Our roots began in 1983 studying the effects of all RPG formats, with an 8 page paper on "The Myths & Realities of Role-Playing Games". Around 1985 providing educational programs using RPGs in schools. This overall body of experience and research has accumulated offline over the decades and finally went online in 2004, sharing the international body of interdisciplinary research with the public. RPG Research, as of September 26, 2017, is an IRS 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization, as a public charity: 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).
Some RPG Research volunteers are pure researchers, while other volunteers also provide accessible community programs, building upon and feeding back into, the body of research. These RPG-based programs have been successful in helping a wide range of people with diverse needs. Through our community programs we help participants achieve their educational and therapeutic goals.
We extend our geographic reach for research and helping, both online and with the Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer & RPG Bus mobile facilities. Our volunteers travel the country, including those in under-served and un-served rural locations, providing services to those that benefit the most. The RPG Trailer provides people with a comfortable, safe, wheelchair accessible gaming and music “living room on wheels", for the optimal experience.
2017 RPG Research at Spokane Convention Center with Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer with Cosplayers:
2005 RPG Research & MerpCon I
2017 Spokane Convention Center RPG Research GM John Welker with youth: No Thank You Evil RPG
2007 RPG Research with EWU & North East Youth Center (NYEC): Fantastic Fun for All: Extreme Medieval Sports: Hawke's Lance-A-Lot
2017 RPG Research & Muscular Dystrophy Association: Battle Royale Boffer LARP, Summer 2017
2009 RPG Research & Middle-earth Talk Show Youth Panel
2007 RPG Research and the Northeast Youth Center (NYEC) & EWU, Left: Lord Wiezel of Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), Hawke, Right: Professor Barbara Brock
2017: RPG Research & MDA: Shield Painting for Battle Royale LARP
2015 RPG Research Community Gaming session, includes Participants with Cerebral Palsy
2017 RPG Research at SpoCon Convention
2015: RPG Research Community Gaming with Cp
2010: RPG Research & MerpCon VI
2017 RPG Research Tolkien Moot XIII
2016 RPG Research Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer Tour #1. Seattle with Wheelhouse Workshop's Adam Johns & Adam Davis, Hawke, and The Two Bards Podcast Andy Dopieralski
2015 WorldCon: Sasquan Gaming by John Welker of Spokane Area Gaming Alliance & RPG Research
2015 RPG Research & The Spartan Show's Adventurer's Guild on Twitch
2014 Program for Autism Spectrum ASD / PDD Toddlers 2-5 years old at Eastern Washington University (EWU): Save the Royal Family Adapted LARP
2017 RPG Research insite Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer Prototype at FanNex.us
2017 RPG Research Observing, Assessing, & Advising Wheelhouse Workshop's RPG Social Skills Youth Program, Seattle. Hawke with Adam Davis & Adam Johns
2014 RPG Research Autism Program, 1940s Gumshoe, for Civic Resource Skills Development
2015 RPG Research one of many of our Gaming Rooms
2014: Extra-Life 24 hours Gaming Fundraiser for Children's Hospitals
2016 RPG Research & Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer Tour #1, Tacoma: Writer: Matt Vancil of The Gamers, Journey Quest, etc.
The RPG Research website is an open, international, multidisciplinary repository of research information on the effects of all Role-Playing Game (RPG) formats.
RPG Formats include:
RPG Research is a Washington State non-profit company.
We are an interdisciplinary international team of volunteers aggregating research in a public repository and providing community and adaptive programs, using RPGs to empower people to achieve their educational, recreational, and/or therapeutic goals for a measurably better quality of life.
The data from these community programs is fed back into the research repository, and shared with the public, furthering the body of knowledge.
Support The RPG Research Project
You can directly support more research and services, through our Patreon page.
Since 1983 RPG Research's founder, Hawke Robinson, has been researching the effects & uses of RPGs. He is a Washington State Department of Health Registered Recreational Therapist, with an interdisciplinary background in recreation therapy, music therapy, neuroscience, computer science, and research psychology. He has been involved with RPGs since the 1970s, using RPGs for client education goals since 1985, and for client therapeutic goals since 2004.
Chat With Us Online
Join the conversation on our public Discord Chat Server. We welcome your questions and suggestions!
Join our Volunteer Team
Check out our (constantly changing) list of volunteer needs/positions here.
Then click the Volunteer Sign Up Button, and complete the form. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible, typically in a day or three (remember we are all volunteers).
RPG Research Timeline
Some of the most notable events, (detailed version) here:
- 8 page paper on "The Myths & Realities of Role-Playing Games".
- Players paying for RPG sessions. $1 per player per session.
- High school course on RPGs, 5 days per week, at Realms of Inquiry A School for Gifted & Talented Children. (Realms of Inquiry).
- Organize, host, and run RPGA conventions.
- Run RPGs for gold miners in wilderness.
- RPGing in Silicon Valley / Bay Area, California.
- RPG Research repository comes online.
- ESSAY - Eastern Washington University - An Overview History and Potential Therapeutic Value of Role-Playing Gaming - http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/an-overview-of-the-history-and-potential-therapeutic-value-of-role-playing-gaming
- Beginning of "Gamer Floater Theory".
- For participants in paid RPG sessions. $20 per player per session.
- RPG/LARP for The Deaf & Hard of Hearing - http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/rpg-adapted-for-deaf-using-asl-flyer
- ESSAY - Eastern Washington University - Potential Benefits & Deficits of Role-Playing Gaming - http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/older-revisions/rpgr-a0002-potential-benefits-and-deficit-of-role.pdf/view
- MAGAZINE PUBLICATION - Other Minds - The Battle Over Role Playing Gaming - http://as01.mynetgear.com:7070/omzine/table-of-contents#section-1
- Begin development of what would become RPG Therapeutics LLC, RpgEducation.com, and RpgNetwork.net.
- ESSAY - The Defamation of Role-Playing Gaming and Gamers - http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/the-defamation-of-role-playing-gaming-and-gamers
- ESSAY - Role playing Games Used as Educational and Therapeutic Tool for Youth and Adults - http://www.academia.edu/3668971/Role-playing_Games_Used_as_Educational_and_Therapeutic_Tool_for_Youth_and_Adults alternative url: http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/pdf/rpgr-a00004-role-playing-games-used-as-educational.pdf/view
- For participants in paid RPG sessions. Regular, non-therapeutic: $40/session. Professional Training / Therapeutic: $45/hr.
- ESSAY - Eastern Washington University - Analysis of the Report "Alienation and the Game Dungeons & Dragons" - http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/analysis-of-the-report-201calienation-and-the-game-dungeons-and-dragons201d
- For participants in paid RPG sessions. Regular: $20/hr. Professional/Therapeutic: $60/hr.
- VIDEO - Presentation on the use of Role-playing games to aid in the recover of brain injury clients for Eastern Washington University course on Recreation Therapy for People with Disabilities -
- PROGRAMS: List of 3 Autism Spectrum Example Program Plans -
- RESEARCH - Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=WV1-YHMAAAAJ&hl=en
- RESEARCH - Academia.edu: https://ewu.academia.edu/HawkeRobinson
- RESEARCH - Researchgate.net: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/William_Hawkes-Robinson
- RESEARCH - Report Summary from RPG Research - Phase 1 - Experiences of Gender Bias in the Gaming Community & Industry, High Level Initial Report - http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/gender-bias/gender-bias-in-gaming-high-level-initial-report.pdf/view
- For participants in paid RPG sessions. Regular: $40/hr. Professional/Therapeutic: $90/hr.
- Incorporation of RPG Therapeutics LLC, a for-profit company providing professional & therapeutic billable services. Separating from the non-profit research & community services of RPG Research.
Seattle Children's Hospital, Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association (WSTRA) 16th Annual Conference, Presentation on - "The Therapeutic and Educational Uses of Role-Playing Games (RPG) as Intervention Modalities for Individuals and Groups from the Therapeutic Recreation Perspective" Certified by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) -
- VIDEO: 2015 Year-end summary of all that accomplished this past year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBPbCMKVf2I
- VIDEO - Andy, Scott, Brian, Two Bards, Gamers, JQ, Happy Holidays - Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I53H3_XwGgM
- ARTICLE/INTERVIEW: - HBO's VICE Documentary Article Includes Interview of Hawke Robinson of RPG Research - "Denmark - LARPing Is the Future of Education"
- ARTICLE: "Hawkes-Robinson's RPG Research Project": http://elthosrpg.blogspot.com/2015/09/hawkes-robinsons-rpg-research-project.html
- CHAT LOG - #RPGNET Q&A on RPG Research & RPG Trailer. https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/qa-hawke-robinson-the-rpg-research-project/ - http://rpgresearch.com/news/join-live-rpg-research-q-a-on-rpgnet
- ARTICLE/INTERVIEW: Michael Tresca 3 part interview of Hawke Robinson, founder of RPG Research & RPG Therapeutics LLC. -
- AUDIO - 73rd Annual World Science Fiction Convention Panel - Game Mastering 101 Panel, August 21, 2015.
- AUDIO - WorldCon 73 / Sasquan Panel - Game Designers Toolbox Panel, August 20, 2015.
- VIDEO - WorldCon / Sasquan Panel -
- ARTICLE: Autism & Role-Playing Games: http://www.bordeglobal.com/foruminv/index.php?showtopic=322640
- RPG Therapeutics billable rate: $120/hr. RPG Research free services or custom billing for special events to cover non-profit costs.
- INTERVIEW (Facebook broadcast): KREM2 / Northwest Cable News broadcast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KREM2/videos/10153881882091301/
- INTERVIEW (TV broadcast & article): Northwest Cable News: "Local man opens unique mobile therapy unit to help physically disabled": http://www.nwcn.com/news/local/spokane-county/local-man-opens-unique-mobile-therapy-unit-to-help-physically-disabled/333306503
- INTERVIEW (TV broadcast): KREM2 News "Local man opens up mobile therapy unit":
- ARTICLE/INTERVIEW: "Dungeons of the Mind: Tabletop RPGs as Social Therapy": https://killscreen.com/articles/dungeons-mind-tabletop-rpgs-social-therapy/
- ARTICLE: Article: "PNW RPG Research – RPG Therapy": https://gastrogamer.org/2016/01/27/pnw-rpg-research-rpg-therapy/
- ARTICLE/INTERVIEW: "Fun and Function: How RPGs Can Heal Your Mind and Body": https://unicornbooty.com/fun-and-function-how-rpgs-can-heal-your-mind-and-body/ - Jennifer Partin (interviewed 2015, published 2016).
- VIDEO: Short summary video of The RPG Research Project & The Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer. A bit stilted in presentation style, but useful fast summary: https://youtu.be/zBDw8haKAWk
- PRESENTATION: Texas State University (TSU) / Living Games Pre-conference presentation video (with voice-over) in absentia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WsTnYmRRFM
- PRESENTATION: Eastern Washington University, Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association (WSTRA) April 2nd, 2016 Presentation: http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/wstra-2016-rpg-research-presentation-20160329zzf3.pdf/view
- VIDEO (PRESENTATION): Eastern Washington University, Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association (WSTRA) April 2nd, 2016 (pending upload), Cheney, WA.
- PRESENTATION: Pacific Northwest American Therapeutic Recreation Association (PNWATRA) January 2016 Presentation: (pending upload), Portland, OR. - http://www.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/archives/pnwatra-2016-rpg-research-presentation-1.pdf/view
- AWARD: RPG Brain Trust: Trustee of the Year Award (2017)
- ORGANIZATION MILESTONE DUNGEONS & DRAGONS LICENSE - Wizards of the Coast provides license to W.A. Hawkes-Robinson and all his organizations to use RPGs for charity, fundraisers, professionally, and commercially, including for-profit services. The first organization in the world to receive this kind of license (as far as we know) - https://www.patreon.com/posts/12241076
- WORKSHOP - RPG Research Drum Circle Facilitation Workshop at Indie Air Radio Concert Hall - http://www2.rpgresearch.com/blog/drum-circle-facilitation-workshop-november-4th-2017-1-3-pm-spokane-wa
- CONVENTION - FanNex.us - http://www2.rpgresearch.com/blog/at-fan-nexus-2017
- ORGANIZATION MIILESTONE - The RPG Bus (purchased), September
- INTERVIEW - Men's Health Magazine - Pending publication.
- INTERVIEW - Kills Screen - Chris Berg - Tabletop RPGs as Social Therapy - https://killscreen.com/articles/dungeons-mind-tabletop-rpgs-social-therapy/
- ORGANIZATION MILESTONE - RPG Research, after 13+ years of operation, is finally incorporated as a Washington State non-profit company. We are not (yet) federally 501(c)3 (that will require considerable funds and time, but it is on our list of milestones to consider reaching for in 2018.
- MONTHLY COMMUNITY PROGRAM - Spark Central - http://www2.rpgresearch.com/about/at-spark-central
- CONVENTION PANEL - Role-playing Gaming as Therapy - http://www2.rpgresearch.com/blog/spocon-role-play-as-therapy
- CONVENTION PANEL - SpoCon - SpoCon - Cultivating Long-term Role-Playing Gaming Groups - http://www2.rpgresearch.com/blog/spocon-long-term-group
- CONVENTION PANEL - SpoCon - Psychology of Gamers & Hackers - http://www2.rpgresearch.com/blog/spocon-2017-psychology-of-gamers-and-hackers
- PROGRAM PLAN - Muscular Dystrophy Association - LARP & TRPG "Battle Royale" July 18, LARP & TRPG "Epic Quest".- http://www2.rpgresearch.com/blog/setting-up-for-larp-rpg-drumming-at-mda-camp
- PROGRAM TRAINING - Navos Mental Health - RPG Training for care professionals, training schedule pending Summer - (details coming soon).
- ORGANIZATION MILESTONE - Acquisition of 22' wheelchair ramp (donated by US Veteran through Muscular Dystrophy Association referral) - http://www2.rpgresearch.com/blog/rpg-trailer-ramp-extension
- TOUR - RPG Trailer Tour #3 - Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association annual conference, Bellingham, Washington, Western Washington University - http://www.rpgresearch.com/blog/tour-3
- TOUR - RPG Trailer Tour #2 - Pacific Northwest Therapeutic Recreation Association annual conference, Portland, Oregon - http://www.rpgtrailer.com/about/rpg-trailer-tours/rpg-trailer-tour-2-redux
- INTERVIEW (AUDIO) - Ego Check with The Id DM (Michael Mallen) – Episode 7 – Hawke Robinson - https://theiddm.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/ego-check-with-the-id-dm-episode-7-hawke-robinson/
- Launch of RpgEducation.com "RPG Education Platform" by RPG Therapeutics LLC
- RpgNetwork.net "RPG gig economy platform" planned launch later in year.
- INTERVIEW - Wizards of the Coast Dragon Talk - January 22nd. http://www2.rpgresearch.com/blog/wizards-dragon-talk-jan-22-2018
- CONVENTION - ZoeCon III - February 16-18 - https://zoecon.net/
- BOARD MEETING - RPG Research Board - March
- CONFERENCE - WSTRA Conference - April
- BOARD MEETING - RPG Research Board - June
- EVENT - MDA Summer Camp - July - Rathdrum, Idaho
- EVENT - Tolkien Moot XIV - July - Spokane, WA.
- EVENT - SpoCon - August - Spokane, WA.