Pedagogy of Play

Willem over at The College of Mythic Cartography and my own podcast on icebreakers led to a discussion about teach people through games, specifically teaching people games through games. Breaking down all the components of a game into easy to digest and fun to learn steps.

I applied this to a Mouse Guard game that I ran at the Endgame Minicon: Into the Wild – Spring 1152. Here are the exercises:

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Improv for Gamers

This was Karen Twelves’s fault. She had the idea and made it all happen, I mostly served as organizer, advertiser and dude who takes the money.

As a gamer I’ve heard many times that improv is closely tied to role-playing, and from everything I can tell, improv theater teaches all the skills I think role-players need: collaboration, embracing failure, and generally feeling comfortable looking stupid. Yet, there is a divide to cross to get the gamer onto the stage. So instead we brought the mountain to Mohammed and had an awesome improv instructor Mia Blankensop lead a whole bunch of improve games for gamers, and then wrapped it up with games of Fiasco.

To top it off for the first event we brought Jason Morningstar and Steve Segedy out to play with us. The second time around the generous guys from Bully Pulpit Games (read: Jason and Steve again) sent us all kinds of awesome Fiasco swag (signed copies of the books, pins, a t-shirt, and the fixings for a Fiasco Kit) to give out to the participants.

What people said from the January 14th event:

“It was fabulous!  Thank you for organizing this!  The teachers, game-facilitators and everyone involved did a great job.  They made at least this n00b feel comfortable and even have fun pushing her boundaries.” – Meilin W.

“I had a great time, and now I have a fabulous vehicle for introducing my wife to gaming!” – Sean S.

“One of the best gaming experiences ever.” – Eric Z.

What people said from the May 6th event:

“That was awesome. Thank you, all!” – Noam R.

“Nicely presented today and my goodness I won my first con prize in several years. I’d like to thank my agent and my producer.” – Shannon M.

“Terrific event. Sad I was only able to stay for the first half, but what a first half it was. Thanks for Sean, Mia, Karen and Matt for their work and presentation. And I learned stuff too!” -Vanessa B.

“Martin and I had a really great time at the workshop! He’s super into Fiasco now, it really got him excited.” – Elizabeth B.

We’ll be doing this one more time at Big Bad Con.