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All About the All-New Summer Game Shop!

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 10:17am by eli

Summer Game 2018 is going strong with more players, more points, and more things to do than ever! And we've reached that point in the summer where Inquiring Minds want to know: WHERE IS THE SUMMER GAME SHOP?!

Well, it's coming very soon, with this year's new items appearing this Friday Night, July 20th! There is a possibility that we will need to hold off on placing orders over the weekend if we run into any software "surprises", but hopefully that won't be an issue.

BUT, that's not what we're here to talk about. We've completely changed the way that the Summer Game Shop works to get more prizes into the hands of more players, and hopefully take (most) of the stress out of the Summer Game Shopping Season! We don't want getting free premia (thanks to our Amazing Friends of the AADL) to be a time of anxiety and woe, and we think this set of changes, while a big change from how the shop has worked up to now, will make for a better, and fairer experience for everyone! SO!

First of all, as you may have noticed, this year we're making a distinction between SG2018 points and your previous year leftover points (We'll call those Classic Shop Points.) Each Summer, you'll have your balance of points you earned that year, and then a separate balance of your Classic Shop Points.

The 2018 Summer Game Shop will have 18 items, most of which are making their Summer Game Shop Debut, and they will all be immediately available when the shop opens! Also, we are guaranteeing that these 18 items in the 2018 Summer Game Shop will remain in-stock until the Summer Game Shop closes in September!  No more fretting about missing out on this year's items!

How will the Summer Game Crew make this happen? Two big changes. First, you can only order SG2018 items with SG2018 points. So all players will only have this summer's points to spend on this year's items. This will be the same next summer, when you'll need SG2019 points to order SG2019 items.  Also, each player will be limited to a total of 4 SG2018 items during SG2018. You can order 4 of the same thing, or 4 different things, or whatever, but to make sure there's enough for everyone, no player can order more than 4 total SG2018 items during SG2018.

What will I do with my leftover points? That's where the Classic Summer Game Shop comes in! You'll be able to use points from prior years to order any of the items in the Classic Items section of the Summer Game Shop, mostly without limits! Like prior years, for some extremely-limited quantity items, we'll ask our players to please share nicely, but most items in the Classic Shop you can order as many as you'd like with your prior year, or leftover SG2018 points.

When will Classic Items be released? To keep a little of the old excitement going, each Friday we'll drop a few more Classic Items in the Classic Summer Game Shop, but we'll announce the items that are coming in advance so you can decide if you want to try to jump on them.

What if I want more than 4 of this year's items? Well, we've got 2 new ways to do that! First, introducing the All-new REAL MONEY SHOP! If you earn at least 2000 SG2018 points, you'll find the password to the Real Money Shop on your player page. In the Real Money Shop, you'll find most of the SG2018 items, and you can buy as many of them as you'd like (with Real Money, naturally), and have them shipped anywhere in the US, with free shipping! The proceeds from the Real Money Shop go directly back into the free premia in the game, so you can help support the Summer Game directly by ordering extra premia!

What if I want more than 4 of the SG2018 items with points? After the SG2018 Shop closes in September, we'll order extras of all the SG2018 items to go into the Classic Shop for SG2019! So you'll be able to spend your Classic Shop Balance (including your unspent SG2018 points) on more of this year's items when the SG2019 Shop opens next summer.

We've carefully rebalanced the points values in the Summer Game to support these changes, and we hope these changes to the points and the shop will make for a fairer, less frustrating, more rewarding experience for everyone! We hope you'll choose to support the Summer Game in the Real Money Shop; that's what will determine how much extra inventory we're able to buy for the SG2019 Classic Shop, as well as if the limits can be raised in the future.

Let us know your questions and comments here in the comments, or as always, feel free to contactus for more info or with other questions; thanks for sticking with us, and THANKS FOR PLAYING!



Not enjoying this year's game, since I no longer get rewarded for the amount I read, only for checking in each day. I read a lot, but don't sit in front of the computer every day.

We're sorry you're not enjoying the game! Don't forget there's 2000 points to be had for finishing the paper game, plus codes all over town and at libraries, parks, and museums!

I am also very disappointed by this year's game. For me, 2012 (the first year that I played) was probably the best. This year, pretty much every way to earn points except for reviews, logging, catalog search badges, and codes at library branches has been removed. Even Points-O-Matic was removed, even though its re-addition has been mentioned several times recently. I'm probably not going to play next year if this continues.

Is this your library card number? I think you should use something else.

I was disappointed when I realized how much cheating or shall we say unsporting activity goes on, and some aspects for how that was done have been removed. Perhaps this addresses the unsavory and point-grubbing behavior that had taken over the game and what motivated people to do it, and addressed the issues of too many prizes (storage, staffing, transport). However I still don’t find the Game to be so much fun anymore. This isn’t really the fault of the library as certain players’ behavior.

I agree with all of this point. While I wonder about confidentiality, the *classic* reading piece is critical, in my opinion. It is an honor system for reading input, where the library staff can't know what someone read. The around town aspect is and always will be awesome and I'm sure is a lot of work to administer. But promoting reading is a great idea. It probably is hard to be equitable. How can we compare a new or young reader to a seasoned reader?! Also, I get that there has to be an ending point but does there? If they went to the effort to develop it, why does it have to end at midnight, when the system is then at a near-crashing point? The natural flow might end in August but why not keep the around town clues open until December 31?

Free stuff just for reading? Change all you want, the shop will still be awesome! I can't wait for Friday.

I'm suspect about being okay with the 4 item limit per current year. But if you ordered extra of SG2017 to put in the Classic game shop this summer, and there's cool new stuff for SG2018, then I'm looking forward to it!

I'll specifically be looking for the hats! We bought 1 last Summer to see what size it was, who in the family it would fit, so we would know how many hats to actually order. But once we picked it up from the local branch and got back home to order more, it was sold out before we could get more - both colors. :(

Thank you! The Summer Game has added an extra layer of fun for this Mama whose life if full of kid-centric books and library activities. I can't believe I get prizes too! Thanks AADL!

Thanks for all the Summer Game staff does. Where will the shop be located once it is open? There is no link that I have seen.

I think these are great changes to the shop! I also like the change to logging. 10,000 points for reading or watching was just too much. I think people will always find a way to game the system, but the changes this year seem to be keeping that in check a little better.

It shouldn't be about what we get and so much emphasis on points, as much as the great activities that make this nationally renowned program run. Whom ever developed the system is a genius. Having more opportunities to meet the players, vs. just the very last day is a nice option, vs. just playing on our own.

Will Points-O-Matic be back for the 2018 Summer Game? It was mentioned in one of the early posts that those points would count towards shop items, but can we earn more?

Yes! Points-o-matic points will return and will count towards your SG2018 Shop Balance when earned during SG2018. Stay tuned for that in August!

Okay so when you say 4 items per player, I have three different people on one account do those each count as a different player?

Yes, 4 items per game player, each person on your account can order 4 items. Players must be real people who are playing the game themselves, though; it's not sporting to make players for friends or family and then play for them. Additional players are people who live with you and are actively playing the game.

Love the summer game, love getting AADL things (and happy you still have this!) but not sure I am happy about the changes. I like the limiting to 4 - that's good. But I don't trust that the shop will NOT run out of the new stuff by September. We'll see. But only allowing 2018 points for 2018 stuff? I always have more time at the end of the summer than at the beginning of it, so I've always used "last summers" points to get this summer's stuff. Plus I've always wondered if my Treasure Quest points will ever be good for anything....

No worries, we will keep reordering to meet demand until the shop closes. The 2018 items will be available to order all summer long! As far as treasure quest goes, the "prizes" for that ancient game (it ran in the off-season after Summer Game 2011) were rare digital files that were delivered as you solved gates along the way, there were never real prizes planned for that set of puzzles. Stay tuned for the return of Points-o-Matic, though, with Points-o-Matic points earned during summer game applied to your SG2018 Shop Balance! We know Summer Game is a complex beast, but that's how players of all types and skill levels can find value within! Thanks for asking!

I'm confused. So for SG2018 summer game shop you can only buy 4 items, but there will be Classic game shop items which you can buy as many as you like, right?

Yes, you can mostly buy as many classic shop items as you'd like. Some Classic Shop items on clearance will have limited quantities and we'll still ask that you limit yourself to one of those so more players can have a chance at them. Just keep your eyes on the scintillating and erudite shop descriptions if you're not sure!

Thanks for making the game more fair by letting people with fewer reading skills get rewarded equally with those of us who are voracious readers. Little kids didn't have a chance under the old system.

Actually, the new system is less fair. There are plenty of books that don't require a high reading level. Also, is it really fair for people who read a book every day to be rewarded equally to people who read a page a day? I certainly don't think so.

The modern world is not like the old fashioned summer reading program of yesteryear. We read online. We read the clues at the river and to get at the store window. My child spends time reading the instructions to put a new game together. What's the difference? Plus, there are far more reading options than on the pull-down menu. Sometimes it was hard to input data of the day when it was not listed and so had to be an estimate in another category. All of a sudden, the system is skewed.

Any system you come up with is going to have advantages and disadvantages. The old system was unfair to people who have less time to engage with library materials. This system rewards daily use of the library's stuff in a way that ensures the highest number of players can get the maximum points. Power users can still plow through items that take less time and earn tons of rating & review points.

I get the biggest kick out of the Summer Game. I love getting points for finding clues in the community and out in the parks. I also get points for watching movies and attending cooking classes. The prizes have been really useful things like an umbrella, cutting board, blankets, water glasses, and lunch bag. I use and enjoy these things all the time. Thank you so very, very much! I know the prizes are about to change, but it is all good.

Absolutely! It is an awesome opportunity for kids, too. My child can and has does holiday and birthday shopping with the Summer Game and that is really a unique opportunity for youth (good for math and computer skill development).

Really excited for this. However I wish it was like last year because this year it's much harder to earn points and I wish I could use my leftovers from last year towards 2018 items...the shop looks cool so far!

I am so impressed with how much work must have gone into revamping this system at the same time as revamping the whole website!

I think the new and old SG shops is a really clever way to address the difference in point values between the different years, especially if things continue to be refined over the years. And before, sometimes you could feel like you needed to order something right away so it didn't run out, only to wish the next week you'd saved your points for something else. With the new system, you know exactly what to save for - but there is still the weekly surprise because of the classic SG shop! What a creative solution!

Replying to "I think the new and old SG shops is a really clever way to address the difference in point values between the different years, especially if things continue to be refined over the years."

I think a better system would be to only have one balance of shop points (combined from every year, including the current one), make every item available when the shop opens, and there should not be a limit on the number of items that are purchased. I haven't earned very many points this year because friend codes were removed. Thank you, AADL.

I am not aware of the new game rules before I ordered stuff from the store. Now I only have 1 choice left for the rest of the summer... When was this announced?

We announced the changes to the Summer Game Shop earlier this week, in this post you're commenting on! Contact us if you'd like to cancel your order now that you understand how it works. Thanks for playing!

How long will it take to fill the orders? We are moving and want to make sure we can get our awesome AADL souvenirs before we go. 😊

So just to clarify, there are only 18 items all summer in the 2018 Shop, right? Things won't be dropping into it later that we'd wished we'd saved our points on, right?

Yes, these 18 items are all the new items for the 2018 Shop. The Classic Shop will get drops every Friday of old shop items you can spend your classic points on, but there won't be any additional 2018 items. Thanks for asking!

It would be impossible for the game masters to make a game that makes everyone happy and meets everyone's needs. Remember, this game is for my 3 year old, my teen, me, and my elderly neighbors. It's for singles and families, working folks and people who are off for the summer or don't work, students and townies alike. It's ridiculous that people complain about an amazing fun game that rewards you with actual free stuff just for playing! I love the summer game and have for as many years as it's been around. I loved friend codes, I love not having them also. I loved last year's game shop and I love the new ideas for gs2018. Basically, I love the summer game and appreciate all the hard work that goes into it. Ignore the haters game masters!

It can be competitive or not. But for the competitive type, the summer is TOO short and frustrating it is impossible to do it ALL. Takes a few weeks for Summer Game withdrawal to subside but we get over it...GAME ON

This year summer game is not fun at all. Whoever buys stuff for this game store is all useless. At least use library money in books or at least bags that we can keep books and take home and all other educational and fun stuff to inspire kids. 2016 was ok 2017 fine and 2018 getting worst. Hopefully nx yr wood be better.

Thank you AADL staff and supporters - enjoying another summer game with the kids very much :)

This year's format is really no fun. 50 points a day if you read/watch doesn't work nicely; some of us do read long books, and go seek codes at all the branches, and not just short little things daily. Also, I understand you want to be fair with the Summer Game Shop items. However, I thought we could only order 4 of one item, and not 4 total items from the Summer Game shop. Now I have all these points that I can't redeem for anything very worthy from the Classic shop---either silly items I can't use for low points, or items that cost too many points. This format is penalizing people who are honest, read and watch a lot, and would like to redeem the points for nice adult prizes. You REALLY need to revamp the format in a way that puts limits on people who abuse the system but rewards honest game players.

A request for future shops: Is there any way to bring back the red messenger bag?

It was awesome, mine's wearing out, and nothing since then has been that good in terms of details

Outside zipper pocket on flap! Outside velcro pocket! Two (2!) inside dividers! Key loop that drops into a pocket! Inside zipper ID pocket! Outside business card ID pocket! Pen and pencil pockets,! Other pockets!

All secured with lovely snap-lock straps! And removable shoulder strap! And a handy carrying handle!

This year comes close, but not quite

Trying to see if I'll have enough points to buy a classic item next summer if I save 2018 points till 2019. I'll be a bit short if this item returns in classic shop at same "cost". Will I be able to combine my new 2019 points with my accumulated classic points to purchase a CLASSIC shop prize? Otherwise it may take two years or more to accumulate enough points for certain items.

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