In 2020, Game to Grow partnered with foundry10, a local education research organization, to study the impact of a 10-week Game to Grow program. One of our goals in forming this partnership with foundry10 was to empirically explore the positive anecdotal feedback we’d heard from families.
Emerging research indicates that TTRPGs may have an assortment of benefits for young people. Players have opportunities to practice social skills (e.g., conflict resolution and assertiveness), enhance creativity and imagination, and learn about the consequence of risk taking and impulsivity – both vicariously through their character in the game and through peer interactions around the table (Bowman & Lieberoth, 2018; Hughes, 1998). These findings indicate that acts of role-taking in TTRPGs may allow young people to develop new social skills in a small group context.
Researchers on the Games & Learning team at foundry10 conducted before and after surveys with families, inquiring about the students’ curiosity, empathy, confidence and other behaviors. Given COVID-19 limitations, Game to Grow game play sessions happened online instead of in-person. foundry10 researchers analyzed the videos and transcriptions of the program sessions to look at youth behaviors during game play and any changes in group behaviors throughout the program.
Research findings will be published and shared by the end of 2022. Subscribe to the foundry10 newsletter to be the first to read the published research when it’s available.
WATCH: Our Research Partnership with foundry10
foundry10 is an education research organization with a philanthropic focus on expanding ideas about learning and creating direct value for youth. In collaboration with diverse partners, we surface, evaluate, and share opportunities to better support youth learning both inside and outside the classroom. We do this through applied and experimental research, as well as collaborative philanthropy and educational programming rooted in evidence-based best practices.
Selected Research Articles on TTRPGs
The therapeutic applications of role-playing games and the effects of role-playing games are continually emerging areas of research and we’ve highlighted a few relevant articles from peer-reviewed journals here.