A Good Saturday

Today was a good day. Lots of lazing about with Lime, some good reading, and tonight I met up with an old friend named Sang Joon. We talked about a zillion different things. He didn’t seem to mind that I’ve become a crappy drinking buddy in my old age, switching to hot cocoa after three beer. I came home to find most of the file I’ve been trying for ages to download has come through, and the rest should be there once I awaken… yes, I shall have my very own PDFs of HOL, the satirical look at RPG gaming (which I plan to use to aid me in simplifying my design for an RPG game for ESL students.)

So I think I’ll lie down and read a little more of this fascinating Russell Hoban novel Mr Rinyo-Clacton’s Offer (which I have in an individual edition I picked up at the Delhi Book Fair, though Amazon seems to think it’s only available in this Omnibus) and then get a good night’s sleep.

Oh, and one other thing. For the first time in memory, I could see many, many stars out tonight, when I got home. Jeonju was that clear-skied tonight.

11 thoughts on “A Good Saturday

  1. Gord, I”m very interested in using an RPG with ESL students. If you would like to discuss this with someone, I’m very keen on it. If you would like extra help with design, play-testing, photoshop, or anything let me know.

  2. I’ll let you know if I get anywhere with designing something for such use. Reading this HOL (Human Occupied Landfill) game and its supplement, I noted that system design can be ridiculously easy if one wants it.

    It’s a great game parody, by the way. But I kind of have the feeling like, if I were to use such things with Korean gamers, I’d have to get the setting and genre right. I would rather not go the GURPS route, as it makes things harder for an inexperienced “teacher/Gamemaster”, but which genre? Which kind of setting? I *abhor* swords and sorcery, and think it’s not the best setting choice anyway for useful vocab and stuff. Some modern setting, but with what?

    Anyway, I’ll think more. Feel free to email me if you have ideas or thoughts.

  3. Gord,
    genre is very important. While I enjoy swords & sorcery, I agree with you that it wouldn’t be appropriate. I was thinking something more along the lines of a real life SIM. 유학생 making choices of where to live, study, after school activities etc..

    or perhaps something along the lines of 007 – adventure in the real world. A dating SIM? or others….

  4. Uh, except I’m not sure I want to go to the point where it’s something so potentially limited as a dating sim—how many people can play that at once?

    A spy game might be appropriate it. I think it could be fun to work in some magic, as well, and some kind of context where multiple players could do stuff.

    The multiplayers thing suggests some combat, some negotiation, and some other actions. I don’t know… have you seen a movie like Arahan? Kind of a HwaSanGo kind of thing, comedic riffing off ideas like ascended masters and chi and things like that.

    And part of me wants to make it somewhat more morphable. I get the sense some groups of students would get more out of something really solid and real-world, where some groups of students could do more with, I don’t know, some kind of crazy scenario with heavily armed elementary schoolgirls taking over their school and fighting off the razy monsters in the basement with the aid of their hapless and somewhat dopey teachers.

    Hmmm. More thought. Maybe something with the basic idea of a student as the general character class for all players would be a good start. Hmmm. I don’t know.

  5. Room for one more commenter on the RPG-English teaching idea?

    I used to tutor a middle school student and I experimented with some RPG with him. The kid loved it, and it actually got him speaking. I also worked in a lot of reading, writing and listening.

    We did a D&D type game, but with very simplified rules and heavy focus on role-playing. I threw out archaic terminology as much as I could and gave his character specific missions that required him to use target grammar and vocabulary.

    If either of you are up for it, I’d love to meet and pool our resources and ideas.

  6. Wow, that’s a great thing! I’m going to put in a little work. I was thinking about games I’ve run in the past in classroom settings, and one of the most successful was a game that involved diplomacy between various alien races.

    Students were grouped into different races, and had to make attack plans for invading the earth. They also had to meet in council with members of the other alien species, and do things like coordinate their efforts, divide up the planet in terms of attack responsibilities, compare and share weaponry, trade stuff, and so on. It didn’t run very long, just a couple of one-hour class sessions in all, but it did bring a lot together.

    I’m starting to think about this more seriously in terms of maybe a book that could be done up… maybe something for PDF release online, or even something to actually be published. Hmmm, we’ll see.

  7. publishing and getting paid is cool, but even a public free release is cool. Actually this break I’ll be doing two things – studying Korean & designing two board games in photoshop for my classes and getting them printed as well as designing 2-3 full-size posters and printing them as well.

    Scott & Gord let’s definately hook up – scott you can always send me an email via my blog. Just FYI I live near 이대역.

  8. Well, the thing is, I don’t know how likely it’ll be that I’ll get paid even if I manage to publish such a thing. It would, after all, be ever-and-always a supplement to courses. However, I suppose it might depend on the degree to which diversified courses increase in the future. Certainly a kind of RPG course might work. But then, any number of materials, if well-done, could be integrated into a book format at some later point.

    Anyway, some kind of meeting could be cool, I just don’t know when it’ll happen. I assume you guys are in Seoul? I’m in Jeonju, meaning this will be a little in the future. But a meet-and-chat at some point would be cool anyway. Ha, maybe once I live in Seoul we could even get a game going, if I’m not too busy. My girlfriend will be pretty busy at that time, and I should have some free time, unless I land myself in a band again sometime a year or two from now.

  9. Yes, I work in Seoul (not far from 이대역, by the way).

    Whatever the genre, I’d mostly be interested in working out scenarios that encourage language use. My student played a “Royal Investigator” type character which worked well to get him interacting with all the townsfolk gathering information. Something like that could work for almost any genre, I would think.

    I’m busy up until mid-December. I’d be happy to meet and share notes at that time if either of you can swing it.

  10. This sounds great, I’m busy up until this Friday when I finish my final essays – then all I have to do is teach and study Korean.

    Anyhow let’s plan for mid december then.

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