Online coursework

The upcoming term runs during April 2024

Mondays, 20:00People and Play, starting January 8
is the introductory course. It presents
the immediate experience of play:
what it’s like to do it, what interactions
and concepts are involved, some of
the shapes and profiles the activity has
taken over its history, and its qualities
as a unique medium of expression.
People and Play is offered every term. It is the prerequisite for every other course.
Playing with The Pool
uses James V. West’s The Pool
as a means to go very deep
into how speaking and procedures
in role-playing actually work. It
draws upon the game’s feature
to expose things which you personally
are bad at and manage to elide in
playing other games.

Other courses in rotation

Action in Your Action
examines the ordering and resolution
of fictional activity in detail, with rules,
rules, and more rules. It reveals the
value of complexity across historical
design and clarifies the difference
between merely busy procedures and
desirable, exciting ones.
Thursdays, 20:00Free Radical, starting January 11
is a skills course about improving one’s
role-playing and the experience of
play. It includes the language of
individual, group, and social learning,
specific to role-playing, not the
corporate and classroom models.
Numeracy
examines what math is used to say
in role-playing. Topics include set
theory, chaos theory, game theory,
and multivariate analysis … which are
much easier, more insightful, and more
fun than they sound. In fact, you’re doing
them already – this course merely
shows you how.
Phenomena
addresses procedures and
experiences of role-playing
which are not so easily accessed
or noticed when you do them: the
effects and responses that underlie
the rules and inspiration.
The Ronnies
shows how to directly experience
inspiration and enjoyable play while
developing new rules, without blocks
and suffering, structured playtesting,
production benchmarks, or
publishing strategies.
Situation and Story
examines the situations of play: what is
in them, how they are constructed, and
how they change. This is a skills class for
story-functional, non-railroaded play,
based on the whole historical range of
role-playing.
Three Fantasies
presents the historical interaction
of fantasy and role-playing,
celebrating both but also examining
their mutually negative effects. It
aims to rediscover fantasy among
the participants in their experiences
of play and playful design.