May. 20th, 2009

rockwood: (Default)
[personal profile] rockwood
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

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