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Thursday, June 12 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm

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Discussant:  Rebecca Black

Dense Worlds, Deep Characters: Role-Playing Games, World Building, and Creative Writing

Trent Hergenrader
While much critical attention in game studies focuses on the relationship between digital games and narrative, games of all types can act as excellent storytelling engines that encourage students to explore new directions with their writing. Reflecting on his experiences teaching college-level fiction writing built around role-playing games (RPGs), the author explains how a combination of RPG rules and aleatory elements provide both structure and spontaneity for beginning fiction writers, but also pose significant classroom challenges. He argues that instructors can use the combination of quantitative and qualitative information found in RPG catalogs can be used as models for the collaborative creation of fictional worlds through the processes of critical world building and detailed character creation exercises, which he explains in detail.

A World Filled with Darkness, Dungeons, and Dragons: Using Analog Role Playing Game Creation to Enhance Literature and Writing Instruction in High School English Classes
Kip Glazer, Trent Hergenrader
Many K-12 educators interested in better engaging with students in K-12 classrooms have turned to game-based learning; however, these instructors often mistakenly believe this approach is limited to using digital games to teach STEM skills. This paper argues that non-digital game-based approaches can be effective in teaching literacy skills, specifically through the use of tabletop role-playing games (RPGs). When students turn a work of literature into a playable RPG, they develop a well-rounded sense of context for the work and learn about the inherent possibilities in the narrative. This approach also allows students to engage in collaborative knowledge-building, to gain experience with digital online writing tools, and experiment with their own creative production in different media. Students gain a deeper appreciation for literature while also developing important literacy skills in a fun and engaging group project.

Finding the Journal of Odysseus: A Pervasive Game in class
John Fallon
"Finding the Journal of Odysseus" is an ARG inspired pervasive game designed to pair with my reading of Homer's Odyssey in 7th grade English. It uses ARG style puzzles and narrative to engage students in their reading of the Odyssey as well as to emphasize critical thinking, collaboration, technological and creative skill sets within a game-based learning context.  It is currently in its second interation in a 7th grade all boys classroom at Fairfield Country Day School in Fairfield, CT. 


Rebecca Black

Associate Professor, UC Irvine

avatar for John Fallon

John Fallon

English Teacher, Fairfield Country Day School
John Fallon is a 7th & 9th grade English teacher at Fairfield Country Day School, a Prek-9 all boys school in Connecticut. His first game based learning project was a pervasive Alternate Reality Game to support the teaching of Homer's Odyssey in his 7th grade class. John also co-designed... Read More →
avatar for Kip Glazer

Kip Glazer

Teacher / Doctoral Student, Independence High School / Pepperdine University
I am a high school teacher and doctoral student at Pepperdine Univeristy, pursuing a doctorate in Learning Technologies. I am passionate about public education, technology integration, and game-based learning. I want to help high school teachers to use more technology and games of... Read More →
avatar for Trent Hergenrader

Trent Hergenrader

Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology
My primary area of research is using games and gaming in English courses, and more specifically using role-playing games to teach fiction writing. I am an Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Thursday June 12, 2014 12:00pm - 1:00pm CDT
Inn Wisconsin

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