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Learning Through RPGs

At Mischief & Monsters, we truly believe in storytelling and gaming as tools for social, emotional and creative growth, and are dedicated to helping everyone reap those benefits from their roleplaying sessions.

Creative Scotland describes creative learning as taking place 'when arts and cultural activity leads intentionally to the development of understanding, knowledge and skills' and says 'all cultural activity has the capacity to inspire learning by its very nature' (, 2013).

The eLearning company ELM outlines several creative learning techniques (, 2021):

  • Hypothetical scenarios

  • Improvisation

  • Analogies

  • Debates

  • Storytelling

These are all fundamental components of tabletop roleplaying games. ELM goes on to explain that 'learners engage deeply with creative learning experiences' (2021) and that they can lead to improved knowledge retention and expanded understanding.

Some companies have even begun to use roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons for therapeutic purposes! US-based nonprofits Game to Grow and The Bodhana Group both advocate 'the use of tabletop gaming as a directed therapeutic and clinical practice' (, 2021), suggesting it helps 'build social competence, reduce isolation, and form friendships that last' (, 2017).

While we at Mischief & Monsters are not qualified therapists, we are trained teachers, actors, facilitators, and gamers, so building community and leveraging that to both support people's social-emotional development and inspire their creativity, all through tabletop gaming, is well within our wheelhouse.

Kade Wells, an educator in South Dakota, reflects on how Dungeons & Dragons encourages both of these areas of growth: 'D&D saved my life, I've seen it save and change the lives of others [...] Dungeons & Dragons is the best metacognitive tool for education I've seen. The reading growth observed and measured in my class [...] doubled each time they tested' (, 2022).

The A, B, Cs of D&D Book Cover

"A is for Adventure.

Our journey has begun.

B is for Book,

the source of all the fun!"

- Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland, The ABCs of D&D

Learning Benefits

Stimulates problem-solving. Creative learning changes

the way learners approach problems. They become

more imaginative and innovative, and they cope better

when they don't know the answer.

Develops critical thinking. Creative learners propose

innovative ideas and resolutions. Then, they review the

progress of implementing them and adjust the process

for improvement.

Promotes risk-taking. Creative learning exposes

learners to failure, but learning creatively provides

learners with a space where they feel comfortable

taking risks and seeing different outcomes.

Builds a curious mindset. Creative learning solutions

are unconventional, which makes learners curious about

the process and the topic and foster an interest in

learning itself.

Increases confidence levels. Creative learning

techniques build confidence. The result? Learners are

more likely to apply the lessons they have learned.

- adapted from

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If you are interested in the 'academic' side of tabletop roleplaying games, or would like to know more about how they can be a positive force in people's lives, we would love to hear from you!

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