were charged up. To connect the karts to the Nintendo Switch is so simple, you turn on the game, turn on the kart, a QR code appears and requires the kart’s camera to scan it and you are all set. All you have to do is set up the gates and racing is super fun. You can race solo against Boozer’s children or race against other cars.
Faith, What did you learn about the program that would prepare you for the next time?
While I was able to test and figure out how all the equipment works beforehand, I was not able to test out the multiplayer option. We had a few issues we did not know about multiplayer. For some reason we were not able to connect to multiplayer for our first race so we just had teens race them separately. They had fun with that as we allowed other teens to throw obstacles at the cars in real life and we can just see who won. We did finally get multiplayer to work only to have issues with it kicking out the second player when the switches and cars were too far apart from each other. Didn’t know about that so we ended up not using multiplayer as the issue kept appearing and teens had fun with racing not in the game. The teens also taught me cool things I did not know like you can change the rewards at each gate and set it up however you want. Plus we learned about a button that gives you a speed boost. These teens had never used it before, but were great and just finding out cool things they could do.
What was your favorite part of the program?
Jessi: Seeing the teens work as a team to create REALLY inventive courses. They all seemed to have a blast!
Would you recommend this program to other libraries?
Jessi: Absolutely! 100%.
Cindy Shutts, MLIS
Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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