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' (creativescotland.com, 2013).
The eLearning company ELM outlines several creative learning techniques (elmlearning.com, 2021):
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' (thebodhanagroup.org, 2021), suggesting it helps 'build social competence, reduce isolation, and form friendships that last' (gametogrow.org, 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' (tribality.com, 2022).
"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
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
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
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!