North American Simulation and Gaming Association Conference Aims to Use Play to Improve Learning.
Oct.23 – 26 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota.
Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla. – It’s not often that you get paid to play games, but that’s what JoAnn Froman will be doing at the upcoming conference “Play by Design: A Bridge to Learning.”
Froman, who is the director of Learning and Development at Goodwill Manasota, recently won a scholarship to attend the October conference of the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA). Scholarships were offered to a limited number of non-profit professionals as well as graduate students.
“With a conference of this sort right here in Sarasota, I couldn’t pass it up,” said Froman, who was surprised to have received the award. “I’m especially excited about the preconference where I’ll be able to get a certificate in game design and facilitation.”
The NASAGA conference is aimed at exploring the intentional use of play to improve learning. “When we play, our brains are relaxed,” said Dr. Kathleen Koski, president of NASAGA and conference organizer. “Without the pressure to get a grade, we make better mental connections and remember more.”
Conference sessions will bridge the gap between traditional board games and digital games, as well as face-to-face play and eLearning.
Established in 1962, the North American Simulation and Gaming Association has active members from the US, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, South Africa and New Zealand. The conference will attract game designers, academics, consultants, school teachers, learning facilitators and computer programmers who like to have fun. “We don’t just talk about games, we play them,” said Koski.
The conference will feature hands-on sessions with titles such as Digital Team Building, Global Capture the Flag, and Human Library: Bringing Books to Life. Attendees will play BaFa BaFa, a classic cross-cultural simulation from the 1960’s, participate in a Mad Designer’s Game Jam, and use castoff items to create their own games in Junkyard Sports.
“There is a lot of excitement in the education and business communities about gamification and how it can enhance the work and learning environment,” said NASAGA Executive Director, Chris Saeger. “NASAGA members have been experimenting with ways to make learning playful since the early 1960’s – long before computer games were first developed.”
“This conference is really relevant because my team wants to develop a game for our business,” said Froman. “Our team is very competitive and they enjoy learning by using hands-on activities. Incorporating games into our curriculum will engage our learners. It’s a logical next step for us.”
The NASAGA conference will be held from Oct. 23 – 26 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. For more information and to register, visit www.NASAGA.org. There are options to attend one or two days of sessions, and Florida residents will receive a 10% discount by using the code SUNSHINE upon registration.
About Goodwill Manasota:
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. For more than 110 years, Goodwill has provided opportunities through such programs as Donated Goods Employment Services, Job Connection, JobsPlus, Supported JobsPlus, HomeBuyer’s Club, Mission Development Services, White Glove Services, Good Neighbor Program and Ambassadors Program. Goodwill continues to assist people with disabilities and barriers to opportunity by changing lives through the power of work. Goodwill Manasota, Inc. is legally organized under the laws of the United States and the State of Florida. We are accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is NOT owned by any individual. Tax-deductible donations can be made at EXPERIENCEGOODWILL.ORG.