SIMAGES 2016.1 – The Evolving SIMAGES Article

The Evolving SIMAGES Article

by NASAGA members like you

As a NASAGA member you are invited to play along in the creation of this article.  Here are the rules:

Goal:  Respond to a Question Prompt and add to the body of knowledge

1.) Read the Entries below then choose one or more of the following actions:

  • Write an entry of your own
  • Respond to another person’s Entry
  • Make a guess about who the author is for each Entry

2.) Invite your colleagues to play this game

3.) Come back and read the article as it evolves

4.) Respond to the Evolving Article as often as you wish using the comments section below.

Here is the Question Prompt:

What are you reading right now and how does it add to or detract from your work with simulations and games?

Entry One:

On Fridays I read NASAGA’s weekly NASAGA collects tweets on game based learning and gamification and publishes them on Friday. Always something there. This week I happened on to, a site with many many card games. One of the card sets is called “Gamification Inspiration Cards” by Gamified UK. The set is designed to help the players develop gamification solutions. I bought a set as a Christmas present.

I also read Bernie DeKoven almost every day as inspiration for play and fun.

Lastly, this week I spent some time reviewing Sharon Bowman’s micro courses at  These are all brilliant simple slide shares done in the style of a self-study e-learning course. All of them are related to aspects of active learning. They are a must watch.

Guess the Author (choose one):  Jennifer McCann, Christopher Saeger, or John Chen


Entry Two:

I am reading Edward the 3rd: The Perfect King, by Ian Mortimer. I cannot say that it has added much to my current work with simulations and games, but it also hasn’t detracted. I guess, if anything, it has given me some insight into the oddly forward thinking politics of the 1300s, and I actually wonder if there is a game in there somewhere related to parliamentary politics and the creation of the House of Commons. I am actually amazed at how modern the reign of Edward was, given how barbaric later kings were.

Guess the Author (choose one):  Chuck Needlman, Melissa Peterson, or Brian Remer


Entry Three

I just started reading the novel, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s a fictional story about a young man on a quest for Easter eggs in a future virtual society. I’m not that far in but I’m already making notes on how people become interested in virtual games and the excitement one gets from finding clues. It’s making me think a lot about NASAGA and the Alternate Reality Games we’ve done and the Alternate Reality Games we talk about doing. I’m sure ideas will be flowing as I get more into the book.

Guess the Author (choose one):  Bernie DeKoven, Samatha Heringer-Knight, or Christy Cavanaugh

Reader Comments:

This entry reminds me of the number of games or alternate reality based novels I read recently. Armada, also by Ernest Cline, The Enders Game Series by Orsen Scott Card, and IQ84 by Haruki Murakami into the rabbit hole to an alternate parallel world, Reamde by Neal Stephenson features a game like World of Warcraft and the economy it creates.


Entry Four

I am reading Nonsense by Jamie Holmes which is about how we deal with ambiguity.  It makes the point that rushing to closure can seal off more creative insights.  It reminds me of the winning move that closes a game as opposed to playing for a just-right-challenge which keeps the game going longer.

This connects to another book I’m reading, We Can Remember it for You Wholesale by the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.  In each of the short stories, Dick raises several provocative ideas, toys with them to stretch the concepts, but never ties up all the loose ends completely.  Readers are left wondering in ambiguity.

A third book I’m reading is A Dance with Dragons, fifth in the never-ending-oh-my-God-how-can-this-guy-write-faster-than-I-can-read series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.  This too is a model of how to keep the game going.  Martin manages to spark a mystery in the first chapter but only give a partial resolution two books later yet keep readers suspended happily in ambiguity for a couple thousand pages.  Hmm… what if I could do that with my training?

Guess the Author (choose one):  Samatha Heringer-Knight, Brian Remer, or Jennifer McCann


Entry Five

I do not have a ton of time to read these days (unfortunate, because it is one of my favorite hobbies) – but most of the reading I’ve done the past few weeks has been on the forums, as we are transitioning our online class content from PowerPoint modules to SCORM activities. It’s been an interesting year, learning how to develop, publish, and manage SCORM content.

Guess the Author (choose one):  John Chen, Jennifer McCann, or Melissa Peterson


Entry Six

I recently read The Aesthetic of Play by Brian Upton. It’s pretty good in terms of laying out a foundation for thinking about player movement and different constraints in a game and linking it to meaningful decisions in non-game situations as well. The beginning is especially useful since he introduces the idea of horizons (of potential moves) and also talks about too little choice vs too much choice as the channel to design towards rather than the flow channel. I find this latter useful because flow is way overrated, imho. 🙂

Guess the Author (choose one): Becky Saeger, Mark Chen, or Chuck Needlman

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