Games as Text and K12 Social Studies

Jan 01, 14 Games as Text and K12 Social Studies

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I’m often asked by colleagues who know my interest in games in education to suggest a game students can play that will teach them some particular set of knowledge or skills. “Do you know any iPad games that can teach quadratic equations?,” or “Has anyone made a game about conjugating Spanish verbs?” While these games may...

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Plundering the Past: Historical Tech in the Science Fantasy RPG Numenera

Oct 23, 13 Plundering the Past: Historical Tech in the Science Fantasy RPG Numenera

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The cat’s meow in tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) for the last several months has been Monte Cook’s Numerera. Set one billion years in Earth’s future during a time known as the Ninth World, Numenera is a Kickstarter-funded science fantasy RPG that embraces as its core concern one of the fundamental dynamics of most tabletop...

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Historical Hit Points 3: A Gen Con Interlude

Sep 06, 12 Historical Hit Points 3: A Gen Con Interlude

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Three week ago, I set off with some gaming buddies on a five hour road trip to Indianapolis, Indiana, to attend Gen Con, the largest RPG gaming convention in the United States. Billing itself as “The Best Four Days in Gaming,” the con is a gigantic gaming whirlwind of crowds, cosplay, and commerce that takes over central...

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Historical Hit Points 2: Simulating Medieval Economics in Tabletop RPGs

May 23, 12 Historical Hit Points 2: Simulating Medieval Economics in Tabletop RPGs

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I have spent much of my free time lately poking through the core rulebook for Adventurer Conqueror King (ACKS for short), a new fantasy RPG published by a company called Autarch LLC. ACKS is what I like to think of as a classic Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) retro-clone on steroids. Mechanically it tries to emulate the rules set,...

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Historical Hit Points 1: Uses of History in Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Mar 06, 12 Historical Hit Points 1: Uses of History in Tabletop Role-Playing Games

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In my introductory post for this series on tabletop role-playing games (which dropped last December), I sketched out a brief portrait of my background with RPGs and laid down a marker for my main goal. To quote from the previous post, I want “to turn a more thorough and critical historical eye on the varied ways tabletop RPGs like...

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