Detailed Explanations

An Explanation of the Game

Our goal is to create an environment where our members feel safe exploring various ideas and scenarios as part of a larger collaborative work. This work, which is called role-playing, is built through member interactions. Each individual, a player, is an agent of their fortune and an actor in their own story. Together, the players create goals, develop plans, and make decisions with each other in an imaginative environment called the game world.

Managing this environment and providing arbitration or feedback is the sole responsibility of a neutral party referred to as the game master or GM. (That's us!) The players work with the game master to choose a direction for their story and navigate the many possible results of their own choices.

This type of collaboration has a memory built within its fabric. Decisions made during one event, a session, will carry over to the next one. This kind of memory is reflected in the environment and the way the character grows. Characters represent the way a player wants to be involved in the story and what type of solutions the player prefers when faced with challenges. As part of a group, characters must negotiate the obstacles together. Players must learn how to work with each other as people as well as each other's character.

Part of the power of this type of experience is the opportunity to explore concepts in a "risk-free" way. There are no right or wrong decisions. Similar to the real world, each player must judge the results of their choices for themselves. Desired outcomes may not always occur even if everyone tries their best. Making the best of a problematic situation is as essential as avoiding those situations. As players make choices for their characters, they determine the direction of the story and its tone. In this way, every game is unique, and every story special.

Some of the most critical factors for a role-playing experience are player autonomy, character vulnerability, comprehensive results, logical outcomes, and group synergy. When the story turns and twists, all participants experience a dynamic response from the game world as it reacts to the same events. The results must be reasonable and explainable.

Gameschooling Explained

Gameschooling is the practice of using games to teach and reinforce educational concepts. It is more of an idea, a practice, and a concept than an actual hard and fast curriculum approach to education. Recently it has gained a large following in the homeschooling community. All forms of education (home, public, and private) have been using games in various forms to supplement education for years. Game types are as varied as the skills they reinforce. Games from “Go Fish” to chess to “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” are seen as a great way to teach and practice strategic thinking, math skills, complex patterns, and critical thinking. Chess is a classic example, but it isn’t the only game to teach these skills. The board game “Risk” also excels in these categories. The card game “War” is great for number recognition value, basic addition/subtraction, and can be modified further to include more complex math concepts.
The idea and practice of gameschooling as a curriculum is using games intentionally to teach concepts and reinforce skills in education. In a very nonthreatening way multiplication tables can be taught through games. Learning nouns and verbs can be a fun game of match. Strategic thinking, planning, and addition becomes a game with “Ticket To Ride.” The kinds of games being manufactured now cover almost every possible scholastic subject. This has helped make gameschooling a growing movement in education.

Roleplaying games are not new to this field. RPG’s have been teaching life skills type thinking from the very beginning. Skills like planning, consequences, strategy, communication, cooperation, teamwork, problem solving, puzzles, and more are evident in each game interaction. How to achieve your goal? What supplies are you willing to sacrifice to free a fellow teammate? How can you get everyone to agree to your plan? Can you work together to defeat the enemy or is it every man for himself? What is the consequence of that choice? Our games will not teach specific educational concepts; however we do provide opportunities to practice and stretch those skills. For example, we do not teach children to add or multiply. We do provide plenty of practice for those concepts in dice rolls and game modifiers. We do not teach how to write a sentence or parts of speech. However, we do offer opportunities for players to write character back stories for advantages in game. Players must think on their feet, weigh information, determine the merit of an argument, and make compelling arguments of their own.
For a list of specific educational concepts covered and the Common Core Standards please click Here.