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Posts Tagged ‘role game

Jacob L. Moreno

Jacob L. Moreno

The term role-playing game has roots in the history of psychology.
In fact, The first to coin the term “Role Play” was Jacob L. Moreno in 1934, after experimenting in 1921 the “theatre of spontaneity”.

Jacob Levy Moreno was a leading psychiatrist, thinker and educator and has been recognized as one of the pioneer of group psychotherapy.

In 1930 Moreno emigrated to the United States and began to develop the technique of psychodrama which is still used in psychotherapy: in the psychodrama technique the patient has to recall and act (like he is on a stage) a past conflict he had against someone.

Then the roles are switched and the patient plays the part of his opponent to try to understand what the other person has felt in that occasion.

But this first sense of the word role-play has no relation with the role play intended as recreational activity, derived from war–games. dungeons and dragons

The role-playing games were played for the first time in the late sixties at the University of Minnesota war-game society.
In 1971, one student Gary Gygax developed in  a war-game with medieval setting called Chainmail, wich become very popular among all Minnesota undergratduates.

But was only in 1974, when Gygax and his mate Dave Arneson invented and released the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons that that role-playing games became worldwide famous.
For this reason, D & D is considered the first modern role-playing game and had a lot of influence on later role-playing games.

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hollywood If you think that celebrities spend all their lives attending charming events, party and others social life activities, you’re wrong. Celebrities too like sometimes, stay at home with their relatives or with their closest friends and spend some of their spare time like “average people” .
Not everybody knows that in their free time Celebrities like to play board games:
For example Madonna and Guy Ritchie are Scrabble fans, just like Keanu
Reeves, Mel  Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone, Amy Winehouse and Gwuineth Paltrow.
Other Hollywood stars just like every kind of board game:
Angelina Jolie and Brat pit like playing family games with their children and Teresa Palmer, Tahyna Tozzi and Natalie Kelly, love to host pyjamas parties and  during the weekends playing board games.
Other celebrities just like old classics, Drew Barrymore, Ashton Kutcher, Erin O’connor and Eva Herzigova love dominoes, instead Ashlee Simpson and Craig David prefer Monopoly.
Chess too is very popular among celebrities and famous people, Bill Gates is a great chess players (off course, He’s good with mathematics calculations); U2 star Bono Vox usually plays chess with his band before or after live performances to relax a little bit; Nicolas Cage instead can’t find  a good chess opponent among his Hollywood friends, because he’s really good at it, and Sting always leave some time to play chess with his musicians.
Even heads of states and important politicians can’t resist playing games:
Queen Elizabeth II declared that sometimes she plays Scrabble, Obama said that he always plays board games with his daughters and Hillary Clinton, always plays card games with the members of her staff.
There are lots of celebrities who are totally crazy about role games like Dungeons and Dragons (Jennifer Lopez), and Master and Commanders (Russell Crowe).
However, for both celebrities and normal people board games are always a great way to put everything behind and have fun with the people we care about.

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Role game_boxI would like to start this new column, to explain and enlighten anyone interested to that particular form of gaming called role game.

Role games are now very popular all over the world. More than 1000 games were published after the first launch in 1974 of “Dungeons & Dragons”, the father of all modern role games; But, especially between non players, a lot of people don’t know what a role game is exactly, so I’ll try give a simple definition for it. A role game is a particularly form of gaming in which players pretend to be the characters of a story invented move after move by themselves, under the supervision of a Master (Narrator).

The Master expose a situation to the partakers and each one of them tells  what he would do to solve the dilemma and overcome the difficulties of the adventure; for example how to liberate a princes locked up in a remote fortress from an evil magician or how to prevent the outlaws from making robberies in the wild west.
Normally a role game is played around a table and if a player wants to do an action with uncertain results (like jump from a running train to fight against a dragon), throws the dices and the story change in a way or in another according to the dices’ score.

Who wins the role game?

Nobody wins, because role game is not about wining, is about narration and cooperation, the aim of every role game is to have fun and invent an all-involving story together.
And the Master? The Master doesn’t play, he only describes the game’s situations and coordinate players’ actions during the development of the story; he’s the supervisor and also leads all the others character of the story that interact with players’ characters (like the evil magician who locked up the princess in my example). The Master is the arbiter, the caretaker and the director of the role game.

How long does the group of players take to finish the role game?

A single story or an adventure can last for two hours to few months, but role game’s characters are like the protagonists of a literary saga or a television series : ended one story, they can be used for other adventures, improving their powers and shaping their temper with more accuracy.

The most amazing thing of the role game is that it has not boundaries, the only limit is your fantasy! This is the reason why Role Games are often called “the gym of  human creativity”.

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A role game is a unique world where individuals put their skills to interpret a fiction plot and explore its hidden and tricky aspects, developing actions and strategies to became  “experts” users of their fantasy alter egos; strong and well shaped characters able to challenge all the dares of the game.

role_game_map

Role game has two different kinds of authority in its hierarchy:
The Dungeon Master and the players’ characters.
The Dungeon Master has the power to influence all the player’s choices in the game with the application of the rules. This kind of situation is similar to school dynamics of interactions , where the teacher can be viewed as a Dungeon master and the scholars as the players of the game; that’s why in a lot of educational contests, role game is often used to teach and develop students’ skills.
Role play is a builder mechanism of destiny, faith, mission, and players have to build deep competences and overcome hard  difficulties to win the prize of best in class.
Role play is an exactly metaphor of the real world where you have to be smart and work hard to obtain success in your professional and  personal life; for this reason role game can favourite a goal oriented personality and prepare young people to the harsh and difficulties of our modern society.
Pedagogies and Educators agree on the fact that a kid playing a role game can learn commitment and improve his interior strength and of course have a lot o fun.
I personally think that role game is a great educational tool especially for those teachers and parents that have to deal everyday with exuberant teenagers and problematic children.

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