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Ice Cream, Wargaming, and the Dey Mansion at Washington's Headquarters 9/24

If this photo doesn't tell you what Next Gen is about- a former HS student facilitating, an amazing museum curator, arguably the savviest 5th grade gamer I've ever met, and a lovely, supportive parent- then I don't know what will!

If you're wondering about the context of this photo, Next Gen ran its first "museum" event over at the Dey Mansion at Washington's Headquarters in Northern New Jersey. We had an absolute blast meeting all sorts of different people, from different walks of life, all coming together for good food, gaming, and history.

We ran a total of 3 AWI games in 3 scales- 15mm, 28mm, and 54mm. The players ranged from kids, to parents, to grandparents, and was the epitome of a diverse audience. Two of the games were inside the museum itself- one in which George Washington lived in for over 3 months back in the 1780s. As a history teacher, this was quite surreal!

While we were gaming, there was also an event happening outside, where John Spiess had set up shop to run pickup games. Homemade ice cream, colonial style, fed the spectators and players as the dice were rolled.

Given that this was our first museum event, I personally learned a valuable lesson- sometimes, people can have just as much fun watching a game being played as compared with actually playing! We had tons of onlookers who were fascinated by all of the thinking, decision making, and gut instinct that goes along with wargaming, or gaming in general.

Lots of history talk went down, both inside and outside. At my game, I had a 5th grader- who apparently just discovered tabletop gaming- regale me with everything he's learned about the Napoleonic era, mostly from playing computer simulations. We made some connections to what might be similar about warfare in the 1700s, and one of your youngest facilitators (pictured above) helped him understand the rules of the game, and beyond that, how to make flexible decisions depending on the circumstances each unit was under. Selfishly, this was a real joy for me on a personal level- given that our facilitator had started gaming at the same age- 5th grade!

All said, it was a lovely day. Thank you to the event planners, the multiple Next Gen facilitators who ran the event, and all of the spectators who came by to enjoy the festivities.

We have an enormous amount going on this fall. I'll be presenting at NASAGA 2022 in Montreal on the use of Diplomacy in the classroom. We have gaming events all over the place- Yale, Simsbury, Westchester Community College, Canton, Jonathan Trumbull Library- you name it, we'll be there.

Expect to see some more blog posting in the coming weeks. And, as always, HMGS is running Fall In this coming November, which will see over a thousand gamers coming together for some historical miniatures. We hope to see you there.

If you have interest in an event, feel free to contact us through our website, or directly at

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