rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood posting in [community profile] tabletop_rpg
A recent discussion on RPG.net makes me curious to ask here: how is/was gaming handled at your high school, or any high schools you have first-hand experience with? Was there a gaming club, perhaps that met after school or on weekends? Did the faculty approve or disapprove of it? Was it banned because it was violent/satanic/involved Cheetos?

This applies primarily in the USA, but you can translate that to any schooling experience at any age group in any country and ask the same questions; I'd be interested to hear how different countries feel about gaming in schools.

My experiences with it can be summed up by my post from RPG.net:

While I'm sure there are a few places it would still be frowned upon, the past 5-10 years have brought about huge changes in the how the media--and parents--perceive roleplaying. Even fundamental religious groups have mostly gotten beyond the Jack Chick level, especially since D&D is no longer the only RPG in public consciousness, and you can find games that actively promote religious faith (or, at least, aren't about demons and magic).

The even higher visibility of computer gaming and video gaming has also helped tabletop RPGs, since the 'questionable content' of most tabletop games pale in comparison to console shooters, let alone computerized RPGs. Many school districts are experimenting with the incorporation of "virtual environments" (ie, Second Life) into their classrooms, and I've just this morning been researching using RPGs and MMORPGs in classrooms as teaching tools--I'm planning a 'departmental paper'/thesis on the subject, and there's plenty of first-hand research available.

Given those shifts, the vast majority of the population of the US is more likely to be comfortable with RPGs than they were even five years ago. There'll always be people who object, but school districts aren't so likely to bow down and eject a voluntary activity; just as many school districts have a GLBT/allies support group or club, the parents who object can keep their OWN kids out of the group, but can't usually keep the group out of the school.

In short, current research* suggests that the trend is no longer that parents try to ban D&D, and further, that even when they do, the school districts, etc are less likely to listen. Some people do still object to RPGs, Tolkein, and Harry Potter, but fewer than ever.

Blessed be,
~Nathan

*Based on the papers/documents/magazine articles I've been finding, largely from 2006-Feb 2009, and speaking with teachers from Maine, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, and Indiana.

Quoted from thread at: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=453833

Date: 2009-05-22 09:28 pm (UTC)
eloquent_grey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eloquent_grey
We had a gaming club in highschool that had the same privileges as any other after school club - got to use a classroom, had a teacher advisor and so on. We could play any roleplaying game we wanted...except D&D. Toon? No problem. GURPS? No problem. Paranoia? No problem. We could even play what we called 'Killer', where we actively hunted down the other students, and "killed" them with guns that shot little plastic disks or with "mail bombs" (basically an envelope with a little note inside that said "Boom" or something along those lines) . But D&D? Nope, never in a million years. Now granted, that was in the 80's (I'm dating myself, I know) and I HIGHLY doubt we could get away with that last game today. But at the time we all thought it was very amusing we could do /that/ but D&D was the spawn of Satan himself.

Date: 2009-05-23 04:34 am (UTC)
bryant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bryant
My high school was a big 100 people. That's 100 people across four years, not 100 people per class. Possibly we coulda sustained a campaign if all the gamers came out of the closet but I was the only one I knew about. No club, to say the least...

I think the other place we're going to see gaming as a public activity in the next ten or so years is libraries. I happen to know, um, six or seven gainfully employed librarians who play pen and paper games. When I move to Maryland next month I'm going to try the local library as a site for LFR gaming, too -- I don't think their conference room space will work out but it can't hurt to look and ask.

Date: 2009-07-05 03:34 am (UTC)
blinovitch: Presto (Default)
From: [personal profile] blinovitch
The only roleplaying I encountered in high school was a group of friends playing a World of Darkness LARP -- almost all vampires with a couple beleaguered werewolves, as I recall -- in a local strip mall.

The one night I tried playing, we got run off by the police three times, so that was kind of a whiff.

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