The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

School Structures and Space as a Role Playing Game Platform (Domain) and the Question of Violence

Manthos Santorineos, Professor at Athens School of Fine Arts (Greece)

Eleni Timplalexi, Theatre Studies Dept., University of Athens (Greece)

Abstract

Edutainment games, serious games, COTs games and games designed by educators enter the classroom and get integrated in the school curriculum. The latest trend of gamification, which introduces digital ludic elements in formal education, seems to take for granted that school itself lacks any ludic dimension. But, does it really? We examine the possibility of school being seen as a ludic phenomenon, and more precisely as a role playing game platform. In fact, inside school, there is the potential for multiple levels of role playing that may be based on simulation methods.

Role playing can be met in the school yard, in the class and as a method for teaching and learning. For example, role play and simulation often serves well subjects such as mathematics, economy or even history, with processes and battles being represented.

What are the school structures that emerge if school is approached as a role playing game? What are the similarities and the differences that may come out from a comparison between the physical school space and structures and the ones met in digital games? What discourse is developed and what conclusions are possible?

In the paper, we will be addressing school as a (digital) role playing game, with formal roles such as “teacher”/“student” and ludic elements such as levels, points, risks and rewards sustaining the educational process. The theme of violence and its forms will be sought and juxtaposed in school and digital role playing games in order to reach an idea for a digital game, a school environment simulation that will help students and teachers deal with violence effectively.

School environment will be studied, as well as its properties that echo its ludic dimension, such as grades, levels, multiple attempts facilities, avatars, governance (prohibited spaces), discipline and punishment, violence (between students and in the dynamics of teaching), escapism etc.

The study seeks to retrace, through comparison and analysis, the ethical dimension of the ludic limits of games and to define a more pragmatical approach of the gaming and life reality.

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