PAXsims

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Daily Archives: 11/07/2021

Connections UK 2021 registration now open

Registration for the Connections UK 2021 professional wargaming conference (14-15 September 2021) is now open.

Some key points to note about this year, courtesy of Graham Longley-Brown:

Learning by doing remains the focus, with maximum participatory content.

The overarching theme is building the community. There will be central plenaries and associated workshops on ‘Bringing on the next generation’ and ‘Diversity & Inclusion’. Day 1 will feature significant educational content: awareness ‘101’ sessions (as is traditional at Connections UK), but also practitioner and expert seminars, enlivened and illustrated by educational gaming.

The conference is experimental in all respects. The environment is 100% safe to fail, with contributors encouraged to bring innovative and developmental activities to the – virtual – table. Indeed, the conference itself is an experiment: we are trying to generate a genuine conference feel where, albeit in a virtual environment, everyone can get involved, interact and network. And the best way to do that, as we all know, is by playing games! Dedicated chat and voice channels will be available for every session, and there will be ‘hangout’ areas and small-group activities that give everyone the chance to contribute. Outcomes will be captured and back-briefed in plenary and/or via informal reporting.

While the central platform will be Discord (as with Connections US), gaming platforms or applications will be at the discretion of the presenter. Links to these will appear on the Discord server and a Google Sheets Master Programme.

An outline programme is attached and pasted below the signature block. Details of games, speakers etc will follow in mid-August.

Purchase a ticket via EventbriteTickets are live; book yours now! Note that the email you provide at signup will be used to provide you details of how to join the conference and register for various sessions and games in mid-August.

Connections UK will primarily be hosted on Discord. This will be our community hub. Before purchasing a ticket, please ensure you have a Discord account (free to set up) and the software installed on a personal device. The software can be used on both a free-to-download desktop application and via a browser, but the device will need a microphone and camera. A beginners guide to Discord can be found here, and we will send a Connections UK-specific guide in August.

Other applications such as Zoom, Teams, VASSAL or Spatial might also be required to take part in certain games. We will disseminate a list of games with their required programmes in August.

The conference will run over two days, 14th – 15th September.

The daily start time will be 1000 BST (GMT+1 in September), running through to evening sessions to enable international content.

There is a small charge of £25. As a not-for-profit, Connections UK receives no financial sponsorship and is run by volunteers. Although the organisers will be co-located in a control hub kindly hosted by NSC/QinetiQ, we must buy-in technical and other support functions. The small charge is to cover costs and ensure we remain financially viable going forward.

Please share widely.

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