To celebrate 45 years of history of ISAGA and to celebrate about 250 years of history of gaming simulations in German-speaking countries a public exhibition on the history of Gaming will be organized and presented at the ISAGA 2014 event.
Simulation games and game artifacts (game parts, books, photos, ISAGA conference items etc.) from past decades and even centuries will be on display. Below, from time to time we will add some short descriptions and photos of these items to “wet your appetite”.
You can also make suggestions in the proposal section. We appreciate any opinions of you (what you would like to see) or contributions (what you would be able to give permanently or as an item on loan for the duration of the exhibition).

Gallery 1

A highlight is for example the “War game” that was developed in 1780 by the Braunschweig mathematician Johann Christian Ludwig Hellwig. The game was originally entitled “Attempt of a tactical game based on chess and played by two or more persons”. The game can be seen exemplarily for a clutch of similar contemporary games. Hellwig’s game is a chess-like board game war simulation and, therefore, amongst others, resembles Christoph Weickmann’s Chess Game of 1644, card games like “Jeu de la Guerre” and “Jeu de la Fortification2 from the early 18th century, Georg Venturis’ war game “Rules for a New War Game for the Use in Military Facilities” developed in 1797 or the war game of Baron von Reißwitz of 1811. It was Hellwig’s ambition to create a cost-saving and playable war simulation game and to didactically employ this simulation for his teaching. Hellwig’s game is basically a book of rules that has to be amended by a board and game parts that have to be produced by the players themselves. The war game was reconstructed by Rolf Nohr und Stefan Böhme (from Braunschweig University of Arts, Institute of Media Studies) according to the original writings of Hellwig. This game will even be playable at ISAGA 2014.

Gallery 2

The exhibition will show one of the first computer based general management simulation games to be distributed in Germany for personal computers. It is based on the MS-DOS operating system. At the ISAGA 2014 we will make it playable on authentic computers of the 1980s. TOPSIM - Petrol is a simulation designed in the second half of the 1980s by UNICON and ARAL to train owners of gas stations on how to improve their top and bottom line. Using a Virtual Machine we have been able to restore this virtual landmark.

Imagine you wake up one morning and you find yourself in charge of a gas station in Lindau, Lake Constance. This is your gas station and you have to run the show. You would think it is easy, selling coffee and drinks, running the bistro and making sure that the sandwiches are fresh and you would also sell gas and carwashes. Then you take a second look and see that you are back in 1988! Your Aral station (now owned by BP) is 2 km away from the Austrian border and border meant border in those days. It is amazing how different business models looked in those days: you make a nice portion of your profit by fixing cars, changing oil and selling tires. You mostly sell leaded fuel and an important portion of your other revenue is coming from selling maps (there was no GPS in those days...) and you have to consider offering car wash facilities which is a gamble since most people will wash their car at home on a Saturday. The only thing which has not changed is the fact that you make more profit on the 6 pack of beer you are able to upsell compared to the full tank of gas you have just sold.

Gallery 3

Dick & Marie Duke

We will display many classic books on gaming throughout the past decades. Also proceedings of ISAGA and national associations like ABSEL, NASAGA, SAGSET, JASAG etc and Yearbooks and Journals will be on display.

A special activity will be related to Richard Duke´s classic book “Gaming: The Future’s Language”. Published by Sage in 1974, the research for this work was developed at The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (1973). For the conference we plan a 40th anniversary celebration of the book with a reprint of the original and all conference participants will receive one. In addition we will publish a second book “Back to The Future of Gaming” that is based on Dick Duke´s classic and explores the past, presence and future of gaming in relation to the main ideas of the original book. Dick Duke has given his consent and he is the honorary editor of the book. All conference participants will also receive an issue of this new book.

Gallery 4

Official ISAGA mascot Dr. Sigurdomus Ludus with his new ISAGA 2014 T-Shirt

Dr. Sigurdomus Ludus is the official ISAGA mascot (it is a marmot soft toy). He travels from conference venue to conference venue around the globe and enjoys especially to play ;-)

Dr. Sigurdomus Ludus ( twitter: @SigurdomusLudus ) has meanwhile arrived at FHV University in Austria the venue of 45th ISAGA conference 2014. We now have put online some photos of the mascot with the new isaga2014 t-shirt. He promises that every participant will also receive one t-shirt - in his/her seize ;-)

The mascot was photographed in front of the main building of FHV university.


Gallery 5

First Austrian version of „Monopoly“ from 1936 shows the conference venue at Lake of Constance

Elizabeth Magie designed in 1903 and patented in 1904 the board game “The Landlord Game” on realty and taxation. It is seen as direct inspiration for the well know game “Monopoly”. Magie designed it as a learning game with the goal in mind of demonstrating how rents enrich owners of properties and at the same time and impoverish tenants. She intended to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies. Magie hoped that when played the game would lead to an understanding of unfairness. From 1924 street names were added (first from streets in Chicago). In 1934/35 Magie sold the patent to Parker Brothers who started distributing “Monopoly”, subtitled “The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game”, named after the economic concept of monopoly — the domination of a market by a single entity. Players move around the game board buying properties, developing their properties with houses and hotels, and collecting rent from their opponents with goal to drive all opponents into bankruptcy. The first Austrian Version was named „Spekulation“, produced by Stomo (Vienna) in 1936. It shows cities and streets and several famous places in Austria. Also the 2014 ISAGA conference venue is part of the game. See on the pictures in Time Capsule Gallery Nr.5 the Lake of Constance region and streets in Bregenz (capitol city of Vorarlberg; only 10 minutes drive away from Dornbirn´s FHV University; Bregenz and the Lake are locations of some of the social program activities). The original version of 1936 will be of course on display at the exhibition.