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Its all greek to me – crossing domain-specific boundaries to grow an internatinal simulation community


Just as Servilius Casca in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar said “it was Greek to me” in reference to his inability to understand the true meaning of a dialogue he was party to, so might the broader business and academic community feel excluded from simulation dialogue because of a language barrier. However this barrier does not originate in geographic or racial differences, but is directly related to the rules and boundaries of particular work and social groupings as well as the psychology of professional domains including engineering, IT and education. Joining the simulation community has been described as jumping “through the looking glass” – there’s a whole new exciting world that can’t be un-known once experienced. The challenge facing who have made the jump, lies in encouraging others with shared interests to also make that leap of faith. The simulation industry internationally has been organised around representative entities that leverage annual conferences as key channels for connecting with current and future audiences. History shows that splinter groups have been highly effective in establishing new niches while more established entities have begun diversifying beyond traditional markets to incorporate newer emergent professions and industries. The simulation industry in Australia continues to demonstrate leadership in the multi-sector engagement model, perhaps because of the particular characteristics of the marketplace – including its comparatively small size. Regardless of the reason, the level of activity means the region is a logical starting point for a study about crossing language barriers to grow the community. This paper will examine the performance of the SimTecT conferences between the years 2002 and 2012 through the lenses of society and culture, language philosophy and linguistics, with a view to identifying strategies for more effective community engagement. The paper will highlight the role of SimTecT in growing the community, as well as analyse various elements of SimTecT as an event to identify its their communication value and effectiveness. Particular attention will be paid to the nuances of language and how this has developed over the given period.


Deanna Hutchinson, Christabel Strong, Nicolette Johnson/The Simulation Agency

Submitted to:

SimTecT Conference