SIMAGES February 2014

Volume 14, Issue I

From the Chair

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.




NASAGA 2014 Call for Participation 


In October 2014 the North American Simulation and Gaming Association Conference will be “Playing Stories, Sharing Worlds:  Imagining Games for Learning” in Baltimore, Maryland. We’ll be at the Sheraton City Center near the inner…


NASAGA 2013 Conference Wrap Up


By Kate Koski

As its organizer, the 2013 conference exceeded my expectations.  The theme was originally conceived as a bridge between play and learning.  But some conversations and workshops at the 2012…



New NASAGA Board Members

This year, the board of directors gained five new members to fill the large shoes left behind by so many of our most illustrious NASAGAns. They bring a wide range of experiences to the board, from author to instructional designer, from video producer to undergraduate mentor and trainer. They are passionate about NASAGA and are already moving us forward. We’d like to introduce your new board members.


NASAGA Awards for 2013

By Linda Slack

If you have ever had the opportunity to attend our awesome NASAGA conferences, you have probably witnessed the presentation of two awards given at the Closing Banquet.  The Rising Star which is given to a new presenter (first or second year) at the conference; it is given to recognize and encourage excellent new presenters and game or simulation designers. The Ifill-Raynolds Award is a memorial award given for outstanding contributions to simulation gaming, recognizing one of NASAGA’s members who develops or uses simulation games with joy and serious purpose, which is in the spirit of those for whom it was named – Don Ifill and Gennie Raynolds.


The 1st Anniversary of #NASAGAchat

By Melissa Peterson

A year ago, we started an experiment within NASAGA. We asked ourselves, “How can we extend the conference experience throughout the rest of the year?” And from this question, #NASAGAchat was born.


Ready to Use Activity:

Discrepant Events Create Teaching Moments

By Becky Puckett

The use of discrepant events in your training presentations can really give you that spark you’ve been looking for that will ignite your learner’s imagination, problem-solving abilities, and their enthusiasm.  Discrepant events are quick demonstrations that leave the viewer baffled by what they’ve just seen.



Using Serious Games to Teach English in Second Life

By Martin Warters

Serious games are an emerging area of education that has attracted attention as an educational approach across a range of divergent fields, from military, government agencies, medicine, and business to non-profit, religious and social activist groups. There has been extensive research into Virtual Worlds for general education, digital games for teaching English, and initial research into teaching general English through serious games.


What NASAGA Means to Me: Analyzing the results of the Play Talking Stick for Empowerment and Connection workshop

By Tamara Stenn

For my session at the 2013 NASAGA conference, Play Talking Stick for Empowerment and Connection, I experimented using an ethnographic research tool I developed to identify values and challenges in unfamiliar cultures.  It was evident that talking stick training could be a useful tool for training needs assessment and community building in the United States, especially in corporate training environments, where outside training is often used to “fix” something that is wrong.



Interview with Alex Synan

Alex Synan: First-Time NASAGA Attendee

By Brent Darnell

Alex Synan of Baker City, Oregon, represents the e-Learning age to come.  After attending public high school through his senior year, Synan switched to Eagle Cap Innovative High School, an online school, to complete his senior year.  There he was also able to take college-level courses and complete a General Associates Degree.  He attended his first NASAGA Conference in Sarasota where he enjoyed the exchange of ideas as well as the people.