Thursday Keynote: Tribute to Garry Shirts: Defender of the Playful
Sivasailam Thiagarajan, Sandra Fowler, Raja Thiagarajan
Simulation gamers stand on the shoulders of a select group of giants. Garry Shirts is one of them. Two of Garry’s classic games, Starpower andBaFa BaFa are being presented at this conference. What better way to prepare for those games than to remember or be introduced to Garry. As his friend Bernie DeKoven wrote: Garry’s “playful presence will be carried forward in the lives of the many people who loved him, learned from him, played with him…Garry’s games will continue to provide all of those who play or lead them a direct connection to his genius, playfulness and love. His life may be complete, but his presence will long continue to enlighten and lighten our lives. If you need to do something to express your appreciation, play and teach his games.” We will open this conference with a tribute to Garry followed by a game for all to play, designed by another giant in our field. Even though there is nothing trivial about Garry’s contributions to the simulation gaming field, we will play Thiagi’s version of In Pursuit of Garry Shirts.
Saturday Keynote: A Historian and his Games Redux
Martin will reflect on more than 50 years of both board and electronic games for learning and a look at some simple online multiplayer games currently being tested.
Martin has been using simulations and games for learning and fun since the 1950s. After becoming a game designer in his youth and having a conventional education, Martin became a conventional professor of history. Dissatisfied, he became involved in using and writing about hobby war games. He then went on to design historical computer games for his classes and publication.
Martin is professor emeritus of history at Pittsburg State University and an independent game developer of commercial and educational games going back to 1984. He is constantly tinkering with a Rails West!-type game, and an experimental game called Tic Tac Toe++ for 3 or 4 person to try out online/multiplayer techniques. He is a long time NASAGA member going back to 1979 and a former board member. He is NASAGA’s 2013 recipient of the Ifill-Raynolds Award for Lifetime Achievement.