Sunday, March 05, 2006


In my quest to expand my knowledge of gaming and learning I went to a session about Shared Fantasy: Using Fantasy Roleplaying in the classroom. As I posted before I quite enjoyed the presenter and thought he did a thorough job in describing roleplay (Pen and Paper style) as a social learning tool. He has written some interesting articles on his site about RPG. So far I have only skimmed some of his writing and I have to say I'm excited for him as he tries to get into graduate studies this fall (I think he said Comparative Lit.) he has a good tone/voice to what he writes and I think he is quite fair in how he sets up his defense of RPG.

Most of the writings he has done around RPG are to do with the defense of them in a Christian perspective. He uses them in his ministry to help kids express themselves. I applaud his work in this area. He is doing something in his work that I would love to be able to harness and use in my teaching.

He inspired me to start looking into the different reasons why players are playing. During the lecture he sited John Hughes's (not APA format) "Therapy is Fantasy" as a source for looking into the development of a player's reasons for playing. Take a look at the diagram that he has about 1/4 or the way down the page. I often think that video RPG as learning tools are only going to 'hit' one type of audience in my classroom.

When I do the stand up lecture style to introduce a lesson I know that most of the girls understand what I'm talking about. I then teach the lesson in a different audience style and assess to see which students understand. Then I'll try another style the next day and if I haven't gotten everyone by then I go and do one on one with the students who have fallen through the cracks of my lesson net.

I believe that video games together with my teacher sense (kind of like spidey sense) which enables me to adjust instruction and use the teachable moment will hit a wider learner group. Multiple Intelligence theory comes to mind...

I'm going to look into this more later but for now I'm off to my Father-in-law and Niece's birthday party!! I love my family.


Gotthammer said...

All too aware that my defenses of RPG's are mostly for a Christian audience, so I'll be reposting some updated versions of the roleplaying articles from gotthammer at the blog here right away. Thanks so much for your kind assessment of the session. I enjoyed FINALLY getting to deliver it - I've been trying for a couple of years to get that one in.

idarknight said...

As long as you don't fall into the trap that has games used only as rewards, you should be fine. But the biggest problem with games in the classroom that I see - thinking about it after participating in the Innovate webcast this morning is that in order to have gaming as part of the classroom, you have to get all the kids involved in some manner and that can get very expensive very fast.

There is an alternative by using centers - just like a lab in science, with one group "wet" and the other "dry", but that can also get tedious for the students.