Various RPG Theory / Theories / Models

  1. Threefold Model
  2. GEN Theory
  3. The Big Model or Forge Theory
  4. Color Theory
  5. Channel Theory
  6. Wu-Ge Model (Wunderkammer-Gesamtkunstwerk (Wu-Ge) Model)
  7. The Turku School
  8. The Meilahti School
  9. The Optimized RPG Experience Model aka Hawkes-Robinson RPG Theory Model and RPG Formats

Below are excerpts from the Hawkes-Robinson Role-Playing Game Theory Model

The Four Major RPG Formats and Sub-formats

According to the Hawkes-Robinson RPG Model, the boundaries between what is and is not a role-playing game can sometimes be “fuzzy”. Starting with the “quintessential RPG”, Dungeons & Dragons, and then spreading out from there in many directions. There is never universal agreement in some areas, and there can be many overlaps between various other games as well as between RPG formats. In this model, there are 4 major formats (with their initialisms):

  1. Tabletop (TRPG)

  2. Electronic (ERPG)

  3. Live-action (LRPG)

  4. Hybrid (HRPG)

There are many sub-formats, as well as examples of “not RPG” to illustrate different spectra. This has been illustrated with the Hawkes-Robinson RPG Formats “Amoeba” Euler diagram. The latest versions of this model and diagrams can be found at

Below is an example of this diagram from 2020.

Optimizing Role-Playing Game Experiences Controlling Variables Impacting Immersion, Flow State, and Bleed

Very rough draft - still a work in progress (like so many others).

NOTE: The Bleed and Flow diagrams assume only that there is an interaction between them and other variables that impact them. For those people wishing to optimize flow experiences, or control bleed experiences, these are some of the considerations to take into account. This is not meant to suggest that Flow State is the only, or necessarily best, state for optimizing the benefits of role-playing games to achieve specific goals. Rather it is one of many possible to take into consideration when creating a program to use role-playing games to achieve measurable goals. There are many other approaches possible. This is just one area in slowly chiseling away at the extensive multivariate considerations of using applied role-playing gaming. Your assessments of your clients and their needs, should be cross-indexed with which areas should be focused on to achieve the desired results. So, assuming you are in a program that desires to increase opportunities for immersion and flow state, and use bleed to benefit the generalization process, that is where the Flow and Bleed Theory combined diagrams can be taken into considerations.

Bleed aspects inspired by Professor Sarah Lynn Bowman, Ph.D. Nordic Larp article:


More narrative information at:


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