Empowering Game Design Education with Transformative Role-playing Games

An Erasmus+ Cooperation Partnership in Higher Education

Curriculum Development

Courses at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level that teach transformative game design using analog role-playing games

Textbook and Implementation Guide

Learning materials mapping out core concepts and practices in transformative game design

Tech Toolkit

Guidelines for integrating various types of technology into the analog role-playing experience, including pros, cons, and best practices

People in medieval clothing around a map with pieces on it

Transformative Game to Teach Design

A two-day larp teaching principles in transformative game design through embodied play for metareflection

EDGE is creating empowering game design education and innovation the burgeoning field of Transformative Game Design. The target audience for our educational materials are life-long learners in helping professions who use analog role-playing games (RPGs) as vehicles for change, e.g., educators, therapists, youth workers, spiritual directors.

While the practice of applied role-playing games has grown exponentially in recent years, few opportunities exist for higher education and capacity building. Thus, we are developing innovative online Bachelor’s and Master’s courses to address the needs of students wishing to further professionalize. To our knowledge, Uppsala University’s Master’s in Transformative Game Design, which begins Fall 2024, is the first programme in the world devoted to the study analog role-playing games.

EDGE will infuse this curriculum with additional expertise on transformative game design praxis from specialists from two higher education institutions: Uppsala University and Turku University of Applied Sciences. EDGE also brings together three larp organizations in Europe with both practical and academic specialties: Dragons Nest, Chaos League, and Avalon Larp Studio. Together, the members of the consortium bring knowledge of role-playing games designed for transformational impacts in leisure, educational, and therapeutic settings.

EDGE will establish unique cutting-edge education aiming to empower designers, facilitators, and the populations they serve. Our open-source deliverables will include the full curricular materials for our courses in Transformative Game Design, a textbook, an implementation guide, a Tech Toolkit, and educational larp.

Notably, in addition to our online education, EDGE will create an in-person, two-day larp that teaches principles of transformative game design through a fictional frame. The game will engage students in an immersive, embodied way, encouraging metacognition on this method in ways traditional education cannot. Our hope is that other institutions find these learning materials and adopt them, leading to more sustainable teaching practices and a wider impact.

Join us for the transformative play revolution!

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