By Anastasia Salter
With the White House opening up a “Games for Impact” site for user discussion and with educators across the country looking at ways to transform their classrooms, games and learning seem to be on everyone’s minds these days. It’s an exciting time to be part of NASAGA, where play and learning have always gone hand in hand.
For the many of you who joined us in Sarasota, Florida for last year’s conference, thank you for being part of such a playful and thoughtful event! Our thanks to Kate Koski and her dedicated team for bringing together an event that combined classic simulations and NASAGA history with forward-reaching events like John Chen’s fantastic augmented “GeoPubCrawl.” The Sarasota conference was a perfect reminder of how NASAGA uses games to form and challenge communities. This was especially true in the collaboration during the conference with local groups including the MOTE Marine Lab. We hope that everyone who attended continues to draw inspiration from the ideas and games we shared.
As we enter the new year, the board is committed to expanding NASAGA’s usefulness to our members between conferences. Melissa Peterson continues to run our regular #NASAGAchat on Twitter, and we’re looking at redesigning Nasaga.org to become a more sustainable community. You can still find us across social media, including on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, where games and learning conversations are ongoing all year.
We’re now looking ahead to the 2014 conference in Baltimore, Maryland October 8th through 12th, where we’ll be “Playing Stories, Sharing Worlds, Learning Games” and enjoying Baltimore’s exciting community. I look forward to welcoming you all to my home town and a conference with several new events, including “unconference” sessions driven by participants with lots of opportunities for collaboration and experimentation. You can learn more about the conference at 2014.nasaga.org, and you’ll find the call for proposals in this issue of SIMAGES. Please submit and come share your experiences, games, and ideas with the community!
The new NASAGA board includes a range of professionals, game designers, educators, academic researchers and trainers all drawn together by the continual innovation and love of learning in the community. We will be continuing to showcase classic simulations and physical, immediate learning games alongside games that make use of new technical platforms at our conferences. To that end, we will also be adding some hands-on digital workshops at the Baltimore conference for members interested in picking up new skills and transitioning their game designs into alternative media.
Feel free to reach out to us with skills and tools that you want to share or learn more about this year.
See you in Baltimore!