Monday, July 09, 2007

ISAGA conference

Today the 5-day ISAGA conference started. This yearly event about gaming and simulation takes place in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

I'm there with a colleague of mine, Yvonne, who is a graphic designer. The conference is using the concept of 'Learning by doing'. You can choose between different kind of activities. One of the things you can do is to create a game for War Child. Parallel to this you have thematic sessions (3 hours) or single paper sessions. After these there are open sessions: anybody can initiate that.

We went to a thematic session about designing educational games and simulations. For me this was too much a learner oriented approach. We did all the work even without much feedback or reflection from the facilitators. It left me with an idea that I could do that without them. The good thing was that we defined the criteria for a good game from many different perspectives (designer, client, player, victim, etc.). After that I went to a session in where a real client with a real problem asked for some input about how to use gaming to solve his problem. This was a very interesting session. We ended up with a solution with only a small emphasis on gaming but with a strong community with all kind of collaborative learning activities (based on a VLE instead of a virtual world or game).

I'm feeling lucky to focus a whole week on GBL and to share ideas with gaming professionals from 20 different countries!

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