SIMAGES 2016.1 – From the Chair

Every year the NASAGA conference pushes boundaries and introduces new ideas to all participants. The 2015 conference was no different in that respect, and paved the way for future conferences.

Our adventures in Seattle, led by John Chen and Jeannette Davidson, had us journey into space, gallivant around the city, explore new technology and trends (oculus rift and eSports tournament), compete in a conference game via a conference app (congrats to our winners, Nicole Reese and Jorj Helou), and network with over 70 people from around the world. People attended from Egypt, Malaysia, Taipei, Hong Kong, Canada, India, and from all over the United States. What a great experience it was to network and brainstorm with so many different perspectives. Thank you so much to John Chen, Jeannette Davidson, Christy Cavanaugh, Michelle Keele, Melissa Peterson, Mark Chen, and the countless others who dedicated hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes time making this conference happen!

Throughout the conference there was a lot of chatter about continuing the brainstorming, learning, and playing throughout the year. We asked what you wanted out of your experience and the overwhelming response was that you wanted webinars, lively discussions, and local meetups. We heard you!

This year, our board made a commitment to fulfill as many requests as possible. This past November, Jimbo Clark and James Bishop used Pericope to welcome other NASAGAns into their organizational game jam in Hong Kong. In December, we hosted a webinar with Roger Courville on creating lively learning. If you missed it, check out the recording. In February, board members Melissa Peterson and Mark Chen recorded our first video podcast about identity. You can watch it here. It’s a great 30-minute discussion on how (or if) we identify ourselves with games. I know I’m still thinking about things they said a week after listening to it!

On March 21, the Baltimore-D.C. area will host a NASAGA meetup on teambuilding and communication activities. I hope you join us if you’re in the area! We are also updating with pictures and videos from previous conferences, and responding to the message boards. Our social networks have been active in posting interesting articles and news from our members. Please “like” our Facebook page, join our group on LinkedIn, tweet with us at @nasaga, and check out our YouTube page. Start a discussion! Brainstorm! Collaborate with other NASAGAns!

As you can tell, our board is working hard on following through with your requests. We are developing more local meetups and planning future podcasts and webinars. Please reach out if you are interested in helping with any of these events!

The call for proposals for NASAGA ‘16 in Bloomington, Indiana, October 26-29, 2016 is now officially open.  Click Here to read about the proposal process. I hope you’ll consider submitting in a proposal for an interactive session or maybe an academic poster to display at the Expo (yes, it’s making a comeback!). Our conference co-chairs, Christy Cavanaugh and Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan, have been working endlessly on conference details. We are looking for a few volunteers that will be able to help with more details as we get to closer to the conference. Please let us know if you’re interested in being a volunteer!

samkI hope you find this issue of SIMAGES to be one more way to stay connected to NASAGA throughout the year. There are some wonderful articles and ideas in this issue that build on themes presented at our Seattle conference. Please continue to suggest ways we can both expand our use of games and simulations and grow our organization. I look forward to seeing you at a future event!



Samantha Knight


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