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Roleplay simulation is a learning method that depends on roleplaying. Learners take on the role profiles of specific characters or organisations in a contrived setting. Roleplay is designed primarily to build first person experience in a safe and supportive environment. Roleplay is widely acknowledged as a powerful teaching technique in face to face teaching and role play online is also powerful, with some added benefits.
When we are young, we learn by mimicking, playing, and experimentation. As our language skills develop and formal schooling kicks in, these strategies are replaced by language-based learning, which can dampen our curiosity and motivation to learn. Roleplay simulation aims to revive the ease and joy of experiential learning.
Roleplay simulation models human interactions (allowing the players to roleplay) in a constructed environment by
- creating an artificial social structure (or simulating some known social structure)
- enforcing the social structure;
- providing pausible scenario for players to respond, react and enrole.
Online Roleplay Simulation
Online roleplay simulation is modeled on the assumption that human interactions are communicative events. It is especially suitable for adults and for subjects like politics, law, commerce, management and so on. In RPS, learners interact using persona, chase "game goals," try out various strategies and build the experience collectively.
Online role play seems to add to face to face role play in two ways: anonymity and asynchronicity. The asynchronous nature of online role play provides time for players to consider and research alternatives and use “out of role” discussions before making a “move”.
- 1960's William A. Gamson at the University of Michigan developed SIMSOC (Gamson, William A. SIMSOC: A manual for participants. Campus Publishers, 1966.) - Face to face simulation
- 1980's Andrew Vincent & John Shephard: Middle East Politics - using Email A video with author Andrew Vincent, plus footage from the Middle East role play simulations and student interviews.
- 1990's ICONS Project and independently Roni Linser & Albert Ip - Integration of web with role play simulation.
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