jeudi 22 décembre 2016

Hogwarts 1899: Merry Christmas from Azkaban [RPG module]

A Christmas entertainment and an opportunity to practice my writing skills in english and LaTeX language at the same time.

This initiation module is set in the Wizardry World of Harry Potter. It was designed for new role-playing gamers. All the player characters are young siblings from the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black. Nobility, history, authority and truth are challenged in an short investigation that goes from August to December 1899 in Hogwarts and around. There will be: Slytherins, bullying, goblin pox, young Dumbledore, ghostbusting, suicide pact, goblin rebellions, visit of Azkaban and Gringotts, Hogwarts under the watch of the infamous Nigellus Black (the uncle of the characters). The game can be played in 3 hours or more. You need to work some details by yourself.

Merry Christmas!!

vendredi 16 décembre 2016

Teacher pioneers : Using Role-Playing Game Creation in Teaching [2 chapters]

Hergenrader, W. T. (2017). Immersive Learning—Using Role-Playing Games to Teach Creative Writing, Literature, and History. In C. Williams-Pierce (Ed.), Teacher pioneers. Visions from the Edge of the Map (pp. 54–69). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.

The author describes his experience of teaching creative writing through RPG because it provides a situated and embodied experience (which mean deep learning, says J.P. Gee). Situated = learning  within a context. Embodied = experiencing something directly (in person or via an avatar).

A 6-steps framework to design your own teaching experience with RPG is detailed.

  • RPGs are good for collaborative classroom projects
  • Our world and RPG worlds are complex and follow rules. RPG rules have to be made explicit. « The goal is not to create a world for play, but rather to lay bare the workings of a world through rules. Expressing these rules through a combination of numbers and words presents a unique challenge for students, who must work together to create a coherent and consistent model through debate and compromise. »
  • Quantify and qualify the informations/rules created
  • Taking decisions based on rules previously created and detailed
  • RPGs are modular: so the teaching is like a toolbox
  • Experience another personality going through social forces, and how social force are changing
 * * *

Glazer, K. (2017). Beyond Gameplay—Using Role-Playing Game Creation to Teach Beowulf in a High School English Class. In C. Williams-Pierce (Ed.), Teacher pioneers. Visions from the Edge of the Map (pp. 43–53). Pittsburgh, PA: ETC Press.
The teacher asked school students (grade 11-12) to create a role-playing game based on a literature fiction book (Beowulf, then 1984, then Frankenstein). Students were so enthousiastic they wanted to combine it with other fictions (« they wanted to do more work than was asked of them »).
The students had to :
  1. create the game: historical and geographical research, create a board for the game (a good assessment tool to check if they understood the entire story), write possible adventures for the characters they created and design their own rules of the game.
  2. play the game : « At first, boys who were used to volunteering for leadership roles were tasked to run the game; however, many groups soon realized that it was better to have a gamemaster who was skilled in storytelling. As a result, many of female students ended up taking over as gamemasters, which led to an opportunity for them to demonstrate their leadership skills. »
The students enjoyed to use their imagination. Some complained about the time consuming of the process because they had high self-standards of quality. Playing in the fiction made them experiment what the characters felt. Creating their own game put them in control as builders of their future not passive receivers.

jeudi 8 décembre 2016

Roleplayification: a specific kind of gamification

First coined as «Roleplayingfication» by Morten Greis Petersen, roleplayification could be an interesting neologism mixing the concepts of gamification and role-playing. Let's apply it to education :
  • Gamification: use of game mechanics (points, badges, levels,  rewards, leaderboard, quests, challenges) and game experiences (safe space, immersion, exploration, competition, narration) to engage and motivate people to learn something.
  • Role-play: pretense attitude in which the player takes the role, skills and personality of himself (or another person) in a simulated situation for preparing himself or improving his abilities.
Some metrics*:
  • A lot of studies (2300+) were recently made on gamification (since 2010, with a hype peak in 2015). They are mostly in computer science (74%) and engineering (15%), reflecting a strong aspect of digital/computer-based gamification, so showing few synchronized interpersonal interactions. 
  • A lot of studies (c. 6500+) were also made on role-play in education (since 1968, with two peaks : 1989-1992 and 2011). They are mostly in medecine and nursing training (87%). 

I define roleplayification as :
  • The use of mechanics and experiences taken from role-playing a character 
    • role-taking
    • personality taking
    • perspective taking
    • acting
    • public talking, debating, 
    • active listening, cold reading
  • ... in a simulated playful game situation
    • larp style: direct talking, permanent acting, no ellipse
    • tabletop style: more metagaming, possibility of indirect talking/ acting, ellipses
  • ... to engage and motivate a group of people (through synchronized interpersonal interactions)
  • ... to learn something
    • preparing
    • improving
    • discovering
    • raising awareness

I discarded all other RPG aspects unrelated to playing a role : points, levels, quests, narration, safe space, immersion,… 

* Source:, function Analyze results
Search for : gamif* OR ludif* in TITLE-ABS-KEY
Search for : ("role-play*" OR roleplay* in KEY)  AND (education OR training OR learning OR literacy in TITLE-ABS-KEY)

vendredi 2 décembre 2016

Weekly selection: Intl J of Role-Playing no. 6-7

Link to the issues (6: Role-Playing and Simulation in Education; 7: Living Games 2016).

Atwater, B. (2016). We Need to Talk: A Literature Review of Debrief. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 7‑11.
This literature review consults the diverse academic definitions of debriefing to give context to larp debriefs. Simulation learning and psychological debriefing are explored to show lessons and precedents.
Blackstock, R. (2016). Origin Stories: The Phenomenological Relationship Between Players and their Characters. International Journal of Role-Playing, (7), 5‑9.
Using a phenomenological research model, this study explored the question « How is consciously embodied persona experienced through live action role-play? »
Bowman, S. L., & Standiford, A. (2016). Enhancing Healthcare Simulations and Beyond: Immersion Theory and Practice. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 12‑19.
This paper applies six major categories of immersion theory to health care simulation: immersion into activity, game, environment, narrative, character, and community.
Cox, J. (2016). Arts-Based Inquiry with Art Educators through American Freeform. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 27‑31.
Summarizing dissertation research, this article focuses on the creation of a community of play formed with professional and pre-service art educators by using a series of American freeform games.
de los Angeles, G. (2016). Scaffolding Role-Playing: An Analysis of Interactions with Non Role-players of All Ages. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 20‑26.
This article explores the relationship between nature and culture during a series of scaffolded larp activities designed as part of a STEAM summer program for indigenous youth.
Harviainen, J. T. (2016). Physical Presence in Simulation: A Scratch at the Surface of Complexity. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 32‑38.
This article examines the impact of physical presence on simulation and educational gaming. This meta-review of existing research reveals central issues involved in deploying physical simulations.
Hellstrom, M. (2016). Playing Political Science: Leveraging Game Design in the Post-Secondary Classroom. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 39‑45.
This paper describes the first implementation of gamification and game-based learning in a Political Science classroom at the post-secondary level based upon Sheldon and Bartle.
Hutchings, T., & Giardino, J. (2016). Foucault’s Heterotopias as Play Spaces. International Journal of Role-Playing, (7), 10‑14.
This article summarizes Foucault’s six principles of heterotopias, explores what might make a play space a heterotopia, and reflects on the dangerous waters about heterotopias that require sensitivity and respect from game designers and players.
Jordan, J. T. (2016). Simulation and Character Ownership in Secondary Dramatic Literature Education. International Journal of Role-Playing, 46‑50(6), 46‑50.
This case study examines the effectiveness of incorporating role-playing techniques into a high school classroom in order to improve student’s mastery of the themes and structure of an American play.
Leonard, D. J. (2016). Conflict and Change: Testing a Life-Cycle Derived Model of Larp Group Dynamics. International Journal of Role-Playing, (7), 15‑22.
Analyzing data from the Larp Census 2014, this article examines three challenges larps face that are anticipated by our unique integration of role-play studies with small groups research.
Long, T. (2016). Character Creation Diversity in Gaming Art. International Journal of Role-Playing, (7), 23‑29.
This project examines the artwork in Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbooks for each edition of the game using content analysis. The author explores whether or not racial minorities are adequately represented in these books.
MacLean, G. (2016). One Way to Create Educational Games. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 51‑54.
Improv games, which are used to train actors in how to do improvisational theatre, may be used to train other professions as well. The games assist in the development of simple skills and also give context for the skills’ use.
Steele, S. H. (2016). The Reality Code: Interpreting Aggregate Larp Rules as Code that Runs on Humans. International Journal of Role-Playing, (7), 30‑35.
Aggregate larp rules are a type of code that runs on humans. The study of larp code provides a framework to approach « real world » reified power structures such as « gender, » « race, » and « capital. »
Torner, E. (2016). Teaching German Literature Through Larp: A Proposition. International Journal of Role-Playing, (6), 55‑59.
Games can be used to interpret literature in comparable ways to an analytic essay. This article discusses two nano-games based on German literature developed by University of Cincinnati students.
White, W. J. (2016). Actual Play at the Forge: A Rhetorical Approach. International Journal of Role-Playing, (7), 36‑39.
This paper takes a rhetorical perspective to examine an « actual play » (AP) discussion thread from, or « the Forge, » an influential and controversial online forum for tabletop role-playing game (TRPG) design.