[19:00] <+hawke_robinson> Greetings. My Name is Hawke Robinson, founder of the RPG Research Project. http://www.rpgresearch.com
[19:01] <+hawke_robinson> I have been studying the effects of all forms of role-playing games: tabletop, live-action, and computer-based.
[19:02] <+hawke_robinson> Over the years it has become clear that role-playing games can be used as an intervention modality to achieve various educational and therapeutic goals for various populations.
[19:02] <+hawke_robinson> I have a pretty diverse background. If you really want to know just how diverse, you can see my obnoxiously long 20+ page resume on one of my websites: (Link: http://www.hawkenteprising.com)http://www.hawkenteprising.com
[19:02] <+hawke_robinson> I started with computer about the same time I was first introduced to role-playing games, 1979. I wrote my first program when I was 9, and had my first paid software development gig when I was around 11/12 years old. An inventory management and point of sale (POS) system for a local video rental store. I was also writing text-based and primitive role-playing games that I shared with friends and family. Much in the style o
[19:02] <+hawke_robinson> f Zork, NetHack, Wizardry, and King’s Quest.
[19:03] <+hawke_robinson> had a successful career as an automotive technician, had 4 Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications, and taught at the American Automotive Institute by the time I was 24, specializing in automotive performance and computer systems, and was also a professional photographer shooting for a number of modeling agencies and others. Until I was in a car accident that changed my life.
[19:03] <+hawke_robinson> I then went back to focusing on computer technologies.
[19:04] <+hawke_robinson> More recently, and applicable to now, I was reasonably successful in the information technology (IT) industry, working up to becoming Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for a number of companies, as well as providing consulting services for Fortune 500 companies, and I also did the whole Silicon Valley “dot com thing”, etc. I participated in the invention of a number of inventions (tho
[19:04] <+hawke_robinson> ugh I don’t know if the companies that bought them, ever patented them or not), in industries such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) for media, Wireless Internet Services Provider (WISP), Virtual Office & Workflow (VOW), and other areas.
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[19:05] <~Dan> (Howdy, GenoFoxx!)
[19:05] <+hawke_robinson> had also specialized in Information Security (InfoSec), and was certified by the SANS Institute’s GIAC program as a GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH). For my certification research practicum, I self-funded setting up a test lab, and for months researched various security vulnerabilities. One of my projects was published by the SANS institute to become integrated into their FAQ on malware, as the comprehensive resour
[19:05] <+hawke_robinson> ces on vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s implementation of PPTP.
[19:05] <+hawke_robinson> (Link: https://www.sans.org/security-resources/malwarefaq/pptp-vpn.php)https://www.sans.org/security-resources/malwarefaq/pptp-vpn.php
[19:06] <+hawke_robinson> In 2003 (age 33) I had the opportunity to come home and raise my family full time while my 3 sons were still little. I am a full time single parent, part time student, and part time everything else. 🙂
[19:06] <+hawke_robinson> The boys are now 15, 17, & 19.
[19:06] <+hawke_robinson> I periodically volunteer at different locations, working with Autism Spectrum (ADD / PDD), ADD/ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Deaf, Parkinson’s, brain injury (TBI, stroke, etc.), spinal cord injury (SCI), at-risk youth, special needs toddlers, adults, and senior citizens, among others.
[19:06] <+hawke_robinson> When my boys are grown and have all “flown the coop” (1 is out now, 2 to go), I intend to focus on school and the RPG Research related work full time.
[19:07] <+GenoFoxx> (hiya Dan, hawke_robinson)
[19:07] <+hawke_robinson> Since 2004, I have been training as a recreation therapist, music therapist, and researcher in topics such as neuroscience and psychology.
[19:07] <+hawke_robinson> I have become particularly focused on the use of role-playing games as an intervention modality to achieve therapeutic and educational goals for many populations.
[19:08] <+hawke_robinson> In the past 10 months I have spoken at 3 conventions/conferences:
[19:08] <+hawke_robinson> ZoeCon II – (Link: http://rpgr.org/documents/rpg-research-project/video-audio-presentations-by-rpg-research/rpg-research-hawke-robinson-at-zoecon-ii-20i4-nov.mp4/view)http://rpgr.org/documents/rpg-research-project/video-audio-presentations-by-rpg-research/rpg-research-hawke-robinson-at-zoecon-ii-20i4-nov.mp4/view
[19:08] <+hawke_robinson> WSTRAN 16 – (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/enhanced-video-rpg-as-therapy-presentation-seattle-childrens-hospital-wstra-con-16)http://rpgr.org/blog/enhanced-video-rpg-as-therapy-presentation-seattle-childrens-hospital-wstra-con-16
[19:08] <+hawke_robinson> WorldCon 73 / Sasquan – (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/panel-recordings-from-worldcon-73-sasquan)http://rpgr.org/blog/panel-recordings-from-worldcon-73-sasquan
[19:09] <+Lin_Chong> So why are you here today?
[19:09] <+hawke_robinson> As I have volunteered and provided services at various locations, I have run into a number of challenges in providing role-playing games.
[19:09] <+hawke_robinson> This eventually led to the idea of the RPG Trailer – (Link: http://rpgtrailer.com)http://rpgtrailer.com
[19:09] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[19:10] <~Dan> Thanks, hawke_robinson!
[19:10] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[19:10] <+hawke_robinson> Dan, shall I answer Lin_Chong directly next?
[19:10] <~Dan> Sure. 🙂
[19:10] <+hawke_robinson> Short answer is Dan asked me here. 🙂
[19:10] <+Lin_Chong> Sorry.
[19:10] <+hawke_robinson> no worries
[19:11] <+BPIJonathan> Admittedly I was in the middle of dealing with a family issue when you were giving your introduction, so short answer — is this a thesis?
[19:11] <+hawke_robinson> Longer answer is to answer any questions about The RPG Research Project, and about the Campaign to raise funds to build a wheelchair friendly RPG Trailer for special needs populations so I can provide the services I’m currently providing for free in the Spokane area, to spread throughout North America.
[19:12] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
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[19:13] <~Dan> Is the RPG Research Project your first project to assist the disabled?
[19:13] <~Dan> (Howdy, LW!)
[19:13] <+BPIJonathan> Sounds very worthy
[19:13] <+McCleverly> As you research the use of RPGs in theraputic and educational goals, what methodologies are you employing for data collection and analysis? Is it more focused on individual case studies or larger sample sizes? If I’m off base here no worries 🙂
[19:13] <+hawke_robinson> It is the first that I have been trying to use RPG’s as a modality. I have worked with various special needs populations on and off since the 80s.
[19:13] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[19:14] <+hawke_robinson> McCleverly,
[19:15] <+hawke_robinson> My long term goal is to try to determine causality as much as possible, but not all things can be, so using theory-based approaches in multiple disciplines as needed. Right now there are between 80 to 200 research publications on the effects of role-playing games (depending on what you consider “Research”).
[19:15] <+hawke_robinson> Most are correlative and/or meta-analysis.
[19:15] <+hawke_robinson> A few are case studies, or very small numbers of testing subjects over very short time periods.
[19:16] <~Dan> What in your background prepared you for this project?
[19:16] <+hawke_robinson> All of that can be useful information to build from, and I continue to gather up as much existing research as possible. Also trying to spread the word and meet others that have tried to use RPG for such goals as well. There are many working in private silos of information, many repeating each others work. I hope through my public efforts, and the website to try to aggregate that as much as possible.
[19:17] <+hawke_robinson> I have been doing some correlative research so far, but also a few early trials of potentially causal. All of this research is currently self-funded for now.
[19:18] <+hawke_robinson> I hope down the road to have sufficient funds for larger, longitudinal, multi-blind, controlled studies, but that is still a number of years away.
[19:18] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[19:18] <+hawke_robinson> Dan:
[19:18] <+hawke_robinson> I’ll give a longer background to answer that question:
[19:18] <+hawke_robinson> I have been involved with role-playing games since 1979, starting with a cousin introducing me to D&D when I was 9. I slowly became more involved with neighborhood friends with AD&D 1st edition, and then was gaming regularly by the mid-80s, running 3 groups each weekend.
[19:19] <+hawke_robinson> Each player paid $1 per person per game to help pay for supplies, books, minis, etc. Though I was only a younger teenager, most of the players were college age or older.
[19:19] <+hawke_robinson> I was briefly a student instructor, teaching about Role-Playing Gaming for the school Realms of Inquiry “A school for gifted & talented children” and an organizer of RPGA conventions around ~1986/1987. My first RPGA event had about 12 players, and my second event the following year had around 50 participants. I was 15-16 years old respectively).
[19:19] <+hawke_robinson> I am Founder of the Tolkien Moot annual gaming & literary convention since 2005, Other Minds Magazine (Tolkien-based gaming and literary online zine), the Eä RPG and Númenor Project, The Spokane Roleplaying Gaming community, The Middle-earth Role-Playing Community since 1998,
[19:19] <+hawke_robinson> Dungeon Master for The Spartan Show’s Adventurer’s Guild, co-host and founder of the Middle-earth Talk Show with Michael Martinez, and nominated as organizer of the Inland Northwest Role-playing Gaming Meetup group for the greater Spokane,
[19:20] <+hawke_robinson> Washington, and Couer d’Alene Idaho areas. When I took over the Meetup group about a year ago, they had less than 300 members and membership growth was stagnant/declining, it is now about to hit 500 members and growing.
[19:20] <+hawke_robinson> I usually run multiple weekly or semi-weekly RPG groups, without charge to participants, including both regular “diversionary” sessions for “regular” groups, as well as adaptive RPG for special needs individuals and groups. Also my annual Tolkien Moot gaming convention is free to participants.
[19:20] <+hawke_robinson> Nowadays I am mostly running groups, and one-on-one, non-adapted role-playing games. I design adapted role-playing games using recreation therapy methodologies, for various special-needs populations, all without charge to participants for about 10 years now. For years I have been doing this throughout the greater Spokane & Cheney, Eastern Washington areas, and trying to do so (intermittently) in other more distant locatio
[19:20] <+hawke_robinson> ns.
[19:21] <+hawke_robinson> During the past year or so I have been running games using: Basic D&D (1983 red box), A Song of Ice & Fire (Game of Thrones), The One Ring RPG, Babylon 5 RPG, Call of Cthulhu, Eä RPG, D&D 5th Edition, Twilight 2000, Thieves’ World, Oriental Adventures AD&D 1st Edition, Original D&D (white books), Rolemaster/MERP, Firefly & Serenity RPGs, Paranoia, and others.
[19:21] <+hawke_robinson> I have developed and/or implemented tabletop, live-action, interactive Choose Your Own Adventure, and computer-based role-playing game programs for various ages and groups including under-served and special needs populations from toddlers to elderly.
[19:21] <+hawke_robinson> Since the 1980s, and to the present day, I continue to educate individuals and groups about the “truth” of role-playing games and gamers, debunking the many myths about RPGs.
[19:22] <+hawke_robinson> I regularly volunteer in various ways, including recreation therapy, music therapy, archery instructor, activities coordinator, camp counselor, etc.
[19:22] <+hawke_robinson> This takes place at a variety of facilities and organizations helping various populations including toddlers, youth, adults, seniors, Boys Scouts, Campfire USA, Hippo-therapy (horses), music therapy, TBI, SCI, ASD, CP, Parkinson’s, stroke, deaf & hard of hearing, various other rehabilitation groups, at-risk youth, and other special needs populations.
[19:23] <+hawke_robinson> In some cases I have been able to implement utilizing various forms of role-playing games to help participants achieve therapeutic and educational goals. Some of these have been through courses at the university under professor supervision, others have been as a volunteer at various facilities, and others on my own at various locations including my office and home gaming areas.
[19:24] <+hawke_robinson> April 2015 presentation at Seattle Children’s Hospital for the Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association’s 16th annual Conference on “The Therapeutic and Educational Uses of Role-Playing Games (RPG) as Intervention Modalities for Individuals and Groups from the Therapeutic Recreation Perspective”. The live version of my presentation was certified for Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) by the American Therape
[19:24] <+hawke_robinson> utic Recreation Association (ATRA).
[19:24] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[19:25] <~Dan> Have you learned anything about whether certain sorts of games are particularly useful when assisting people with specific disabilities?
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> Dan: have been actively working with, and designing program plans for, populations including but not limited to:
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> Autism Spectrum (ASD) / Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> At-risk youth
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> The Deaf and Hard of Hearing community
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> Cerebral Palsy (CP)
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> and others.
[19:26] <+hawke_robinson> Each population (and individual) can derive different benefits from the various formats and adaptations to meet their needs. I have a summary here of some ASD related programs.
[19:27] <+hawke_robinson> For example, the ASD populations benefit significantly from working on the social skills, communication skills, working cooperatively, etc. The narrative “telling” aspects of tabletop RPG really seem to help those with facial recognition of mood/attitude issues, work on improving those skills. Also the “taking turns” of a well-structured game is helpful for many in this population. You can find some examples of my
[19:27] <+hawke_robinson> programs for this population here: (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/list-of-created-autism-spectrum-program-plans-utilizing-role-playing-games-as-intervention-modalities-from-a-therapeutic-recreation-approach)http://rpgr.org/blog/list-of-created-autism-spectrum-program-plans-utilizing-role-playing-games-as-intervention-modalities-from-a-therapeutic-recreation-approach
[19:27] <+McCleverly> Do you think that reaching the broader nursing/therapist/caregiver community in regards to playing RPGs, and possibly teaching these people how to GM games, would be a beneficial outcome of some of your work? It seems like you’ve already spoken at like conferences on the subject, if I’m reading correctly.
[19:27] <+hawke_robinson> he TBI participants can benefit from activation of “neuro-plasticity” related concepts, by engaging as much of the brain as possible in controlled and increasing stages, as they progress through their recovery process. For example a patient that is just coming out of coma, if meets various criteria of awareness and interaction, could potentially start as early as Ranchos Los Amigos Stage II using interactive Choose Y
[19:27] <+hawke_robinson> our Own Adventure books, then progress to turn-based computer-based RPG (may need palmar or other adaptive equipment), then tabletop RPG, and LARP as the client progresses in their recovery. I have an entire presentation on this topic here: (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/using-role-playing-games-to-assist-recovery-of-traumatic-brain-injurypatients)http://rpgr.org/blog/using-role-playing-games-to-assist-recovery-of-traumatic-brain-injurypatients
[19:28] <+hawke_robinson> At risk youth, the Deaf community, and many other groups can benefit both from participation in “regular” non-adapted RPGs, as well as adapted RPGs to target specific group and individual needs.
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[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Those are just a few examples for a few populations. The links go into far more detail. And the site has more examples for other populations. Hopefully that gives you some good ideas. In general, participation in RPG can provide a long list of benefits, depending on the format and implementation: Social
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Cooperation with diverse people/cultures/backgrounds
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Leadership
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Walking in others shoes/experiences
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Exposure to other cultures, religions, histories, belief systems, etc.
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Languages/Linguistics
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Multicultural mythologies
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Learning/following the rules but also “thinking outside of the box when needed”
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Intellectual
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Mathematics
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Statistics
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Researching
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Problem solving (e.g. puzzles, riddles, mazes, etc.)
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Reading/writing (technical)
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> History
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Geography
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Cartography
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Geology
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Economics
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Government systems
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Politics
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Ecology
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Metallurgy
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Meteorology
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Astronomy
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Physics
[19:29] <+hawke_robinson> Demographics
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Warfare tactics and strategies
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Technologies past and present
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Architecture
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Creative
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Theatrics/acting
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Improvisation
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Reading/writing (creative)
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Artwork (drawing, painting lead figures, etc.)
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Music
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Poetry
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Physical
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Eye-hand coordination
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> General coordination (LARP)
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Fine motor skills
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Gross motor skills (LARP)
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[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Other Effects
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[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Expanding interpersonal trust
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Accessing playfulness
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Experiencing spontaneity
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Opening to creativity
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Broadening sensory, emotive, and movement, expressiveness (even more so with LARP)
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> Co-creating new realities with others
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[19:30] <~Dan> (Howdy, consilium, Canageek!0
[19:30] <+hawke_robinson> McCleverly, regarding other professions…
[19:30] <~Dan> )
[19:31] <+etaoinshrdlu> (that’s some text wall right there)
[19:31] <+hawke_robinson> Yes, part of my goal in working on an interdisciplinary degree, and volunteering in so many different areas, is outreach to other professions. Though I think Recreation Therapy is the closest discipline for its well designed use of adapting recreation activities to meet client needs, and RT/ TR is a great match to RPG Therapy / Education goals.
[19:31] <+consilium> (Hey!)
[19:31] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[19:31] <+hawke_robinson> ok not quite done
[19:32] <+hawke_robinson> I have found that though there are some great caregivers out there, not everyone is suited to GMing RPG well. It really does take a specific personality and skill set, combine that with needing some sort of therapeutic background, so it is challenging getting just the right people. But I have been training a few here and there, and they are making admirable efforts to ramp up their GM skills.
[19:32] <+hawke_robinson> ok, now (done)
[19:34] <~Dan> To follow up on my earlier question, do you find any particular level of complexity to be of particular use in RPGs?
[19:34] <+hawke_robinson> Dan: That varies depending on the population.
[19:34] <+hawke_robinson> Obviously those of younger ages or cognitive impairment need simpler rules systems, whather choose your own adventure style interactive or solo, tabletop, live-action, or computer based rpg.
[19:35] <+hawke_robinson> Some of the benefits listed in the “text wall”
[19:35] <+hawke_robinson> are better achieved with some system more than others.
[19:35] <+hawke_robinson> The current trend to extremely abstracted systems make the learning curve shorter, but may not have some of the more mechanical benefits (math for a big one)
[19:36] <+hawke_robinson> For the TBI program plan, it works at very basic, binary complexity, and then slowly increases, as they patient improves functioning after an incident.
[19:37] <+AlmazDisciplina> Is there some kind of system of scaling complexity that would be ideal, then, for that case?
[19:37] <+hawke_robinson> My personal preference for my own fun, is generally more complex, detailed systems, but focusing on ROLE-play over ROLL-play, even if there are complex mechanics.
[19:37] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[19:37] <+hawke_robinson> AlmazDisciplina,
[19:38] <+hawke_robinson> I haven’t found a universal scaling yet (about 10 years of work so far), you generally have to base it on the individual and group capabilities, and ramp up as their evaluations show capability. One goal is the theory of “Flow”, when people are experiencing
[19:38] <+hawke_robinson> enough challenge to be fully engrossed, but without being overwhelmed, and enough challenge to not be bored. That takes a while to develop the skillset to read the players. In therapeutic and educational settings, it is actually
[19:39] <+hawke_robinson> a little earier than in diversional recreation settings
[19:39] <+hawke_robinson> because there are often evaluations performed frequently
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[19:39] <+hawke_robinson> so you can look at those hard numbers each week, and see who is handling the challenge and ready for an increase in complexity, and who might be struggling and not yet ready for that increase.
[19:40] <+hawke_robinson> When I write the program plans, they include evaluation information to take into consideration, and often industry standard assessment tools to use to go on to the next level.
[19:40] <+hawke_robinson> Using the brain injury patient as an example:
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[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> Intervention #1 – Tabletop RPG Modification – Choose Your Own Adventure
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> for Severe TBI-related impairments
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> Once the client is out of the coma, and rated at just Rancho Los Amigos Cognitive Levels II &
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> III (able to open eyes in response to stimuli such as a spoken request or physical touch) (Burlingame,
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> 2002), the RT can begin to implement various modifications of role-playing games as a recreation
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> therapy intervention. At this stage, the RT could begin to implement the most rudimentary of RPGs, the
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) form. As long as the client can make a binary/Boolean
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> responses indicating yes or no, whether verbally, by number of eye blinks, hand squeeze, or other
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> method, the client potentially qualifies for participation in this therapeutic intervention.
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> Example CYOA Process
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> : After establishing that the client meets sufficient cognitive functioning, and determining that
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> client has a sufficient means of response and interaction with the recreation therapist, the RT asks the
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> client, “Would you like to play a simple version of a role-playing game?”. “Squeeze/blink once for yes,
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> two for no.” Client indicates yes…
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[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> “This adventure is set in Chicago during the ‘Roaring ’20’s’. It is a mystery-style adventure.”
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> Of course any genre/setting will work.
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[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> “You will have three characters you can choose from. I will first list the three options, then I
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> will ask you which one you prefer as I go through the list a second time. You will then indicate ‘yes’
[19:41] <+hawke_robinson> when I mention the character you want.”
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> “You may choose to play: 1. A Police Detective, 2. A Private Eye, 3. An Investigative Reporter.”
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> “Would you like me to repeat that list again?” (yes/no)
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> “Have you decided which option to pick from those 3 choices?” (yes/no)
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> When the client indicates “yes” to being ready to choose, the RT states, “I will now repeat those
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> three choices. Squeeze once for yes when you hear the option you want.”
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> Needs addressed by intervention
[19:42] * +AlmazDisciplina nods.
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> This intervention addresses a number of the diagnosis A&P codes, some of which include:
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> •
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> d163 Thinking
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> •
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> d310 Communication with – receiving – spoken messages.
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[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> •
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> •
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> •
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> d1750 Solving simple problems
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> d177 Making decisions
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> d9200 Play
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> Those are ICD/ICF codes, an international standard set by WHO.
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> Using hand-squeeze or eye-blink with Boolean-only (yes/no) questions for the client to answer
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> (one squeeze/blink for yes, two squeezes/blinks for no). As client progresses, may be able to use simple
[19:42] <+hawke_robinson> multiple choice questions instead of only Boolean choices.
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> Then as, the client progresses, migrate to
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> Intervention #2 – Computer-based RPG Use and Modifications for Client
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> With TBI
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> With TBI
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> Client is now at Rancho Rating IV+. Though client’s cognitive functioning is now higher, the
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> client’s ability to communicate is still significantly limited. Based on client’s current functioning, it is
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> recommended to have the client try using a mouse (or Wii-mote) to participate in a computer-based
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> RPG that is turn-based rather than real-time. The client is able to move and click both buttons on a
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> mouse, can see the computer screen clearly, and has enough cognitive functioning to interact in the
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> game at a much higher level than before.
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> game at a much higher level than before.
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> As client slowly regains various levels of functioning, modified versions of RPG will be
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> presented in which the client may participate.
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> Client will initially use a mouse with large buttons to interact with computer. This requires the
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> functioning of at least one arm, hand, and finger, as well as usable visual capacity. The compute-based
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> RPG should initially be turn-based, using the mouse and then using Wii-mote later as grasping
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> improves.
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> Client with click on various options, direct the digital character to take certain actions, and solve
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> various levels of simple to complex problems.
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> Needs addressed by intervention
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> In addition to addressing some of the previous codes in intervention #1, this also addresses:
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> •
[19:43] <+hawke_robinson> d1751 Solving moderately complex problems
[19:44] <+hawke_robinson> •
[19:44] <+hawke_robinson> d440 general fine hand use
[19:44] <+hawke_robinson> •
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[19:44] <+hawke_robinson> d4401 grasping development.
[19:44] <+hawke_robinson> Then progress to tabletop RPG, and LARP as the client further progresses.
[19:44] <+hawke_robinson> phew! (Done)
[19:44] <+hawke_robinson> did I miss anyone posting questions during all that?
[19:45] <~Dan> Doesn’t look like it.
[19:45] <+AlmazDisciplina> Nope~
[19:45] <+hawke_robinson> AlmazDisciplina, and Dan, did that example help somewhat to explain how to evaluate what level of complexity to use?
[19:45] * +AlmazDisciplina nods.
[19:45] <+AlmazDisciplina> Did to me.
[19:45] <+hawke_robinson> excellent
[19:45] <+DavidJay> Have you looked into any of the research that grew out of the so-called “Forge” community (Ron Edwards, D. Vincent Baker, Luke Crane, etc.) or from Europe (Nordic LARPs in particular)? And, if so, does any of that research overlap with or inform your own work?
[19:45] * ~Dan nods
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[19:47] <+hawke_robinson> DavidJay, I am currently reading through some of the Nordic LARP information as per suggestions from Professor Sarah Lynne Bowman. I am strongest in tabletop RPG, secondly in computer-based RPG, and weaker in my experience with LARP. Dr. Bowman has been very helpful in helping me ramp up in that area, and I will be at The Living Games Conference in May next year, in Austin, Texas, as per her invitation.
[19:47] <+hawke_robinson> I have heard of the “Forge” reference, but do not yet know it.
[19:47] <+hawke_robinson> I have found ressearch overlaps in many areas
[19:47] <+hawke_robinson> from multiple disciplines.
[19:48] <+hawke_robinson> but usually just partial overlaps.
[19:48] <+hawke_robinson> As is the nature in many disciplines.
[19:49] <+hawke_robinson> A lot of the recent research seems to be a lot more theoretical, sociological, and abstract, and not pratical program plan design and implementation.
[19:49] <+hawke_robinson> thought I have come across a few programs. There are a LOT of education-based programs throughout the world. Far fewer (published) programs using tabletop. And in recent years increasing efforts to use computer-based RPG in various ways.
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[19:50] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest02!)
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[19:51] <+hawke_robinson> (Done)
[19:51] * +consilium raises hand, lengthy question.
[19:52] <~Dan> You mentioned any genre will work, but is that really true? Are there no genres that might upset clients with specific disabilities?
[19:52] <+DavidJay> “recent research seems to be a lot more theoretical, sociological, and abstract, and not pratical program plan design and implementation.” I agree. I find it fascinating and helpful for my own games, but was hoping there would be some practical application. Thanks for answering!
[19:53] <+hawke_robinson> Dan: Yes. Though any genre in general can be used, you have to evaluate specific client issues and match the best system, genre, setting, etc. to best meet those goals, and beware of triggers.
[19:53] <+hawke_robinson> However, there have been (For me) some surprises in that regard.
[19:53] <~Dan> Oh?
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[19:54] <~Dan> consilium: Ask away!
[19:54] <+hawke_robinson> While I wouldn’t have thought having soldiers participate in shooter types games, some research has been positive in using them in incremental stages kind of like exposure therapy. This is still in early stages (other’s research not mine at this point).
[19:54] <+hawke_robinson> that is for some PTSD vets
[19:54] <+hawke_robinson> Also, I would never have thought to use RPG for in-patient schizophrenics
[19:55] <+hawke_robinson> and there is research backing up the dangers thereof. but there is also counter research showing that it CAN be used to help that population.
[19:55] <+hawke_robinson> For example, in one study, they had to cancel within a few short weeks. it was a small number of in patient schizophrenic patients.
[19:55] <+hawke_robinson> they became “worse” if you will, and the program had to be discontinued early.
[19:56] <+hawke_robinson> But other studies had great successes, they were able to reduce medication levels, and had very positive outcomes.
[19:56] <+hawke_robinson> As I looked through those, they didn’t have any answers WHY such a drastic difference in the abstracts.
[19:56] <+hawke_robinson> I had to dig into the research papers themselves (some very difficult to find, some not as formally published as others).
[19:56] <+hawke_robinson> and found the key: Structure!
[19:57] <+hawke_robinson> When patients are “in patient” for a mental health crisis, the purpose of being in patient is to provide
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[19:57] <+hawke_robinson> a safe, controlled, calm STRUCTURE environment, to then help address their issues, hopefully with a combination of medication, and other therapies to build coping skills.
[19:57] <~Dan> (Howdy, egyptian!0
[19:58] <~Dan> )
[19:58] <+hawke_robinson> Unfortunately a lot of places have increasingly become factories, diagnose, medicate, discharge
[19:58] <+hawke_robinson> Anyhow, the key with the one that went awry
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[19:58] <+hawke_robinson> was that they just handed the patients the RPG books, and said ‘here you go, have fun!”. There was no structure, no set time limits. etc.
[19:58] <+hawke_robinson> uh oh, lost McCleverly 😦
[19:59] <+consilium> While I understand you don’t have a large, rigorous corpus of findings, and I wouldn’t want to quote you in a medically or psychiatrically actionable way, I wondered if you have any informal findings or hypotheses about cognitive or personality disorders in regards to RPGs? Your work seems mostly focused on neurological and developmental issues, as well as general special-interest populations, but I’ve had some entirely anecdotal expe
[19:59] <+consilium> riences with RPGs as therapeutic for people with personality disorders and psychological trauma, and I’d hoped to hear your perspective on that, if any.
[19:59] <+hawke_robinson> So, they didn’t have much else to do will in the facility, and becamse obsessive and imbalanced in their focus.
[19:59] <+consilium> (Also, that’s /fascinating/ about the schizophrenic patients. Very informative.)
[19:59] <+hawke_robinson> The other programs that went well, had structured times for play, character work, etc.
[19:59] <+hawke_robinson> (Done)
[20:00] <+hawke_robinson> consilium,
[20:00] <+hawke_robinson> I haven’t implemented (yet) formal programs for personality disorders, though I’ve been researching it some.
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[20:01] <+hawke_robinson> I have had some “run ins” with a few participants that turned out to have some pretty significant ones. And in one case, it was outside of my research efforts at a recreational game, so after much counseling with some therapist friends, had to ask that player to leave, since it wasn’t a therapeutic setting, and was too disruptive for the group. That being said.
[20:02] <+hawke_robinson> Jack Berkenstock is working on programs to use RPG for victims of sexual abuse. Additionally they are working on programs for the PERPETRATORS of sexual abuse, using RPG.
[20:02] <+hawke_robinson> It is called the Bhodana Group
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[20:02] <~Dan> Wow.
[20:02] <+AlmazDisciplina> Huh.
[20:03] <+hawke_robinson> Though ASD is considered development, there are a lot of personality issues to address, though not technical personality disorders
[20:03] <+consilium> Huh! Do you have any further information about that? Such as methodology, or the working theory?
[20:03] <+hawke_robinson> I have had to deal with some significant, in the old DSM “histrionic” types in settings
[20:03] <+hawke_robinson> and have found that establishing some clearly communicated rules for structure, when to speak, appropriate behavior, etc. can be very successful., though it takes a lot of patient, iteration, and occasional reminders.
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[20:04] <+hawke_robinson> Post-ITs can help a lot for those with anxiety, or other impulse issues, that they feel they MUST be acknowledged NOW! And post-its, and after- game meetings, and asking them to write in a journal during the game, can really help them feel empowered and then they better “hold onto themselves” if you will.
[20:04] <~Dan> (wb, McCleverly!0
[20:04] <~Dan> )
[20:04] <+hawke_robinson> (Done)
[20:05] <+hawke_robinson> consilium, what do you mean by “that”? WHich part are you referring to? Bhodhana group?
[20:06] <+hawke_robinson> Here is a link to something I had on them from a few years back: (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/using-therapeutic-role-playing-gaming-to-help-in-the-treatment-of-sexual-abuse-victims?searchterm=sexual+abuse)http://rpgr.org/blog/using-therapeutic-role-playing-gaming-to-help-in-the-treatment-of-sexual-abuse-victims?searchterm=sexual+abuse
[20:06] <+hawke_robinson> consilium, is that what you were asking about?
[20:07] <+hawke_robinson> wb McCleverly
[20:07] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[20:07] <+consilium> hawke_robinson: the Bhodhana Group, and the approach they intend to use, yes.
[20:07] <+hawke_robinson> Dan, did I miss any questions?
[20:08] <~Dan> I don’t think so.
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[20:08] <+hawke_robinson> Next question(s) then?
[20:09] <~Dan> Can you tell us a bit about your fundraiser?
[20:10] <+hawke_robinson> Ah yes. Thanks Dan.
[20:10] <+hawke_robinson> The Goal: Build a very wheelchair friendly trailer to provide services to special needs populations and locations throughout North America.
[20:11] <+hawke_robinson> The short version is that with the trailer I will be able travel to locations all over North America and provide wheelchair friendly role-playing gaming facilities and sessions of all types for a broad variety of populations.
[20:11] <+hawke_robinson> For a more detailed response, the best way to answer is to explain some example challenges I have encountered with some specific groups, and how the trailer addresses these issues.
[20:11] <+hawke_robinson> ASD / PDD:
[20:11] <+hawke_robinson> There is a loose association of parents/guardians of around 30 “higher functioning” ASD youth and adults called the PAVE group in the Tacoma, Washington area.
[20:12] <+hawke_robinson> The male and female ASD participants range in age from pre-teen to early 30s. All are living with their parent(s)/guardian(s), and with the exception of only one, are completely dependent on their care-takers for all transportation.
[20:12] <+hawke_robinson> They do not have any dedicated facility, instead rotating between various homes and churches, often with very poor resources such as lack of space, lack of air conditioning, etc.
[20:12] <+hawke_robinson> They try to meet regularly (once per month at least) to provide activities to help the ASD participants work on social skills, and achieve many other goals.
[20:12] <+hawke_robinson> Their lack of facilities, funding, or formal organization has made that very challenging for them.
[20:12] <+hawke_robinson> These are “higher functioning” Autism spectrum, so they fall through the cracks of the support systems available for those with more significant impairment, but they obviously still have significant challenges to be addressed, and I have seen repeatedly that RPGs can address many of those challenges for Autism spectrum individuals.
[20:13] <+hawke_robinson> As a student at Eastern Washington University, I created two program plans using Therapeutic Recreation methodologies to achieve specific educational goals for this group.
[20:13] <+hawke_robinson> The participants responses to a leisure interests survey indicated that their primary interests are (both males and females): computers, comic books, video games, super heroes, science fiction, and fantasy.
[20:13] <+hawke_robinson> One program I created is a 1940s “gum shoe” style, purely tabletop-based RPG mystery, to help the players learn how to look up and make use of local civic resources including: theaters, doctor’s office’s, clinics, hospitals, police stations, fire department, etc.
[20:13] <+hawke_robinson> This can potentially be built upon to transition to a LARP style as the participants gain knowledge, confidence, and competence in finding and using such resources.
[20:14] <+hawke_robinson> The second program is an alternate modern day transitional tabletop-to-live-action RPG based loosely on Marvel’s Agents of Shield setting used to teach the participants how to use the public transit system.
[20:14] <+hawke_robinson> The participants are “agents” tasked with investigating (and hopefully thwarting) rumors of a plan to use the Tacoma public transit system to propagate a virus that will turn everyone into zombies.
[20:14] <+hawke_robinson> The program begins as a tabletop using the actual map and route schedules of the Tacoma transit system to track down clues, and unravel the plot.
[20:14] <+hawke_robinson> They play in this tabletop format until all the players achieve both competence and confidence in using the transit system from a tabletop setting.
[20:14] <+hawke_robinson> Then on the second-to-last session, they determine the nearest route to take from their actual (player) home to a central meeting location.
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[20:15] <+hawke_robinson> For their final session, they actually use the “real world” bus to meet, and finish, the adventure in a LARP format, using several transit resources, and then either succeeding (or failing to various degrees) to stop the “bad guys”.
[20:15] <+hawke_robinson> Whether they accomplish their mission, or not, they benefit from participation in the program either way.
[20:15] <+hawke_robinson> There is a final twist to this particular program that adds to the potential fun,
[20:15] <+hawke_robinson> the greater Seattle & Tacoma areas regularly hold day-long “Zombie Walks” with hundreds, even thousands, of people dressing up as zombies and walking through the city streets as a horde.
[20:15] <+hawke_robinson> This make it possible to allow for a fun twist if the PC’s fail to some degree to foil the plot. 🙂
[20:16] <+hawke_robinson> While I have met and spent some time with this group on the other side of the state (a 6+ hour drive each way), their lack of facilities, and my being on the other side of the state, makes it problematic and too expensive for me to currently implement these programs (for free).
[20:16] <+hawke_robinson> The caretakers, participants, and I, very much want to implement the programs as soon as possible. The trailer will make this viable as specified later.
[20:16] <+hawke_robinson> At-risk Youth:
[20:16] <+hawke_robinson> There is another program I have engaged with on the west side of the state, this one in the Seattle area, for in-patient teenagers struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health issues.
[20:16] <+hawke_robinson> The facility has a very spacious outdoor setting and large parking lots, but the rooms for group gatherings are a bit smallish, and are difficult to book for long periods of time.
[20:17] <+hawke_robinson> There is a recreation therapist there that was excited by my presentation at Seattle Children’s hospital earlier this Spring, and she is trying to implement role-playing gaming at first on a one-to-one basis, introducing the client to tabletop RPG (D&D 5th edition in this case), and then helping develop resources as an exit strategy to get the player(s) joined to a regular gaming group at local gaming stores or near where
[20:17] <+hawke_robinson> they live, so that they have a healthier peer group to engage with after they are discharged from the facility.
[20:17] <+hawke_robinson> It is hoped they will focus their socializing on the gaming groups, rather than going back to their previous peers that are often heavily involved in substance abuse, gang-related violence, and other dysfunctional behaviors.
[20:17] <+hawke_robinson> This kind of answers McCleverly’s early question… Unfortunately, though she is an experience Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), she has never played in an RPG previously.
[20:18] <+hawke_robinson> She used my guidance by phone, and the videos on The Spartan Show’s Adventurer’s Guild to help train her in some fundamentals, but she (and the other clients) would greatly benefit if I could come out there regularly to help run game sessions.
[20:18] <+hawke_robinson> I could pull up with the trailer in the spacious parking lot, and implement the tabletop, computer-based, and live action role-playing games as needed.
[20:18] <+hawke_robinson> The trailer’s kitchen, bathroom, shower, and bed, would allow me to keep my hotel costs very low, making it easier to continue providing services without charge to more people.
[20:18] <+hawke_robinson> The Deaf & Hard of Hearing:
[20:18] <+hawke_robinson> I have over the years spent a fair amount of time with the Deaf community in the area. I have run American Sign Language (ASL) study groups since 2006 in various locations throughout Cheney and Spokane, Washington. – (Link: http://spokaneasl.com)http://spokaneasl.com
[20:18] <+hawke_robinson> I also developed a tabletop RPG program plan for the Deaf. Some key issues the Deaf community struggle with include: isolation, communication, transportation, and poverty.
[20:18] <+hawke_robinson> Unfortunately many/most of those in the Deaf community are often greatly isolated by their disability, and many find it very difficult to maintain sufficient work, especially the many that have other associated disabilities.
[20:19] <+hawke_robinson> Even those that aren’t technically Deaf, but can only communicate via sign language, such as those with certain types of Cerebral Palsy (CP) find themselves often isolated by the lack of others that can sign.
[20:19] <+hawke_robinson> Many end up having to live in rural locations that do not have, or have very limited, public transit.
[20:19] <+hawke_robinson> The community can also be sometimes a bit “clique-ish”, with different groups avoiding others. Providing tabletop RPGs can help overcome this isolation, and increase their levels of social satisfaction, making new friends, getting beyond the cliques, etc.
[20:19] <+hawke_robinson> nfortunately, for even those that can make it to the Eastern Washington Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing facility,
[20:19] <+hawke_robinson> Unfortunately that is,
[20:19] <+hawke_robinson> it can be challenging to organize and run RPG sessions at that facility which has very little space to spare. Then there are the many others that have great difficulty getting to the city to participate. A large number are also wheelchair dependent.
[20:20] <+hawke_robinson> “Abled” Gamers:
[20:20] <+hawke_robinson> Even gamers, or potential gamers, that do not have any disabilities can benefit from the trailer and the many benefits of participation in role-playing games.
[20:20] <+hawke_robinson> Many of the local hobby gaming facilities in Spokane and elsewhere are often extremely too hot or cold (lacking sufficient air conditioning), uncomfortable (cheap/dirty tables/chairs), noisy from other competing groups such as collectible card games like “Magic the Gathering” or noisy war-gamers such as Warhammer 40k.
[20:20] <+hawke_robinson> This leads to an unpleasant environment that only the most dedicated gamers endure to get their gaming “fix”.”
[20:20] <+hawke_robinson> Most smaller rural towns do not have a “Friendly Neighborhood Gaming Store” (FNGS) that supports a gaming community, nor affordable public transportation.
[20:21] <+hawke_robinson> Many in these communities have lower incomes and can’t afford a weekly drive to “the city” to participate in a face-to-face tabletop game.
[20:21] <+hawke_robinson> Some can’t afford video game platforms such as PCs or consoles, especially with the ever increasing game and subscription costs, or do not have sufficient broadband Internet for online multi-player gaming.
[20:21] <+hawke_robinson> They do often have great locations ideal for Live-Action Role-Playing (LARP), but do not have the money, experience, or support for the equipment (costumes, weapons for boffer-style LARP, etc.).
[20:21] <+hawke_robinson> Even if they do have some resources for gaming in their town, much of the lingering stigma against roleplaying games and gamers is stronger in these rural locations, and makes it challenging to find somewhere to meet “safely” without harassment, with other fellow gamers. – (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/yet-another-example-of-inculcated-stigma-regarding-role-playing-gamers)http://rpgr.org/blog/yet-another-example-of-inculcated-stigma-regarding-role-playing-gamers
[20:22] <+hawke_robinson> Many Christian-based church members/leaders I have encountered in these areas are significantly anti-RPG. But after conversations with some, showing them the research, I have sometimes been successful in turning around those opinions to become supporters.
[20:22] <+hawke_robinson> Often these discussions are started because my vehicle’s license plate is “RPG”, and I have bumper stickers stating “Role-Playing Games build character”. People will walk up to me in parking lots and ask about it.
[20:22] <+hawke_robinson> The trailer can increasingly help address these issues, and potentially provide an opportunity for education and reduction of the stigma caused by misinformation and ignorance about the facts of participation in role-playing gaming.
[20:22] <+hawke_robinson> Brain Injury: (for example TBI as I discussed earlier):
[20:23] <+hawke_robinson> Yet another group includes the TBI patients here in Spokane. I have program plans for patients recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I recently volunteered for several months at Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation in their TBI and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) departments, assisting the Recreation Therapists with their clients. – (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/using-role-playing-games-to-assist-recovery-of-traumatic-brain-injury-patient)http://rpgr.org/blog/using-role-playing-games-to-assist-recovery-of-traumatic-brain-injury-patient
[20:23] <+hawke_robinson> s
[20:23] <+hawke_robinson> The challenges for implementing the RPG programs there include:
[20:23] <+hawke_robinson> Though a large facility, it is exceedingly difficult to book any rooms for an individual or group for more than an hour.
[20:23] <+hawke_robinson> They do not have the computer equipment necessary for the computer-based stage of my recovery program.
[20:23] <+hawke_robinson> Facilities that are available generally have a no-noise policy so if players are having a great time, they aren’t able to be loud about it (this was also challenging for the music therapy program they wanted me to implement as well).
[20:24] <+hawke_robinson> They do not have any RPG related supplies for any format of RPG (choose your own adventure, tabletop, computer-based, or LARP), so I need to supply everything.
[20:24] <+hawke_robinson> Many/most of their patients are wheelchair bound, at least during the early stages of rehabilitation.
[20:24] <+hawke_robinson> The RPG Trailer makes it possible to meet the needs of all these groups, and many other individuals, groups, and facilities throughout North America, by addressing all these issues:
[20:24] <+hawke_robinson> 1. Optimal Gaming Environment – A comfortable, quiet, wheelchair friendly, gaming-focused environment free of distractions and competing demands, that includes air conditioning, self-contained generator, kitchenette, refrigerator, stove/oven (gamers and munchies of course), and a fully ADA/wheelchair friendly bathroom.
[20:24] <+hawke_robinson> This trailer can be easily transported and setup at locations convenient for the participants, such as a parking lot, as needed.
[20:24] <+hawke_robinson> The trailer will comfortably seat 8-10 participants, or about 5-7 wheelchair bound participants for tabletop and computer-based RPG, and provide other benefits for many more during Live-Action Role-Playing events.
[20:25] <+hawke_robinson> All of my gaming materials would be readily accessible, requiring very little setup and tear-down time, and no risk of “oh I forgot that book/resource back at the other office/facility/home”.
[20:25] <+hawke_robinson> 2. Efficiency, Wear & Tear – A fully stocked gaming office that addresses wear-and-tear and organizational issues.
[20:25] <+hawke_robinson> Currently I have several smaller dedicated gaming rooms at my house.
[20:25] <+hawke_robinson> Each seats between 5 to 8 players per game room.
[20:25] <+hawke_robinson> I also have an office in the downtown Spokane area with 3 different gaming rooms that can seat between 6 to 14 players.
[20:25] <+hawke_robinson> You can see photos and video of some of the game rooms and materials here: (Link: http://rpgr.org/documents/images/game-rooms)http://rpgr.org/documents/images/game-rooms
[20:26] <+hawke_robinson> To run my sessions, I have to pack up the gaming materials necessary for the groups scheduled, take them to the location, set everything up, etc.
[20:26] <+hawke_robinson> A number of Recreation Therapy organizations have trailers for hauling their many paraphernalia for their programs. For example the adaptive bicycle, kayaking, skiing, and rock climbing programs I participated in last year regularly makes use of trailers.
[20:26] <+hawke_robinson> The RPG Trailer is a logical solution in this profession to provide recreation services to a broad range of people.
[20:26] <+hawke_robinson> 3. Fully Wheelchair-friendly ADA Facility. – My office is a shared law-firm building built long ago that is, while affordable, unfortunately not at all wheelchair friendly.
[20:27] <+hawke_robinson> Saint Luke’s and other facilities often have trouble booking a room for a group any longer than 1 hour due to competing scheduling from other recreation therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, music therapists, and general “diversionary” recreation activities.
[20:27] <+hawke_robinson> Most of the facility does not allow participants to be “noisy”. Many of these facilities do however often have plenty of spare parking lot space, and regularly take clients outside in wheelchairs.
[20:27] <+hawke_robinson> It was while I was volunteering at Saint Luke’s that I came up with the idea of the trailer, and discussed the possibility of it with the lead Recreation Therapist at Saint Luke’s.
[20:27] <+hawke_robinson> She agreed the RPG Trailer would be the ideal solution for their clients.
[20:27] <+hawke_robinson> 4. Portability, Expanded Coverage, & Affordability. – The RPG trailer will make it easier and more affordable to provide RPG services to rural locations that do not have facilities for gaming, as well as metropolitan areas requesting my specific services.
[20:27] <+hawke_robinson> Many small towns and rural locations do not have any kind of “Friendly Neighborhood Gaming Stores”.
[20:28] <+hawke_robinson> The trailer is not only a complete office and gaming facility, it also greatly reduces my costs for hotel and food expenses when travelling to provide RPG services,
[20:28] <+hawke_robinson> further the RPG Research Project, and attend conferences/conventions when on panels and providing presentations.
[20:28] <+hawke_robinson> furthering outreach goals as discussed earlier.
[20:28] <+hawke_robinson> Currently, I not only have the gasoline expenses to drive to a location, but additionally the costs of a facility (for example an office) can add up quickly. Flying is not feasible with all of the equipment.
[20:28] <+hawke_robinson> Additionally, if the location is more than a few hours from my home, there are often food and hotel costs that can range from $50 to $200+ per night/day.
[20:29] <+hawke_robinson> The trailer has a large bed in the ceiling that can be pulled down for use, a full kitchenette (water, sink, stove, oven, refrigerator, cabinets), bathroom sink, toilet, and shower, and both game table couches can flip over to become additional single beds for any assistants (especially when running LARPs).
[20:29] <+hawke_robinson> This means I can continue to provide free services to far more people over the next several years,
[20:29] <+hawke_robinson> This will also make it more affordable to attend conventions/conferences throughout North America, since it will greatly save on my hotel/motel costs during 3 to 5+ day events.
[20:29] <+hawke_robinson> The goal is to attend up to 4 events per year to speak/present/advocate, etc.
[20:30] <+hawke_robinson> I have spoken at 3 conventions/conferences in the past 9 months. I am slated to attend the Living Games Conference in Austin, Texas in May 2016, and the HBO Documentary group “VICE” indicated a desire that I come to New York and New Jersey to see the LARP groups that have Autism spectrum participants if possible.
[20:30] <+hawke_robinson> phew!
[20:30] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[20:31] <~Dan> How do you find your clients?
[20:31] <~Dan> Or how do they find you, rather?
[20:32] <+slyphic> one possible suggestion, while in Austin, try to make contact with the local deaf roleplaying community
[20:32] <+hawke_robinson> At this point, it has been a mixture of both. Some have been as a student at EWU. Others have contacted me (usually caregivers), that stumbled across my brochures, or online.
[20:32] <+slyphic> it’s fairly substantial here
[20:33] <+hawke_robinson> slyphic, that’s wonderful! Other than my efforts, there is nothing else here in the Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho areas.
[20:33] <+hawke_robinson> slyphic, I’ll check that out, thanks!
[20:33] <+hawke_robinson> (done)
[20:33] <+slyphic> there’s a school for the deaf and blind here in Austin
[20:33] <+slyphic> pretty big
[20:33] <+slyphic> lots of folk graduate and stick around austin
[20:33] <+hawke_robinson> There have been some pretty large ones on the western side of Washington. But I don’t have any contacts with them yet at this point.
[20:34] <~Dan> What interactions have you had with licensed therapists, and have you had any issues convincing them of the value of your work?
[20:34] <+hawke_robinson> One of my ASL instructors was from Galludette University.
[20:34] <+AlmazDisciplina> Yeah I was about to say.
[20:34] <+hawke_robinson> Dan:
[20:34] <~Dan> AlmazDisciplina: What part?
[20:34] <+hawke_robinson> It has been mixed. Recreation therapists seem to mostly come from either “jock” or “outdoors rec” backgrounds
[20:35] <+hawke_robinson> I have yet to run into a certified TR / RT that has played tabletop or LARP. a few have done a little computer-based RPG.
[20:35] <+hawke_robinson> When I spoke at Seattle Children’s hospital, I was pleased the room was packed full.
[20:36] <+hawke_robinson> They really didn’t understand what RPG was, and so never considered it as a tool to integrate into their toolbelt.
[20:36] <+AlmazDisciplina> I know that Western Washington is kind of almost the… place to be for RPGs. Wizards is here, everyone’s chill, laid back, and nerdy, and there’s some pretty longstanding fantasy conventions.
[20:36] <+hawke_robinson> TR’s generally have a broad toolbelt, it goes with the profession as a necessity, including often overlapping with music therapy too.
[20:36] <+hawke_robinson> Most of the TR’s were from the greater Seattle area.
[20:37] <~Dan> (Sorry… TR?)
[20:37] <+hawke_robinson> After my 90 minute presentation, a lot of lights seemed to come on. A group in Canada is trying to pursue it, as well as a few others in the Seattle area. calling me for guidance. They all wish I could come out there and run the programs to train them up, so they could take over later.
[20:37] <+hawke_robinson> TR = Therapeutic Recreation RT = Recreation Therapy
[20:37] <~Dan> (Ah, gotcha.)
[20:37] <+hawke_robinson> They are subtly different.
[20:38] <+hawke_robinson> One is using recreation and games more “As is” to achieve goals. the other is adapting recreation and games to meet specific needs of clients
[20:38] <+hawke_robinson> but they are both part of being a recreation therapist or therapeutic recreation specialist.
[20:38] <+slyphic> so what’s the plan for leaving autonomous groups in your wake?
[20:39] <+slyphic> as in, do you leave them a starter kit, a shopping list for a starter kit, or just general guidance?
[20:39] <+hawke_robinson> Yes, western washington is quite a hub for RPG, and yet though apparently there are pockets of small efforts, nothing large for therapy yet.
[20:40] <+hawke_robinson> Also at a seminar with psychologist, psychiatrists, and recreation therapists, that work at Eastern State Mental Hospital. I had a pretty negative experience. They are convinced that any RPGs are “bad”, and would lead to dissociation, violent behavior, etc. THey weren’t really willing to listen at all.
[20:41] <+hawke_robinson> I run into that from time to time,. They are almost always older in age (50s, 60s+) and clearly subjects of the inculcate myths about RPG from the 80s that linger strongly today.
[20:41] <+hawke_robinson> Fortunately that tends to be the exception rather than norm at most places I speak with care professionals.
[20:41] <~Dan> That’s a shame.
[20:41] <~Dan> Well, it’s good that that’s rare, then.
[20:41] <+hawke_robinson> The main problem is just their not “getting” it about what an RPG can do. Some are more open minded than others. mostly the younger generation ones get the most excited.
[20:42] <+AlmazDisciplina> I’m not too surprised that people haven’t tapped into the idea of RPGs-as-therapy because while there are some dedicated RPG communities in Western Washington, it’s still a sort of hobby activity y’know? Also I would say we’re almost kind of segmented more in a way? Being The Place for RPGs means a lots of diversity in those RPGs, means the community is large but octopus-shaped.
[20:42] <~Dan> How do you even prove that you’re qualified to treat your clients?
[20:42] <+hawke_robinson> slyphic, I have complete kits, written for recreation therapists, that in theory are “Ready to run”. Of course, it is better if they get some training to optimize the experience.
[20:42] <+AlmazDisciplina> That said have you considered, say, getting out to Norwescon and maybe hosting a panel or a table?
[20:43] <+hawke_robinson> AlmazDisciplina, I agree with the octopus shape. 🙂
[20:43] <+hawke_robinson> AlmazDisciplina, I have spoken at three conferences in the past 10 months:
[20:43] <+hawke_robinson> ZoeCon II – (Link: http://rpgr.org/documents/rpg-research-project/video-audio-presentations-by-rpg-research/rpg-research-hawke-robinson-at-zoecon-ii-20i4-nov.mp4/view)http://rpgr.org/documents/rpg-research-project/video-audio-presentations-by-rpg-research/rpg-research-hawke-robinson-at-zoecon-ii-20i4-nov.mp4/view
[20:43] <+hawke_robinson> WSTRAN 16 – (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/enhanced-video-rpg-as-therapy-presentation-seattle-childrens-hospital-wstra-con-16)http://rpgr.org/blog/enhanced-video-rpg-as-therapy-presentation-seattle-childrens-hospital-wstra-con-16
[20:43] <+hawke_robinson> WorldCon 73 / Sasquan – (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/panel-recordings-from-worldcon-73-sasquan)http://rpgr.org/blog/panel-recordings-from-worldcon-73-sasquan
[20:43] <+AlmazDisciplina> ECCC would honestly be even bigger and better but I think Norwescon would be more sympathetic by default…
[20:43] * +AlmazDisciplina nods.
[20:43] <+hawke_robinson> including panels and presentation
[20:43] <+slyphic> AlmazDisciplina, serious question, have you ever run across a large non-“octopus” roleplaying community>
[20:43] <+slyphic> ?
[20:44] <+AlmazDisciplina> Yes.
[20:44] <+hawke_robinson> Dan: “How do you even prove that you’re qualified to treat your clients?”
[20:44] <+slyphic> where?
[20:44] <+slyphic> and what
[20:44] <+hawke_robinson> Fortunately the Therapeutic Recreation profession makes it easier to pitch the idea that games can be beneficial, and the profession has well established methodologies for designing implementations whatever the modality.
[20:45] <+hawke_robinson> slypich, yes unfortunately
[20:45] <+hawke_robinson> Spokane is pretty darn focused on d20: 3.x & Pathfinder. WHen I first moved here in 2004, it was very frustrating.
[20:45] <~Dan> But you mentioned previously that you’d need to be licensed to be an actual Therapuetic Recreation Specialist, IIRC?
[20:45] <~Dan> (Please forgive my ignorance on the subject.)
[20:45] <+hawke_robinson> I have run into that a lot in less metropolitan areas.
[20:46] <+AlmazDisciplina> slyphic: In a few different places in Phoenix, AZ, and Chicago, IL, back in like, the 90s and early 2000s, there was a large White Wolf hegemony, which meant it predominantly had gravitational pull around those. In other communities, the hegemon is D&D.
[20:46] <+hawke_robinson> Dan: No, not for TR.
[20:46] <+AlmazDisciplina> And when I say octopus shape I mean like (Link: http://assets.nybooks.com/media/img/blogimages/GettyImages_128921385.jpg)http://assets.nybooks.com/media/img/blogimages/GettyImages_128921385.jpg this.
[20:46] <+slyphic> yeah, I get what you were saying
[20:46] <+AlmazDisciplina> assets.nybooks.com/media/img/blogimages/GettyImages_128921385.jpg And not like this. ^_^
[20:46] <+slyphic> and I believe you
[20:46] <+AlmazDisciplina> Even if the latter is adorable.
[20:46] <+slyphic> just never run across it myself
[20:46] <+hawke_robinson> There are only 4 states in the US that actually have TR licensing, and a few with registration (including WAshington state and california).
[20:46] <+hawke_robinson> The rest have no controls at all unfortunately.
[20:46] <~Dan> Ah, I see. So… is being a TR specialist pretty much self-defined?
[20:47] <+hawke_robinson> However, insurance companies often won’t pay if you don’t have your CTRS
[20:47] <+hawke_robinson> There are well established guidelines for what a TR is to do on the nctrc.org and atra-online.org websites (pretty lengthy and detailed).
[20:47] * ~Dan nods
[20:47] <~Dan> I see.
[20:48] <+hawke_robinson> Each state has TRs lobbying to get licensure, it is a long battle, because occupational therapists, physical therapists, music therapists, and speech therapists, feel threatened by TR.
[20:48] <~Dan> That’s unfortunate.
[20:48] <+hawke_robinson> The recent Affordable Care Act has made that worse. Specialists fighting over scraps.
[20:48] <+hawke_robinson> but that’s a whole other discussion. 🙂
[20:48] <~Dan> Yeah, we’d best save that discussion for #rpgnet-politics. 😉
[20:48] <+hawke_robinson> Fortunately, with a CTRS, the profession is doing a good job regulating standards.
[20:49] <+DavidJay> Do you know of any other persons/groups that are doing this (or similar) elsewhere in the country? (Specifically in the south east if I’m being selfish.)
[20:50] <+hawke_robinson> So, One big goal, is I am struggling getting folks to actually donate to the trailer. Lots of people seem to agree it is a great idea, but having trouble getting folks to actually donate. I hope this Q&A is helpful in allaying any fears that may be preventing people from supporting the campaign. So, please ask questions now so I can allay any concerns. 🙂 (Link: http://rpgtrailer.com)http://rpgtrailer.com (Link: http://gofundme.com/rpgtrailer)http://gofundme.com/rpgtrailer
[20:50] <+hawke_robinson> DavidJay, yes
[20:50] <+hawke_robinson> I mentioned the Bhodana group earlier, for sexual abuse victims and perpetrators.
[20:51] <+hawke_robinson> Also there was a group for 3 years in Israel, for therapy for teenagers, to work on social skills with a therapist supervising as a GM ran a game , Called Romach (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/israeli-group-attempting-to-use-rpgs-as-therapy-tool)http://rpgr.org/blog/israeli-group-attempting-to-use-rpgs-as-therapy-tool
[20:51] <+hawke_robinson> Also, this is danish High school using LARP to teach 2 full years of school with all LARP: (Link: http://rpgr.org/blog/osterskov-efterskole-danish-public-high-school-teaching-all-subjects-using-larp)http://rpgr.org/blog/osterskov-efterskole-danish-public-high-school-teaching-all-subjects-using-larp
[20:51] <+hawke_robinson> However, no one from the RT/TR profession. A smattering of schools around the country for education.
[20:52] <+hawke_robinson> I link to all that I have found so far on the left hand side of the front page of the RPG Research Project – (Link: http://rpgresearch.com)http://rpgresearch.com
[20:52] <+hawke_robinson> And generally write about them in the /blog and /news sections.
[20:52] <+hawke_robinson> I have my essays here: (Link: http://rpgr.org/documents)http://rpgr.org/documents
[20:52] <+AlmazDisciplina> 2 years of high school LARP…
[20:52] <+hawke_robinson> I am not aware of anyone else doing what I am doing in the way I am doing, and no one else trying to offer a mobile service
[20:53] <+DavidJay> Ah ha, thanks for answering!
[20:53] <+hawke_robinson> AlmazDisciplina, regarding attending conventions, I can budget about 3-4 per year locally, but would need the trailer to attend those at greater distances to keep my costs down.
[20:53] <+hawke_robinson> For the past 10 years I have been self-funding all of my research. I have been providing all RPG, recreation therapy, music therapy, and related services as either a volunteer at other facilities, or for free when providing the services myself.
[20:54] * +AlmazDisciplina nods.
[20:54] <+hawke_robinson> DavidJay, very welcome
[20:54] <+hawke_robinson> Any other questions I can answer in the time remaining?
[20:54] <~Dan> hawke_robinson: In what remains of “regular time”, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[20:55] <+hawke_robinson> I can provide some quick additional example for benefits from each kind of RPG, and trailer can cover all of them if folkis donate to make it a reality:
[20:55] <+hawke_robinson> What about role-playing games makes them a useful tool in development and rehabilitation?
[20:55] <+hawke_robinson> his varies much from population to population, and specific client needs. To answer this question effectively would be several pages in and of itself, and is the core of my research that I have been working on since 2004.
[20:55] <+hawke_robinson> It also varies between RPG formats (tabletop, live-action, computer-based), and there are caveats with each as well, mostly keeping balance and not getting too obsessive (like most things) with something that is so rewarding. I have provided some examples with the explanation about how the RPG Trailer will help others.
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> Here are some summaries of strengths and weaknesses of each format:
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> For tabletop RPG the physical in-person social interaction and cooperative problem solving of a shared narrative are very powerful for most groups. Additionally, depending on the game system, basic skills such as math, reading, writing, researching, can all be enhanced. Tertiary benefits may be triggered by player interest in related topics such as history, metallurgy, science, geology, and other topics that come up durin
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> g game play.
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> For computer-based RPG, a fair amount of research from others, including video game advocate Jane McGonigal, indicate that about 1-2 hours per day of any computer-based game is “good” for you, and computer-based RPGs with their added complexities and potential social interaction in MMORPGs provide additional benefits. There is research indicating that too much definitely can be “bad” for you in a number of ways, a
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> nd some video game designers intentionally try to feed the areas that contribute to the “bad” side-effects to meet business revenue goals. So it is very important that players balance their time commitments.
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> For live-action role-playing (LARP) participants receive the social benefits of tabletop, plus the physical benefits of not just sitting at a table or in front of a screen. In competitive LARPS (such as boffer style), some populations may find the requirements for coordination and physical prowess more frustrating than fulfilling, and may be happier with more drama-based RPGs.
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> Since the LARP form of RPG is often more visible to the public’s stigmatic responses to gamers, and often equipment costs can add up either in time to create, or the expense to buy, these can be barriers for comfortable adoption of this form of RPG. If players can overcome these issues, it is a very rewarding and beneficial form, and in addition to the many other benefits of RPG, can help address the “plump gamer” iss
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> ues of the other two more sedentary formats by providing physical exercise of varying degrees.
[20:56] <+hawke_robinson> These are all extremely over-simplified summaries. For more detailed information about the potential benefits of role-playing games for education, therapy, rehabilitation, etc. I think it would be easiest to provide links to many essays, videos, and research so that people can read more about each area in depth at their leisure: (Link: http://rpgr.org/documents)http://rpgr.org/documents
[20:58] <+hawke_robinson> And please, donate to build the Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer: (Link: http://gofundme.com/rpgtrailer)http://gofundme.com/rpgtrailer and spread the word. It will work far better if other people are spreading the word about it, than just me. I hope folks see the value of the work, and hope they can show their support directly as well as through community networking.
[20:58] <+hawke_robinson> Thank you Dan for this. And thank you everyone else for your questions and comments. You can contact me by any of these means:
[20:58] <+hawke_robinson> (Link: http://rpgr.org/contact)http://rpgr.org/contact
[20:58] <+hawke_robinson> 2 minutes left, any last minute questions before we’re finished?
[20:59] <~Dan> Well, I’d just like to thank you for all the great work you’re doing, Hawke.
[20:59] <+BPIJonathan> Thank you for coming. It was very interesting.
[20:59] <+hawke_robinson> Thanks Dan!
[20:59] <+hawke_robinson> Thanks BPIJonathan
[20:59] <~Dan> To my mind, you are akin to a Doc Savage of gaming.
[20:59] <+hawke_robinson> lol
[21:00] <+consilium> Or a Salk.
[21:00] <~Dan> If you’ll give me just a moment, I’ll get the log posted and give you the link.
[21:00] <+DavidJay> Thanks so much
[21:00] <+hawke_robinson> Thanks DavidJay
[21:00] <+hawke_robinson> Super Dan!