Ron Stadsklev awarded the:

award3Ifill-Raynolds Award NASAGA 

The Ifill-Raynolds Award, which is a memorial award given for outstanding contributions to simulation and gaming, recognizes one of our members who develops or uses simulation games with joy and serious purpose. This is in the spirit of the NASAGA members it was named for Don Ifill and Gennie Raynolds Don and Gennie brought joy and serious purpose as well as spirit to their work, and specifically to their work with simulation gaming. Gennie and Don, who died within two months of each other in 1995, were our first active members to pass away and NASAGA decided to honor their memory with this award.

The Ifill-Raynolds Award recipient’s work should respect and make use of the power and spiritual richness within practical settings. In an exemplary way, the work should:

  • Foster a sense of community among those who interact with it.
  • Deepen understanding of a cultural, organizational, and/or global common good as it
  • Provides for interaction with the situation(s) or system(s) being modeled.
  • Enable active, positive listening by participants to themselves and/or those different
  • from themselves, enhancing their understanding of themselves and others.
  • Contribute to strengthening or changing an organization or group’s climate and spirit while building a deeper understanding of its purpose.

A long standing NASAGA member, Ron Stadsklev, was the recipient of the 2014 Ifill-Raynolds Award, and well deserving of it for his many years in the simulation and gaming world.

“If life isn’t an adventure, it is nothing at all,” and Ron’s life story reads like an exciting novel of travel and experiences we could only dream about. At the 2014 NASAGA Conference, Ron and his son, Matt, facilitated GHETTO GAME. If you didn’t have a chance to attend the session, GHETTO GAME is a game of mobility which simulates the pressures under which the urban poor live and the choices they face as they seek to improve their life situation. Players learn that the condition of their neighborhood affects all of them, whether or not they are concerned about it. They can only improve neighborhood conditions by investing effort in community action.”

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Handbook of Simulationg Gaming in Social EducationRon’s book originally released in 1974 has been expanded, and is available in e-book format at Amazon. Newly released paperback edition now also available.

What is an “e-book”? An e-book is a digital file which is delivered to an e-reader, via the internet or a wireless network.

What is an “e-reader”? Amazon’s  various kindle devices available at the “Kindle Store”, are the most widely know and used e-readers.

I don’t want to buy an “e-reader”. You don’t have to. Amazon’s “Cloud Reader” allows you to read books on-line from your internet browser.

Ghost from the past.

If any of you are old enough to have been members of NASAGA back in the 1970s you might remember me. I was the Director of Experiential Learning with the Institute of Research and Services at the University of Alabama .

I am sure that computer simulation games will continue to develop more ways to increase our learning potential, My question is this: Are non-computer simulation games still a valuable part of educational teaching methods? From my personal experiences here and in China , it would seem to me that they are for a couple of reasons.

For one reason many schools here in the USA and in China do not have the funds to provide their students with computers. The students in these schools are the ones that could benefit the most from experiential learning techniques like simulation games.

I also feel that people to people SG provide a type of experience that interacting with someone else through a computer can not provide. But maybe this is an assumption that is not valid. I have used computer simulation in China and the students love it. But I have only been able to find ones that deal with cognitive knowledge and skill training. I guess when we get to the point that Star Trek holodecks are available we will have the absolute simulation game. And from what I have been reading in the literature, we may not be very far away.

In the “olden days”,’Garry Shirts’ “Starpower” and Fred Goodman’s
“They Shoot Marbles Don’t They” are classic examples of open model games. Dove Toll’s “Ghetto” and Richard Powers’ “Commons” are classic examples of closed model games. They provide interactions between participants that do not seem possible with computers.

Let me give you an illustration. I was using “Starpower” at a conference of schools’ principals. One of the principals became so upset that he picked up a hand full of chips and threw them across the room and said “You can’t do that, it’s not fair.” Also, when players had trading session they had to shake the person’s hand. They would then have to make a trade that they both agreed on or stand there and hold hands until the end of the trading session. When I led them through the EIAG debriefing session, we produced generalizations that were not just cognitive but in the affective realm.

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