vendredi 30 septembre 2016

Linking Capabilities to Functionings: Adapting Narrative Forms from Role-Playing Games to Education [peer reviewed article]

Cheville, R. Alan. « Linking Capabilities to Functionings: Adapting Narrative Forms from Role-Playing Games to Education ». Higher Education 71, nᵒ 6 (5 avril 2016): 805‑18. doi:10.1007/s10734-015-9957-8.
The author of this speculative study proposes to switch from the existing curriculum system of the higher education to a system of quest chains and experience points, inspired from RPG.

Experience points are a continuous credentialing system (regular grades are a discrete system). Levels can be awarded. At the end of a course, they can be exchanged for a grade.

Quest chains offer flexibiliy (regular curriculum is a rigid hierarchy). Quests are smaller than courses, so more adaptables. Quest chains can be of any lenght.

The Mimesis Effect: The Effect of Roles on Player Choice in Interactive Narrative Role-Playing Games

Dominguez, Ignacio X., Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera, James K. Vance, and David L. Roberts. “The Mimesis Effect: The Effect of Roles on Player Choice in Interactive Narrative Role-Playing Games.” In 34th Annual Chi Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Chi 2016, 3438–49. San Jose, CA: Assoc Comp Machinery; SIG CHI, 2015. doi:10.1145/2858036.2858141.

This study (n=210) examines the behavior of players in a computer role-playing game where they control a character through an unfolding story. The study shows that the players consistently take decisions based on 3 stereotyped roles. This consistency, named "mimesis effect", is verified in every cases : if the role is assigned at the beginning, if the role is selected by the player, and also (surprisingly) if the player have no information about any role to play.

eg. if a player is attributed a rogue, or chooses to play a rogue, or has no role attributed and starts to play stealthy, he will keep playing like a rogue until the end of the game. The same for fighter or mage. 

In validation phase, the 3 roles were calibrated following D&D 4e TRPG stereotypes (fighter, mage and rogue, either acting strong or magical or stealthy). The subjects of the study (and the validation sample) were mostly young male computer and/or tabletop RPG gamers. Playing one role or another doesn't change the success of the actions.


Play the game here (bugs when loading maps): http://go.ncsu.edu/ixd-demo-rpg

mardi 27 septembre 2016

Educational Live Action Role-playing Games [chapter, article, presentation]

Bowman, Sarah Lynne. « Educational Live Action Role-playing Games: A Secondary Literature Review ». In The Wyrd Con Companion Book 2014, edited by Sarah Lynne Bowman, 112‑31. Los Angeles, CA: Wyrd Con, 2014.
Bowman, Sarah Lynne, and Anne Standiford. « Educational Larp in the Middle School Classroom: A Mixed Method Case Study ». International Journal of  Role-Playing 5, nᵒ 1 (2015).
Bowman, Sarah Lynne. « Edu-Larp: A Literature Review ». Nordic larp conference Knutepunkt, Solmukohta. Helsinki, 2016.

These chapter (2014), article (2015) and presentation (2016) explore the literature on the educational potential of live-action role-playing games (edu-larp). The chapter (2014) is an outstanding synthesis of more than 80 resources arguing about how the mechanics of simulation/ game/ drama/ role-play are bringing cognitive/ affective/ behavioral benefits to education/ theatre/ psychodrama/ military/ health care.

Edu-larp is not a “cure-all” for the problems of the educational system but it can bring some interesting outcomes. There is a lot of studies featuring anecdotal stories or purely theoretical principles. However, even if more research are needed, a study (2015) made by the author shows that edu-larp is good for :
  • perceived competence/self-efficacy,
  • intrinsic motivation, behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagement,
  • leadership and teamwork
  • interest/enjoyment of science
More publications of the author here.
Most of the resources cited (for Zotero) : TRPG-JDR > Learning > Bowman2014

vendredi 23 septembre 2016

Réalités éphémères et jeu de rôles grandeur nature [Peer reviewed article]

Kapp, S. (2016). Réalités éphémères et jeu de rôles grandeur nature. Socio-anthropologie, «Des collectifs éphémères» (33), 1-11. <link>
This article describes live-action roleplaying game experiences: how it works, the « collaborative fictional immersion» attitude of play, the quick socialization of players induced by a short game experience, even if the preparation time is comparatively very long. Interesting talk on immersion, magic circle, game time and experience of play as another temporary layer of reality (p. 4-6).


Other publications of the author:

Caïra, Olivier, Sabine Demersay Chalvon, Réjane Hamus-Vallée, et Sébastien Kapp. « Définir la fiction », 01:45:39. Paris: BPI Centre Pompidou, 2013.

Kapp, Sébastien. « Jeu et nouvelles perspectives de recherche en sciences sociales ». Cahiers de recherche sociologique, no 59‑60 (2015): 211‑28.

———. « Jeux de rôles pour enfants : une nouvelle forme de fiction ludique ». Strenæ. Recherches sur les livres et objets culturels de l’enfance, no 2 (21 juin 2011): 1‑9.

———. « Jouer au fil de l’histoire. L’immersion dans le jeu de rôles grandeur nature ». In Au prisme du jeu. Concepts, pratiques, perspectives, édité par Laurent Mermet et Nathalie Zaccaï-Reyners, 121‑36. Cerisy: Hermann, 2015.

———. « L’immersion fictionnelle collaborative. Une étude de la posture d’engagement dans les jeux de rôles grandeur nature ». PhD Sociologie, EHESS; Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2013.

———. « Quitter le donjon. Quand le jeu de rôles devient « grandeur nature » ». Sciences du jeu, Évolution des jeux : Catalyseurs, mécanismes et agents, 1‑13, no 4 (2015).

———. « Un jeu qui réconcilie les règles et la fiction : le jeu de rôles grandeur nature ». Revue du MAUSS 45, no 1 (1 juin 2015): 91‑103.

jeudi 15 septembre 2016

Building the Culture of Contingency: Adaptive Choice in Ludic Literature from Role-Playing Games to Choose Your Own Adventure Books [chapter]


Bryant, T. (2016). Building the Culture of Contingency: Adaptive Choice in Ludic Literature from Role-Playing Games to Choose Your Own Adventure Books. In A. Byers & F. Crocco (Eds.), The Role-Playing Society: Essays on the Cultural Influence of RPGs (pp. 72–95). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. 

RPG and CYOA offered an escape to social anxiety created by contingency plans of the Cold War.  Surviving guides of the nuclear warfare of the 50s and 60s could be read like CYOA books (second person imperative, chunking information, overwhelming urgency and attainable agency). Even if some RPGs took place in fantasy worlds (secure distance), the tropes of decision making look like the ones of the Cold War: the player, even under extreme contingencies, still possess his own agency and his own commitment. He make adaptative choices with elements of uncertainty. He should prepare himself to face immediate and arbitrary dangers.




My opinion: some ideas are poorly developed (so they are poorly convincing): fantasy themes could be a mean to avoid anti-patriotism (p.77); the dungeon crawling through traps and monsters could be a way to transform the anxiety of the nuclear vaults culture (p.79); RPGs are criticizing implicitly the lack of agentivity of the citizen facing the nuclear threat (p.83).

Quote: « RPG marked the cultural shift from traditional to nuclear warfare and responded to the social anxieties accompanying that shift by championing individual agency through adaptative choice in the face of overwhelming logics of contingency.» (p.82)

mardi 13 septembre 2016

Analyze thousands of PDFs, extract informations and generate a tabular report

Through the Car Library project website, I found ExifTool: free software by Phil Harvey which can analyze thousands of PDFs, extract informations (misc. and metadata) and generate a tabular report easily usable in LibreOffice Calc or MS Excel.
  1. Download the software
  2. Install it
    • Extract exiftool(-k).exe from zip
    • Rename file into exiftool.exe
    • Copy it in c:/windows/
  3. Start > Run > type cmd then Enter
  4. Copy-paste this code :
    exiftool -csv -r -Encrypt -Info -Root -Linearized  -All -ext pdf -m -t c:\collection > report.csv
    • c:\collection contains the PDFs
    • report.csv is generated at root of User
    • Informations extracted : name of file, name of folder, size of file, number of pages, metadatas
    • I still need to know how to get: native PDF ou scanned PDF; if scanned: OCR or not; if scanned: quality of scan; PDF/A (yes/no). There is the software PDF-Analyzer Pro 5.0 by Ingo Schmoekel but I didn't buy it.
It is possible to do that for others types of files (pictures,…).
Method sent to Harry. Applied to his 294 Go collection, analyzed 18420 files in 2212 folders. The processing time took 3 hours and generated a csv file of 52 Mo.

mercredi 7 septembre 2016

Psychological Effects of Fantasy Games on Their Players: A Discourse-Based Look at the Evidence [chapter]

Lieberoth, A., & Trier-Knudsen, J. (2016). Psychological Effects of Fantasy Games on Their Players: A Discourse-Based Look at the Evidence. In A. Byers & F. Crocco (Eds.), The Role-Playing Society: Essays on the Cultural Influence of RPGs (pp. 46–71). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. 

This chapter is a good discourse analysis on the psychological impacts of role-playing games and a summary of the rare empirical studies of the last 30 years. The author discards completely the “hard claims” of the 1980s who were saying that RPG leads to suicide, clinical diagnose, violence or crime. However, he is also very cautious with the studies of the 2000s that proselytize the positive effects of RPG. Indeed, there is almost no empirical evidence that RPG activities are especially effective compared to other social/intellectual activities. We need to stop building apologetic theories and, on the long term, keep gathering more empirical quantitative and qualitative data.

Interesting extract (p.48): “Looking to the literature, at least, it seems that the practices and compositions of local play communities hold as much explanatory power when it comes to issues of psychological, educational and social development as the games played in and of themselves.” ·

Maybe we will read more in this forthcoming open-access article : Lieberoth, A., & Højgaard, J. Y. (forthcoming). Psychological effects of fantasy role-playing: a structured review of the empirical research. International Journal of Role-Playing.

  • Found with ProQuest alert (MLA International Bibliography).
    12 new references in bibliography (10 theses i didnt had: i immediately correct my Dissertations & Theses alert).
    Author : GS and univ. alerts created. Followed in Academia and RG.