And So It Begins
Hawke Robinson's research on the effects of role-playing games began with tabletop RPGs around 1985 in Salt Lake City, Utah, at Realms of Inquiry "A school for Gifted & Talented Children" with an 8 page essay in response to the negative claims in the media and community about Dungeons & Dragons and related RPGs.
Shortly thereafter, Hawke was teaching RPGs for over a month, 5 days a week in lieu of the last period Drama course or Study Hall period. Making use of the biology lab tables & chairs to present a wide range of genres, systems, and approaches, to educate non-gamers about RPGs, and the many benefits possible.
Intermittent research and gaming efforts continued intermittently in Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oregon, California, and Washington, respectively.
In early 2004, after moving to Spokane, WA, his research began to formalize, while a student at Eastern Washington University (EWU), with a Recreation Therapy approach to using RPGs, including all RPG formats, including tabletop, live-action (LARP), solo books, and computer-based, as intervention modalities to achieve therapeutic and educational goals for groups and individuals.
By the end of 2004, Hawke had started designing program plans from a Therapeutic Recreation (TR) perspective using RPGs to help participants achieve therapeutic goals.
In 2006 Hawke transitioned the RPG Research Project website from a more personal research site to a community portal in the hopes of encouraging more sharing of all research from everyone around the world, to bring everyone out of their own private silos, to help reduce the number of people repeatedly reinventing the wheel, and encourage collaboration in their efforts to use role-playing games to help various populations to achieve various educational and therapeutic goals.