RPG (Role-Playing Game) Research - Amazing October 2020 Status Update
Just a fraction of all the amazing things happening at RPG Research this month thanks to our terrific volunteers!
It is October 30th, 2020 as I write this update. Here is a quick status update, just a few highlights. Really, it is not even close to all-inclusive of all the amazing things that have happened at RPG Research in October and are coming up in November! Watch for further updates to fill in those blanks.
Here are just a few great highlights!
We received the generous $4,000 donation from WorldCon 78 via the wonderful Ben Dobyns of The Fantasy Network (TFN) & Zombie Orpheus Entertainment (ZOE)! This really helps us keep things rolling and growing. In spite of the COVID issues, it looks like 2020 is going to be by far our best year ever as far as donations. We're looking at around a 300%+ increase compared to our previous years! We normally only average around $3,000 per year in donations, but this year we may break $10,000 due in large part to the generosity of TFN!
It is absolutely stunning how much we accomplish with so little money. We impact the lives of hundreds of people each month, and thousands each year, and it is all due to our amazing global network of more than 130 volunteers (we only had a dozen 2 years ago!) making the most of what we have and putting in the effort and hours to achieve what others often claimed to be impossible! We are likely to hit 150+ by the end of 2020.
We're growing our volunteer numbers around 300%-500% per year!
You are absolutely amazing people!
URGENTLY NEED ADMINISTRATIVE VOLUNTEERS!
95% of our volunteers are terrific doers. GM trainees, advocates, researchers, archivists, transcriptionists, etc. And we couldn't do the amazing things helping so many people if it weren't for these terrific people.
We still DESPERATELY NEED administrative volunteers. Especially a number of people for the volunteer coordinator team, community outreach/marketing/fundraising team, and other key administrative volunteers to help us manage this phenomenal growth.
Hawke, John, Danielle, Brooke, & Kate are doing all we can to juggle all the administrative stuff, but we really need some folks to focus on these specific areas.
If you are not yet an RPG Research volunteer and would like to help us on the administrative side, please go to our Jobs section of site and sign up today:
BROADCASTS SCHEDULE UPDATES
We are broadcasting and running non-broadcast events many times per week regularly now. Anywhere from 6 to 12+ events per week!
If you are a volunteer you can view our internal calendar and events pages.
For everyone else, watch our Events Page for the latest upcoming events you can join.
And for our regular events, we have an updated page here:
VR & ACCESSIBILITY PROGRAMS
I had a terrific meeting with the owner of this VR for people with disabilities.
The company reached out to me. We had a terrific meeting Wednesday morning. He is in Poland. Check out the video example (skip through the different examples to see the different activities, games, etc.). Pending discussing in our upcoming Monday weekly Administrative meeting, I'm planning to add his driver to our VR equipment to see how it works to meet our various goals with our community, research, and game development projects. Looks very appropriate to our goals, and interesting!
BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE & ELECTRONIC ROLE-PLAYING GAME DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
In august 2020 we finished Phase 1 of Project Ilmatar (NWN prototyping), though we're now still implementing incremental improvements to the dedicated adventure module based on Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Now we're in Phase 2 scoping and technical specifications planning, getting ready to write the designs and code for Phase 2.
The development team has been amazing, and we keep chugging along each week thanks to the great leadership by their team lead, Valerie!
Our Brain-Computer Interface project is another step along in progress for R&D equipment too! It took a while but the TFN donation finally processed, so today I was finally able to order the OpenBCI R&D bundle: https://shop.openbci.com/products/all-in-one-biosensing-r-d-bundle?variant=13043151994952
It will take us many months just learning to set things up and use it with the default software. The goal long-term is to make sure that our ERPG Development Project Ilmatar works smoothly with this equipment. We are in phase 2 of the project, with updates linked from here:
I will let folks know when the equipment arrives, and we'll do various unboxing, setup, and use streams after it arrives.
Thanks to Lucy R. Zheng and Stéphane Daniau, I am co-author on a paper submitted to a top Q1 tier journal, Educational Psychology Review, titled "Play for Growth: A Systematic Literature Review of Games and Socioemotional Skills". Learn more about this here:
Also one of our researchers from Hungary has an article published in an upcoming Nordic Larp publication, we'll have more information about that out to you all soon!
TRAINING MANUALS & PUBLICATIONS
The RPG Trainee Level 1 Workbook is getting very close to publication! The Instructors manual will be much later, but an in-house usable version is now complete!
I have finished overhauling and writing out all 16 weeks of the instructor draft as of yesterday. They are all now in the Odoo Documents Operations Training section of the internal server.
Last night I started working on integrating that into the formatting of the trainee workbook. I completed chapters 1 through 3 roughly in place, and I am trying to get time to do the rest, but looking like with everything piling on, not sure I'll get it ready for peer review tonight. But I'll do what I can.
I can't work on it tomorrow because I need to spend tomorrow preparing for our annual Halloween Special Call of Cthulhu fun session!
WEBSITE AND OTHER ONLINE UPDATES
I have performed hundreds of content and feature updates to the rpgresearch.com website over the past 4 weeks. Far too many to enumerate.
Thanks ever so much to Niklas our hard-working systems administration volunteer for all the terrific help he has provided!
I still need volunteers to step and offer to help complete the pages that are listed as "Waiting for volunteer to finish". If interested, please email or message me so I can get you setup to help. It is far too much for one person to manage. Email hawke at rpgresearch dot com if you see a page you would like to volunteer to help update/complete.
The Research Archives group has been incredibly busy! We are also once again growing that division with new team members onboarding recently.
Also last week I finally setup what will likely be our RPG Museum software (pending testing), called Collection Space, thanks to the great research and help from our archivists.
I did something wrong with the rushed setup last week, that I haven't had a chance to resolve yet, with everything else, but I'm hoping in early November to fix that and then the logins and features here will be working for testing: http://catalog.rpgmuseum.org:8180/cspace/core/login
RPG Museum will eventually be at www.rpgmuseum.org
SPARK CENTRAL AND OUR DROP IN & RPG COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
Spark Central is in rough transition right now, but while they are struggling, we have kept our Drop In and RPG programs (without the Spark name right now) going on the first & third Saturdays, and those groups are remaining active thanks to our wonderful volunteers stepping up. We hope some day we can get back to in-person sessions at Spark, but meanwhile we're keeping the flame alive for those who need it.
See our Events Page for session to sign up and join (or help run)
ONLINE LEARNING / QUIZ / TESTING PLATFORM
In November I'll be integrating all of that into the online quiz platform at RPG.EDUCATION ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORM ACCESS DONATED BY RPG.LLC so we can get everyone taking the online learning and quizzes again. That will likely take most of the month and into December to get ready. I am hoping to have the online final exam ready on that platform before the end of December this year (fingers crossed).
STUDIO OVERHAUL UPDATES
I have been heavily updating and overhauling the primary broadcast studio (and some incremental progress on all the other smaller studios). I have performed more than 100! tweaks, changes, and upgrades. The most notable is mounting most of the equipment to the ceiling!
This is all still a work in progress, and we still very desperately need some A/V broadcast volunteers to help in-person. But until then, I'll keep juggling it the best I can.
UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENT BROADCASTS
We have 3 more special events coming up before the year is over:
- Our Annual Halloween Call of Cthulhu Special (October 31st 9 pm to 1 am PST8PDT) (1 table and stream on Twitch)
- D&D Epic Fundraiser for SpoCon (November 21st 9 am to 2 pm PST8PDT) (6 "tables" and 6 different live streams)
- Our Annual New Year PARANOIA RPG Special (December 31st 9 pm to 1 am PST8PDT) (1 table and stream on Twitch)
I'll be the "Keeper" (GM) for the 7th edition Masks of Nyarlathotep 1925 introductory adventure. We're going all out with green screen, lighting, fog machine, some folks going cosplay (not required), sound effects, etc. (although still not tech crew, so it won't be as good as it could be with a broadcast volunteer to help, I'll juggle it all as best I can). :)
We'll all be having loads of fun though. If you are up, you can watch the stream Saturday October 31st 9 pm to 1:00 am PST8PDT on
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE RPG BUS & RPG TRAILERS
The RPG Bus has popped out the lower balljoint of the passenger side front suspension twice this month. First on the super steep hill of Ardmore, which took me hours to repair to get home. Then again in the circle by my house just about 100 feet from my driveway. It was very painful to fix, but I got it home. It is because of the terrible work done by Ulrick's Automotive in Spokane (they stripped out the balljoint threads by cross-threading it when they installed the new one). I have to fix almost everything they did on the bus unfortunately. Thankfully I used to be an ASE certified mechanic and instructor, so I'm managing.
The RPG Bus It is now in my driveway. This week coming up I need to fully disassemble the lower control arm and take it to a shop to get the old stripped out balljoint pressed out, and a new on pressed in. Then I can reassemble the lower control arm and it shouldn't be a problem any more.
We had a close scare this week with the trailers. Thanks to the kind donation of ClickIt RV, and the incredible customer service of Ryan Gese, they have let us store the 2 RPG Trailers in their fenced lot for free. Unfortunately this week somebody knocked down the security fence and broke into several $100K+ RVs in the lot, very close to Hawke's RPG Trailers. Fortunately they didn't get hit. Ryan was kind enough to send a warning, and we were able to get the trailers back to the house (for now), while they repair the fence and the faulty security camera/alarm system that didn't work as advertised.
Hopefully by next week (the neighbors are very upset when they see the bus and trailers all at the house), I can get one of the trailer back to Clickit's lot, and have the bus operations again. I need the other trailer and bus because I have new clients over at RPG Therapeutics that I'll be using the mobile facilities to provide therapeutic services in their region.
THANKS TO YOU ALL!
Many thanks to everyone, especially John, Danielle, Dan Ivey (we have a LOT of Dans), Samuel, David, and all of you who have helped so much to try to free me up from the day-to-day stuff, so I can focus on all these important pieces to keep moving us forward and upwards! Thanks so much to my patient and understanding wife Katy!
I'd like to schedule in November or December a company-wide online get-together, for fun and socializing, and just annual update, so watch for that in coming weeks.
There's loads more going on, but we'll have to cover that another time.
Thank you to all of you wonderful volunteers for helping us accomplish so much with so few resources!
Thanks to you we are really having a growing global impact improving lives!
Happy Healthy Gaming!
President & Founder, RPG Research
"International non-profit accessible & inclusive music & role-playing
game research & community programs." Washington State Department of
Health Registered Recreation Therapist.
Toll-free Phone: (833) RPG-INFO (774-4636) x710
Text/Direct Mobile: (509) 608-7630
Alternate Mobile: (509) 481-5437
1312 N. Monroe Suite #114
Spokane, WA, 99218
Social network and other contact information:
RPG Research is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable multi-disciplinary
research organization studying the effects of all role-playing game
formats. Providing an open international online research repository
as well as research-supported community programs enabling participants
to achieve their educational, recreational & therapeutic goals.
A Washington State Department of Health Registered Recreational Therapist with a background in Therapeutic Recreation, computer science, neuroscience, cognitive neuropsychology, research psychology, nursing, play therapy, education, and role-playing gaming.
Hawke Robinson has been involved with role-playing games in community settings since 1977. Studying methods for optimizing the experience of role-playing games since 1979. A paid professional game master since 1982. Studying the effects of role-playing games upon participants since 1983. Providing role-playing games in educational settings and for educational goals since 1985. Working with incarcerated populations since 1989. Researching and using role-playing games to achieve therapeutic goals for a wide range of populations from 2 years old through senior adults since 2004.
Founder and CEO of the non-profit 501(c)3 charitable research and human services organization, RPG Research.
Founder and President of the for-profit <https://rpgtherapy.com">RPG Therapeutics LLC and RPG.LLC.
Author of the RPG Professional Workbook available on Amazon.
Creator of the wheelchair accessible RPG Mobile fleet.
Founder of the RPG Museum.