Live Angry Birds
July 03, 2012
It seems like you can’t go anywhere lately without seeing that angry red bird. Words like "golden eggs," "pigs," and "reverse shot" are tossed around as kids, teens, and adults stare down at their mobile devices tapping away at the screen. So what is this new phenomenon everyone is talking about? It’s called Angry Birds, an online game that has caused frenzy worldwide.
I had never played the game before until my six year-old nephew introduced it to me. He wanted me to try to beat level one, which is "really easy" he said, and explained that "all I had to do was launch the birds with the slingshot and kill the pigs to retrieve my eggs." Makes sense right? So I gave it my best, using my finger on the touch screen to pull back the slingshot, launch the bird, and knock down giant towers of rocks, wood, and more in the hopes of destroying the green pigs.
After playing a few rounds and seeing how obsessive people were about this game, I thought "why not offer a teen program at the Library related to Angry Birds?" I saw all of the teens at my branch playing and talking about it, so I thought it would definitely be a hit. I began my search online and immediately found a link to a blog for teen librarians highlighting a program called "Live Angry Birds." After looking at the pictures and reading how easy the program was to create, I knew we had to offer it at Riverside.
Building the structures was simple; I began collecting cardboard boxes and found a few people willing to donate those cardboard bricks used in daycares and preschools. I then purchased some cheap playground balls in red, blue, yellow, and green to create the Angry Birds and printed templates of their faces offline to tape to the balls. The pigs were made out of green balloons that we taped to the cardboard bricks. The hardest part was figuring out how to launch the birds. The program I saw was held inside, and the kids used a beach towel to simply throw the balls. I wanted to do this outside, and that seemed too easy. I wanted to create an actual slingshot, but how?
I decided to go to my dad, knowing he usually can think of creative ways to make things out of materials we already have. Eventually, my mom and dad helped me develop an actual slingshot. We used two of those exercise resistance bands with handles on the end, and my mom sewed a towel around both that would hold the ball. With two people holding the handles on each end and one in the middle pulling it back with the ball, this makeshift slingshot was perfect for knocking down the cardboard structures.
We had around thirty kids come to the Riverside Branch for the program, and despite the 90 degree temperatures, we had tons of fun. Check out our pictures to see the teens in action!