Changing the World Through Meaningful Play: Report on the 2010 ISAGA Conference
By: Elizabeth Murff
Within this article, Elizabeth Murff writes a summary of the week long 2010 International Simulation And Gaming Association’s (ISAGA) Conference that took place at the Washington State University. This organization is for scientists and practitioners who develop and use simulation, gaming (learning games), and related methodologies: role-play, structured experiences, computer simulations, virtual reality, game theory, and much more. It is their goal to help students learn and understand concepts and skills through meaningful play.
The conference itself is open to everyone who likes to play, design, write or does research and practice in the field of gaming and simulation, or people who simply just enjoys learning about these topics. At the 2010 conference participants from the ages of 11 to 72 attended that were from all areas of the world such as Austria, Poland, Sweden, Japan, Germany, and Estonia. From Monday to Thursday participants participated in several tours around the university which included a demonstration of old Native American teaching techniques through storytelling, tour of the Simulated Hazardous Operational Tasks Lab and the Sleep and Performances and Research Center, tour of the 3G SimMan, tour of the Wineries in the local grape-growing district, as well as the presentation of international papers. The goal of this conference is the hope that the ideas generated by the participants during the week will lead to changing the world through meaningful play and move forward to the 2011 Bonds and Bridges conference in Poland. I found this article to be informative in the sense of describing what these conferences have to offer participants, but lacked in over viewing what works and speeches were presented. I found most of the activities included in the week conference to be irrelevant to ‘simulation and gaming’, such as winery tour, which is what ISAGA represents. Unless the conference was held at the Washington State University to show which projects are being funded and researched there, such as the Sleep Research Center, there was no reason for the conference to be in that area.