Role playing games (RPG) for social skill development?

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jsimon7777
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16 Jul 2012, 2:56 pm

ASDMommyASDKid,

Yes, I'm asking if parents would pay for an DnD (no more A!) social skills group.

A few years ago, I met a couple people who did DnD tutoring for math. They seemed to be somewhat successful. DnD does have a stigma, still, but I could call the game something else, especially since the game would need some modifying to make social skills more of the focus.

Are you saying that, other than with difficulty in marketing, you do like the idea of role playing games for kids who need to work on social skills?



ASDMommyASDKid
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16 Jul 2012, 3:25 pm

I thought they split into two different things: D&D and AD&D. They got rid of the AD&D version? Ok, I guess I had better update my knowledge by the time I introduce this to my own son. :) It has been awhile.

If you are going to market this to parents you will have to be very clear about what pro-social messages there will be and how you intend to show how it applies to daily life. If they come home and brain dump about their Half Elven character and their quest for a particular sword at a Dwarven mountain, without showing improved empathy/theory of mind/improved social skills et al, you are going to have some pissed off parents.



jsimon7777
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16 Jul 2012, 3:38 pm

Valkyrie2012,

OK, I can see how, if verbal communication is terribly difficult, Second Life can be a life saver. I'm glad it was for you. Anything that makes someone feel accepted and cared for can make a huge difference. However, they can also drag people away from reality.

I've been communicating over the computer and networks for about 20 years now. There is a definite lack of depth in online communication. The online friendships I've made have all been stronger after meeting in person and maintaining relationships in person, and many friendships haven't lasted through physical separation.

I can tell you that most parents would be against their kids getting heavily involved online.

ASDMommyASDKid,

Yeah, it's been quite a few years since there's been an ADnD. The current version, 4.0, has an addition called "Essentials" that simplifies things a little. However, the overall game is a lot like Worlds of Warcraft in mechanics. The role playing has been pushed back some by mechanics, but the mechanics are pretty fun and certainly much easier to deal with than THAC0.



Valkyrie2012
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16 Jul 2012, 3:51 pm

I know I lost my head in my rant there - for that I will apologize. But I can say for me - I have kept my online friends FOR YEARS and the moment I have met people in "real life" I never see them again. Not online, and not offline.

I am guessing you do not suffer being on the ASD spectrum. Things are not the same for us, as they are for you. I totally love how you want to use a RPG for social skills and development... but the best perspective you will get on all of this comes from ASD adults themselves. No NT person can tell you how successful this treatment can be for US - the ones who live with this day in and day out.

I started out RPG in Pirates Online (Pirates of the Caribbean). Loved it, thrived in it. For once I could be in a crowd of people and follow what everyone was saying. Maybe much of the interaction can't carry over into life skills - but it does carry over a self confidence, a feeling of being accepted, and the social aspects I pretty much yelled out about learning social rules earlier.

Those things are huge in themselves. I understand wanting parents input - but I think the real input you need comes from experienced ASD adults themselves.

Somehow though.. we do not get listened to - at least not seriously in my experience of my daily life. Maybe it would be most helpful to show the parents you want to get interested in helping their kids with RPGs the feedback from ASD adults themselves who have bettered their lives in this manner.



jsimon7777
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16 Jul 2012, 5:08 pm

Valk,

If that's you losing your head, you're a level person.

You're right that adults have a useful perspective, but it has been my experience that most kids and parents understand education less than most teachers, just as most doctors understand healthcare better than most patients. At the moment, I'm asking parents because they're the ones who would pay.

Can you suggest another forum that would have more parents?



Valkyrie2012
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17 Jul 2012, 4:21 am

For aspies - no. For sensory Processing disorder and some aspies, that would be SPD Life forums. Great site.

Thanks for the compliment - was nice to read after a hard night at work :)

Link to SPD Life forums

http://www.spdsupport.org/forum/

It talks about being a site for adults.. but many people there have kids with SPD ASD too



Wreck-Gar
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17 Jul 2012, 7:57 am

ASDMommyASDKid wrote:
I don't think it is necessarily a bad idea. I just don't think I would do it in the way I think you mean. I also don't know how many parents are excited about AD&D. Back in the day, I think there was an uproar with parents about some of the themes, which they have subsequently toned down, I think. I don't know what the contemporary view is among parents today. especially those who don't have a personal knowledge of it.


Yeah I remember there were some kids who supposedly killed themselves because their character died in the game or something like that.

I had (rather religious) teacher take a D&D book away from me, too.

Not sure how today's (non-nerdy) parents feel about it, though.



Eureka-C
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17 Jul 2012, 12:58 pm

As an NT parent who is a bit on the geeky side, we (family and friends) play a lot of RPG and some other less traditional games. I think games are a great place to emphasize the social rules. I doubt I would pay for a social skills group that used RPG, not because its not a good idea, but because we already do it at home and with our friends.

I would pay for a book/e-book on social skills lessons using role-playing games though.

In fact our group of friends/kids is now up to 21 individuals. We all rent a vacation home for 5 days and play lots of games (board, video, and outdoor). The men in the group are all online gamers who play together at least once a week. I don't think anyone in the group is AS except my son.

I do think there are a lot of social skills to be learned in RPG games though.



momsparky
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17 Jul 2012, 9:59 pm

One of my son's social skills classes was a kind of MMOG, except the kids all played it in the same room and then came together to do a board-game version. I think it did better than D&D because the social skills were explicit and explained as part of the game; the problem with D&D is that it's possible - and not unlikely - to learn negative behaviors, too.

Game-playing in general has always been a part of my son's therapy.

You can find the one we used here: http://www.sst-institute.net/



annotated_alice
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18 Jul 2012, 10:05 am

I think RPG games can be a great way to grow social skills. I started a DnD group here at home for my sons this year (4E), and orchestrated getting one started at school as well. We did run into issues with the negative stigma that is still attached to DnD, but were able to educate our way through it.

This worked well for our sons because DnD is one of their particular interests (and mine). A special interest group built around a different interest could work just as well. For this coming school year we will likely ask to form a Minecraft group as social support for our sons. However it will take a little more work to structure the meetings, because Minecraft doesn't come with the built in structure and required cooperative play that something like DnD does.



momsparky
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08 Jun 2013, 9:08 am

We are actually doing a group where the kids design their own games, so I'm bumping this thread. We did do a couple of rounds of D&D, but mostly so they could get the idea.

I also just bumped into this website - for parents whose kids have a really difficult time with board games, this is an entire webseries offering modeling on appropriate board-game playing. Be aware that there is bleeped-out adult language, though.

http://tabletop.geekandsundry.com/



MiahClone
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08 Jun 2013, 2:30 pm

We love rpg's here. I play Shadowrun (or sometimes Plants and Mutants, or Marvel Superheroes) via Skype video or audio chat most Fridays, and that is my biggest social connection. At home we play DnD and my husband wrote his own Cowboy rpg. Marvel Superheroes is one aspect of my Eldest's special interest. He has numerous character sheets and has made all the kids in the neighborhood roll up character sheets and they even take dice out in the yard sometimes to govern their game. I'd love to have a safe place for the two oldest to be involved in a non-family in person game. Most games I have been involved in have too many sexual overtones and bad language for a young teenager (Shadowrun in particular is good for that kind of thing).