I have a novel idea inspired by the Dice Game. It’s to have a role-playing system, with the Dice Game role-playing game (RPG) at the core, which players enjoy through ownership. I present this game for free because the Dice Game is such and I would like parents and teachers world-wide have access to what I think is an exciting system: das Lernspiel. The name, which is German for the “learning game”, has the implied intention of educating the players!
The Dice Game is a very basic RPG created by David Murcutt and originally called “the School Trip”. In the game, players take turns doing actions like any RPG. If this is sufficiently complex as deemed by the “teacher”, the player rolls a single six-sided die and have to beat or match the value the teacher says they must beat. This does mean every player will need access to something to roll a six-sided die (hint: possibly their own). Players will be immersed in the world and might learn new concepts or have existing ones reinforced.
I find it great!
Where my proposed system differs is that it will be a requirement for play in the game to be involved in the creation of an encyclopedia. This can be as complex or as simple as the players want them to be, but the goal is to have a team effort. The teacher should be involved to guide them through the process, make sure it does contain some educational value, and resolve any conflicts, as they will most certainly arise.
As far as setting goes, it is up to the teacher to decide how it is determined: the teacher does it or the players do.
For example, a teacher might recognize the potential for conflict or a deviation from the course material and might want to come up with their own setting.
Some people prefer that kids learn through play. I’m one of them, and I learned so much from Trivial Pursuit as a young lad. As such, the teacher will also prepare a separate encyclopedia that mostly consists of educational topics and settings with which the players will engage. They don’t need to be heady and should be appropriate for your players.
Teachers and Play
Several times now, “teacher” has been referenced. A teacher is the storyteller of the play. They are the “arbiter of worlds” so to speak. All storytelling is conducted by the teacher, as are conflicts and their inevitable resolution.
Something a teacher needs to be aware of is their audience. You only want stories and conflicts appropriate to them. For example, if a teenager sticks their tongue on the 480 VAC line, you’ll probably want them to learn consequences by their character dying. If a primar school kid does it, you might make them get shocked in a fashion similar to what is demonstrated in cartoons.
Where Do I Go From Here?
This is really a proposal that I am going to try out posthaste. The impetus behind this game is my kids, who at the time of this writing, are at home for Winter Break, watching way too much T.V., and getting bored. I am going to create an encylopedia of my own and publish the ones the kids come up with and update IF the rules have breaking changes.
When this entry is updated, it will be included in a proper “Update” section based on my own learnings with the kids.