E-Learning and Digital Media
ISSN 2042-7530

Volume 5 Number 2 2008

 


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Playing by the Rules: instruction and acculturation in role-playing games

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The open-ended, informal, and socially negotiated nature of role-playing games creates a distinct learning challenge for newcomers to the hobby. The explicit rules of the game provide only an incomplete framework for structuring the actions of players, and the expectations and mores of a given group will add other, unspoken rules that discourage or reward certain patterns of behavior. Through a combination of casual instruction, mimesis, and situated learning, new players become acculturated to the ways of both role-playing games in general and specific games in particular. Online resources can facilitate this process, by placing individuals in contact with a wider network of fellow hobbyists, but the limited channel of communication available online also restricts the social cues that could otherwise contribute to learning.


To cite this article

BRYN NEUENSCHWANDER (2008) Playing by the Rules: instruction and acculturation in role-playing games, E-Learning and Digital Media, 5(2), 189-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/elea.2008.5.2.189

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