Role-playing is particularly well-suited as an activity for young people to develop a whole range of useful skills. So why not take advantage of this and make role-playing games available to a lot of young people in our schools?
The Dragon Legion’s RPG Initiative aims at establishing RPGs as after-school activities in a large number of schools across Europe and make the positive learning effects visible. In addition we want young people to discover how much fun role-playing is.
We are planning to establish RPG activities in schools as after-school activities.
In order to do this we want to work with a network of approximately 50 schools and a wide network of skilled Game Directors.
In the long run we want RPG after-school activities to be seen as valuable learning activities that are worth investing resources into. We want schools to establish them and to pay for them.
In the short run we will cover the costs for 50 schools for 2 years and evaluate the learning effect. For this we plan to work closely together with universities.
We plan to run the games at schools in English in order to make one of the positive effects of RPGs obvious to schools. The other reason for choosing English is that we are launching the program in several European countries and using one common language makes it more manageable.
We plan to put a special focus on Germany at the moment. So if you are located in Germany you will have a very high chance of becoming involved in this if you choose to apply. However, other countries in the EU are also eligible.
The RPG activities at schools will have a number of benefits for students:
- Language Learning: Role-playing is extremely well suited for language learning because it motivates learners to find solutions in challenging situations that are mostly driven by dialogue. For this reason we want to run our games in English.
- Employability: Role-playing can do a lot to help young people develop skills they need later on when entering the labor market. These games are based on teamwork and a group is only successful if the players manage to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each character and combine strengths in strategic ways. Strategy is a big part of these games and being able to make decisions based on probability and awareness of the situation is another learning outcome.
- Social Skills: Role-playing can train a number of soft skills such as empathy, but it is also very efficient training for social skills in general. We regularly use role-playing with groups of socially disadvantaged youths in Iceland with stunning results. Giving these youths a safe game environment in which they can try out things gives their self esteem a boost and changes their entire personality.
- Communication Skills: Role-playing can also be used to train communication skills, for instance when it comes to resolving conflicts. It can be used to train debating skills or sales situations. It can also be used to train giving instructions and understanding instructions. There are also a number of other skills that are affected by role-playing.
How to get Your School Involved
If you are interested in getting these activities started at your school, sign up! Starting in summer 2024 we will support approximately 50 schools and make it possible for them to get an external expert who runs role-playing activities on a weekly basis as an after-school activity. The Dragon Legion will deal with the logistics and pay for this expert for 2 years. The sooner you sign up, the higher your chances of your school getting chosen.
We will also supply you with gaming materials and offer the opportunity to link your students in an international network in order to give them international experience as well.
At the moment you can simply sign up by sending us your name, your position, your school name + address and your contact email to: email@example.com. We will soon publish a proper application form here.
How to Get Involved as a Game Director
Quick explanation first: In the Dragon Legion we call the people running the games Game Directors (GDs) because we believe that it describes their role a lot better than “Dungeon Master” or even “Game Master” or “Judge”. We imagine the GD like a film director who is responsible for arranging all the little pieces to create a good story.
If you enjoy running RPGs and if you want to run games for high school students feel free to apply. We would keep you in our database until the program launches and we would send you regular updates. We will need a lot of good GDs in many different locations, so depending on your skills, your motivation and your location we would approach you and offer you the job of running RPGs.
Having potential GDs available is very important for us because it is a prerequisite for offering RPG activities to schools. So by registering you will be supporting our efforts even before the program has launched.
In spring/summer 2024 we will start selecting GDs and invite them for a training weekend. This will prepare them for working in a school environment and give them an opportunity to improve their GD skills as well. Afterwards you sign a contract with us so that we can pay you and you start running games at school on a weekly basis.
At the moment you can simply sign up by sending us your name, a short paragraph about your RPG experience and your contact email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will soon publish a proper application form here.
July 2023: Opening of school applications
July 2023: Opening of GD applications
October 20th-23rd 2023: Program presentation at PnP Congress in Halle, workshop with teachers
November 18th 2023: Teacher workshop at DreieichCon
May – July 2024: Selection of schools and GDs
August 2024: Training Event for GDs
September 2024: Launch of the RPG Initiative in schools
August 2026: End of the Dragon Legion funding
Will this Actually Happen? For Sure?
Some things sound too good to be true, we are aware of this. Unfortunately we are not so wealthy that we can just throw money at this project, even though we would love to. We actually have to acquire the funding from sources that support youth work and this requires a lot of work in advance, which is why we are giving ourselves a year to get it done. Nothing guarantees that we will actually be successful though and even though we are working hard for this goal and we all believe that we have a good chance to get this done, we might actually fail.
However, if we get a lot of schools and GDs to show interest for this it will show that there is a need for this and it will make it much more likely that this project will be funded. So your support and your participation is a huge help for us. Informing others about the RPG Initiative also supports it. So far we have received a lot of positive reactions and a lot of support and we are very grateful for this. Thank you all! Let’s grow the RPG community together!