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Background Information

by Hawke Robinson published Jun 14, 2016 12:20 PM, last modified Jun 14, 2016 12:16 PM
Here is information on how these training programs began development around 1985...

Around 1985/86, I created a month-long, 1 hour per day, 5 days per week, curricula teaching students in a junior high and high school setting, how to play and run tabletop role-playing games. This was at Realms of Inquiry, a school for gifted and talented children, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

While that program was focused on teaching about role-playing games, and then participants happening to gain various educational benefits through somewhat “standard” game play, it was not a class teaching a specific subject (other than RPG) using RPG as the modality to achieve pedagogic goals, as has been since frequently used by many instructors internationally, to cover many topics, using various RPG formats including live-action, tabletop, solo, and computer-based.

In 2004 I began developing therapeutic intervention programs based on recreational therapy methodologies using role-playing games as modalities to achieve specific client educational and therapeutic goals.

Around the same time it became clear that there is a significant gap in finding well-trained therapists that also are well-trained game masters capable of implementing these program plans.

In TR especially, there is a dearth of role-playing gamewareness in general as well as players and GMs in particular.

So how to bridge this gap?

There are already plenty of therapeutic training and certification programs out there.

There are already plenty of less formal training and “certification” programs for RPG players and GMs, but they tend to focus on specific game mechanics of a specific system, rather than more abstract “good GM skills”.

But as far as I have been able to find over the decades, I am not aware of a single formalized training and “Certification” program to greater role-playing game facilitators and therapists to deliver RPG programs in educational and therapeutic settings.

So around 2005, based on my syllabus from 1985, I began fleshing out the “Role-Playing Game Facilitator” and “Game Master Therapist” training and certification programs.

This is obviously still a work in progress, and will undergo many more revisions. I thought I would dig up these archives from 2005 and share with people here the outlines of these training programs. The actual programs themselves are lengthy documents that will probably bore most people, and they are constantly being revised based on feedback from trainees over the years.

 I have also been intermittently working on the “Role-Playing Gamine Recreation Therapy Handbook of Practice” with help form the “community” attempt to create some industry standards and sharing of information in developing and adapting RPGs in various formats for specific client needs, as linked to the ICF/ICD WHO codes.

So far I have created the following programs, each with 3 tiers, expressed appropriately enough for the RPG world as “levels” (don't get started on the whole level-based vs. level-less RPG argument :-) ).

Considering a 4th tier certification for "Master Trainers" or something similar. These would be the people that train others up through levels 0 to 3.