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Saturday, November 9 • 9:30am - 10:45am

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This session explores the value of tabletop role-playing games for philosophical pedagogy. Specifically, it demonstrates the use of player characters and monster encounters, to facilitate teaching and learning ethical thinking. We will begin by outlining some key features of game-based learning and distinguishing it from similar pedagogical approaches. Next, we will consider how tabletop role-playing games can be designed to facilitate teaching and learning ethical thinking, focusing on the concept of bleed. Bleed is the experience of a player being influenced by the thoughts and feelings of her character, and vice versa (Markus Montola, “The Positive Negative Experience in Extreme Role-Playing,” 2). Keeping in line with this year’s theme, “Play to Perform,” we will consider how bleed can help students learn to better perform philosophical inquiry. Then, we will circulate some pre-generated player characters and work our way through a monster encounter. The player characters represent three different ethical theories: the Paladin and Kantian Ethics, the Thief and Utilitarianism, and the Wizard and Virtue Ethics. The monster encounter is based on an ethical thought experiment and involves a player character being magically tethered to a famous bard. The player character can save the life of the famous bard—but only if she stays magically tethered to him for the next nine months. Is she morally required to do so, or is she morally permitted to dispel the enchantment (Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion,” 48-49)? We will conclude with a short debriefing that will include time for reflection and questions. Assuming an interest in teaching and learning, this session should appeal to designers and instructors alike, regardless of a familiarity with either philosophy or tabletop role-playing games.

avatar for Ryan Gabriel Windeknecht

Ryan Gabriel Windeknecht

Ryan is a Senior Lecturer of Philosophy, a Teaching and Learning Innovation Faculty Fellow, and a founding member of the Simulations + Gaming + Role-Playing Community of Scholars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.Using Game-Based Learning, Ryan designs tabletop role-playing... Read More →

Saturday November 9, 2019 9:30am - 10:45am CST
Fountain/Park Room

Attendees (5)