The Passing of Judee Blohm


We are all stunned and saddened about the Passing of our dear friend and long-time SIMAGES Editor, Judee Blohm, who died on Wednesday, July 10. 2013.  She was recovering at home after a recent surgery, and was with her dogs and her garden, where she wanted to be.

Judee was the backbone of NASAGA, the games for learning organization that she loved, for years and years. Last year she completed the editing of the wonderful collection of the NASAGA Training Activity Book which only exists because of her dedication to the project.  Judee was our mentor on the NASAGA Board of Directors and during the years when she was the chair, we probably accomplished more as an organization than any other year. NASAGA is a better organization because of her dedication, her contributions and, not the least, her irreverence.

Judee’s garden was amazing and her arrangements, oils, and sauces brought in aggressive bidding at our yearly NASAGA auction. She was even preparing to submit a few flower arrangements at the upcoming annual local fair where she won dozens of ribbons over the years.
The world is a more joyful place because she was in it and left us with so much of her playfully serious spirit. She made us laugh. Judee will be greatly missed by all.

Service arrangements have not yet be made.  We will share details as they become available.

There is an active facebook group called Judee Blohm: Celebration of an incredible life where friends from many parts of Judee’s life are sharing memories. You are invited to share your thoughts on the NASAGA community as well.

From the NASAGA Board

Chair’s Corner

Greg Koeser
Hello everyone.  Your board and NASAGA volunteers have been quite busy these past few months expanding membership offerings, developing new ways to get information, and creating great programs.  We truly appreciate the work of Chris Saeger, our volunteer Executive Director.  He has been helpful in many of the activities we are reporting here.  Samantha Knight has served as an intern to NASAGA.  She now works for GP Strategies and says she’ll be helping to create the standing intern position for NASAGA.  Thanks to Sam for her work and paving the way for future interns!  (Read more)

#NASAGACHAT – The Legend Continues…

Melissa Peterson
Over the last few months, we have been conducting an experiment within NASAGA.  The question was essentially “If we build it, will they come?”  Two nights a month, a slowly growing group of NASAGAns has been getting together on Twitter to chat about various ideas within our fields.  (Read more)

New Format for Simages

With this issue, we are trying a new format for SIMAGES.  The newsletter contains information about the organization, short articles, conference information, an interview, a ready-to-use game or activity, and a game or puzzle.  For a number of years, we have used a ‘magazine format’ with graphic design.  Now we will be using an email format.  Shorter pieces will be directly in the text.  For longer pieces, there will be a summary in the text and links to the full piece on the NASAGA web site.  There will also be an archive of the issue available on the site.  What do you think?

Conference Updates

News flash!  Scientists in a variety of fields have confirmed what NASAGANS have known for half a century!  Play is good for the mind, body, and soul; among other benefits, it enhances learning, fosters productivity, and lies at the heart of creativity.

At the NASAGA 2013 Conference, we will do what we do best and engage our passion for play by design.  We will continue our tradition of sharing exciting games, simulations, and other playful activities that broaden our practice as trainers, educators, consultants, and game designers.  We will also explore our challenges for the future:  ways in which we can add play to technology-led learning environments, use technology-driven games as tools for learning, and continue to spread the word of play as a bridge to learning.  2013 will not only highlight a bridge from play to learning, but also a bridge between classic and modern, and between face-to-face and high tech training.  It will be a bridge to a bright NASAGA future.
‘Play by Design:  A Bridge to Learning’ will take place in Sarasota, Florida, October 23rd to 26th.  Combining both classic and new games for learning, the program is quite varied.  You can view the general schedule  with preconference sessions including a certificate option, keynotesconcurrent sessions, full morning workshops, and offsite learning opportunities.  Bios of presenters are on our website.  Taking advantage of the beautiful surroundings, events will be both indoors and outdoors at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, located on the sparkling Sarasota bay.
We are ready for you!  Register and reserve your room now!  Scholarships are available.
Conference questions?  Write to


Experiential Learning: Consumer Generated Media (CGM) in Education, Learning, and Training

by Dave Endresak
One topic that has been frequently mentioned in recent education news is the need to transform the traditional education system in order to meet today’s methods of learning and train tomorrow’s leaders.  A key shift that has been stressed is to adopt a focus on student-centered learning as opposed to the traditional teacher-centered education approach.  It’s assumed that people understand what these concepts mean, but such an assumption may lead to incomplete, inaccurate, or even completely erroneous understanding of the efforts being made.  In the worst case scenario, such misunderstandings may lead decision-makers to adopt contradictory approaches, thus wasting limited resources on fruitless endeavors.  In order to gain a better understanding of these ideas, it’s worthwhile to consider them through a lens that might be more familiar to most people today:  consumer generated media (CGM) versus traditional methods of media production.  This article will focus on electronic games and simulations, but the same elements can often be applied to physical activities, too. (Read More)

Wiley Retiring the Pfeiffer Imprint

Last fall NASAGA published its first book, The NASAGA Training Activity Book.  It was published through the Wiley Imprint Pfeiffer.  When Wiley was ready to announce its decision to change branding, NASAGA was informed of coming changes.  Read the details of the branding changes in a press release by Wiley in May.  (Read more)


Created a History Laboratory for Classes Using Games
Interview with Martin Campion

Martin Campion has been using simulations and games for learning and fun since the 1950s.  He carried his interest in simulations and games into university teaching.  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.  He was interviewed by Brian Remer.—editors

SIMAGES:  In your early days you were a history professor at Pittsburgh State.  What prompted you to begin using games for teaching?

Martin Campion:  First of all, we must note that I taught at Pittsburg State U (no h), in Pittsburg, Kansas, not to be confused with Pittsburgh, PA, Pittsburg, CA, Pittsburg, TX, Pittsburg, NH, Pittsburg Landing, TN, or Pittsburg Landing, Idaho.  All the Pittsburgs, I suppose, were named after the place in PA, after which it changed the spelling of its name.

I began using games for two reasons:  First, I was unhappy with the combination of lecture and discussion that is the traditional approach to college teaching, except in sciences which have laboratories.  Incidentally, at Pittsburg I asked for and miraculously got control of a room which nobody was using.  I put my game collection in it and held small classes in it and met in it with the Historical Games Club.  I ordered a sign for the room which hung there for many years.  It said ‘History Laboratory’.  Eventually, it was stolen, possibly by my department chairman.  The second reason was that I had myself studied military history because I wanted to design war games and had learned more that way than I would have through reading alone.

Ready to Use Activity 

A Safe Place to Meet is a ready-to-use activity that you can modify to meet your training needs.  It helps to address the issue of people being reluctant to share information in training because both employees and their supervisors are present. (link to activity)  It makes use of visuals.  You might be interested in this back issue of SIMAGES volume 11 issue 1(PDF) which focused on using visuals in training.


Florida Cryptic Clusters
The 2013 conference will be held in Sarasota, Florida.  What do you know about Florida?  The puzzle in this issue is ‘Cryptic Clusters about Florida’. (Play puzzle here)