News from the Department

New publications: Therapeutic and educational theory and role-playing games

2023-11-25

The Transformative Play Initiative has three new publications to share:

  • Elektra Diakolambrianou and Sarah Lynne Bowman, "Dual Consciousness: What Psychology and Counseling Theories Can Teach and Learn Regarding Identity and the Role-Playing Game Experience." 
  • Josefin Westborg and Sarah Lynne Bowman, "GM Screen: The Didactic Potential of RPGs" and "Cheat Sheet: What We Can Learn from Edu-Larp and Other (Non-TT) RPGs." 

Elektra Diakolambrianou and Sarah Lynne Bowman have published in the Journal of Roleplaying Studies and STEAM, "Dual Consciousness: What Psychology and Counseling Theories Can Teach and Learn Regarding Identity and the Role-Playing Game Experience." In this paper, the authors discuss various concepts in RPG Studies, counseling, and psychology complicating the notions of "player" and "character" by discussing different philosophies about the nature of identity. They establish four main categories: identity as a social construct, narrative identity, identity as psychodynamic, and identities as parts of a whole. The aim is for this work to further the discussion on the transformative potential of role-playing games particularly in identity formation, exploration, and expression, as well as to help understand the mechanisms behind these practices with regard to sense of self.

Josefin Westborg and Sarah Lynne Bowman have pre-published on Academia and ResearchGate in English two chapters from an upcoming German book on educational tabletop role-playing games with permission from the editor: "GM Screen: The Didactic Potential of RPGs" and "Cheat Sheet: What We Can Learn from Edu-Larp and Other (Non-TT) RPGs." The German publication should come out early next year, but you can cite the English versions now with proper attribution.

Together, these articles synthesize many of the theories we use in two of the major subjects areas in the Transformative Game Design Master's programme curriculum -- educational and therapeutic RPGs -- which require further theorizing in the field.

Stay tuned for more publication news from the Games & Society Lab!

Last modified: 2022-10-25