News & Opinion

Opinions
Opinions & Ramblings
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Roleplaying as an Educational Tool

I have a firm belief that new gamers can be found anywhere. A great example of this theory can be found in the work of Shaun “Jim” Low.  He's an educational therapist who works with students typically 10-17 years of age, many with learning disabilities.  Jim's educational therapy program uses roleplaying games to teach skills and subjects his students are having problems understanding.  

I recently took in a new student  let's just call him — J — who's fast becoming one of my favourite students. J is a bright fellow, but he has an impulsive and rather rebellious nature (basically a youth at-risk), so we spent the first few lessons just talking and getting to know each other.

I often like to use games and RPGs to teach concepts, so I figured I'd use one with J. I decided I'd start our first term together by showcasing genre types outside of the norm to broaden his view of the world.

Thus, we watched Mad Max Fury Road (which he loved) and played Atomic Highway.

Our first session, to my surprise, was a hoot. One of the best things about RPGs, in my experience, is that it often brings out the innate traits of a person, and with J, it was no exception. Underneath the tough guy exterior was someone wanting to do right and straighten out wrongs. Not only that, but I got to see some absolutely creative problem solving even with the odds stacked against him.

After that session, he just couldn't stop asking me when our next session would be. For someone who had never played many games in his life, and was always more of a sporty, extroverted kind of person, J was surprisingly very much into the game.

In fact, since that day, he's always been motivated to come for class. We don't always play (our next session is scheduled to be on the following week), but that first game had opened up a lot of opportunities for incidental learning.

This is not my first success story in using games for therapy, but perhaps one of the most notable ones, as I had had doubts it would work. The exterior is what we as adults usually see, but what's inside can be different. I've always believed RPGs to be an effective tool in mirroring the innate qualities of people, youths and children included, and this little anecdote certainly did help further that belief. What are your opinions? Do you have any similar stories? I'd love to hear them.

If you are an educator with an interest in Jim's methods, be sure to follow his blog at Swords & Stationery.

 
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Game News
Game News
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Can a Roleplaying Game save a Film Franchise?

While the premise is arguable, it is obvious that the Star Wars roleplaying game contributed to the continued popularity of the entire Star Wars franchise.  If it weren't true then toys, cartoons and novels made today wouldn't contain names created for the rpg some 25 years ago.  You read that right.  Surprising though it might be, the roleplaying game and it's sourcebook had a far reaching effect on the original universe and it's canon.  

I'd recommend fans of Star Wars (and who isn't these days) take a look at Chris Baker's article over at Glixel.  You might find a few things that surprise you.

Source:  How a Pen and Paper RPG Brought 'Star Wars' Back From the Dead

 
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General
General
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Holiday Fun Time

Merry Christmas everyone.  Whatever your family holiday is this season, I hope enjoy it to the fullest!

Just a reminder to all of our gamer friends, this is a great time of the year to talk your family into a gateway game.  Try to get them into a game of Blokus or Fluxx.  Give it a shot!

 
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General
General
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AT&T and Bellsouth emails bouncing

Good morning gamers.  We just wanted to extend a little note to our members who've signed-up with bellsouth.net and at&t.net email accounts.  At this time it looks like most of the notification emails we're sending to you are not reaching your bellsouth.net and at&t.net email inboxes.  SendGrid, our 3rd party email delivery partner is already on top of the problem.  So the problem should be resolved in 48 hours or less.  

I'll update this blog article when it looks like things are fixed.  But this is also a great time to mention a few things related to emails.


If you have other questions, you can always send us Feedback.  Keep in mind that response time might be slow this week, it's a holiday in the USA.


Update:

It looks like SendGrid are able to get things fixed.  Emails should be arriving again.

 
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Feature Creep
Feature Creep
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Even More Postal Codes

A new update has gone live this morning (Sept 1, 2016) that should add support for our members almost anywhere in most of the english speaking world.  If you are a member in a location that we've not supported thus far, give it a try.  

However if your postal code is not unique, you might get the wrong results.  For instance, Germany uses the same postal code numbers as the United States.  In all cases, if you search for a german postal code, only an american one will be found.


Update (9/15/2016)

Country detection has been added to the postal code look-up.  This should allow more members from European countries to get the right information in their membership profiles.  As we have more members join from these countries I'll keep testing to make certain your player, group and local event searches are correct.

If you already have an account, re-save your postal code in your Gamer Profile to activate it.  https://www.findgamers.us/my-gamer-profile#personal 

I'd appreciate Feedback if you run into a problem.  Please include any errors, postal code and your country.

 
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Gamer Hell
Gamer Hell
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How would you like to be served?

Tabletop aficionados join sites like Find Gamers so they can find new opportunities to game.  However a large number of you don't like to use email as your primary method of communication.  So I'd like to start a discussion to find better ways to get notifications into the hands of our site's members.  Currently we use email to contact members if another member has tried to approach them.


So I'll ask you, is there a better way?  How would you prefer to get your notices?

 
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