Historical role-playing games: a teaching method in 20th century schools?

At the dawn of the 21st century, classrooms are buzzing with a new educational dynamic. Imagine, if you can, students immersed in distant universes, not by the magic of books, but by that of historical role-playing games. These fun adventures, far from being simple entertainment, become powerful educational methods. They are reinventing history teaching, transforming passive memorization into captivating immersive experiences. Come and discover how, through the prism of play, knowledge is experienced, explored and shared, offering a door to the past that is never completely closed.

The rise of historical role-playing games in 20th-century education

At the turn of the 20th century, education in France and Quebec, as in many other Western countries, underwent a notable metamorphosis with the gradual adoption of dynamic and interactive teaching methods, including the use of historical role-playing games.
Educational context at the beginning of the century
Taking up the adage that history is best understood by living it, teachers of the 20th century have strived to abandon the old methods of education based on rote and recitation to embrace more engaged pedagogies. From the Third Republic, the French school focuses on the inculcation of civic values, where gymnastics in particular takes on symbolic virtues of rigor and preparation for the service of the nation. This approach reveals a desire to train not only the mind but also the body into a harmonious whole.
Historical role-playing games: an emerging educational tool
Mentalities are evolving and, with them, the means of teaching. History, which was once content with dates and facts, becomes a fertile playground where the immersion and interaction take a central place. Role-playing games, where each participant plays a character or actor from a historical period, make it possible to materialize past events, conflicts and decisions in a lively and captivating way.
Learning through experimentation
The growing popularity of role-playing games in education over the last century can be seen as a response to the flaws of more traditional methods. Physical exercise, once a vector of discipline, is giving way to a new type of intellectual dynamism. Students find there an opportunity to learn history by practicing it, through scenarios that can address the French Revolution as well as the medieval era or the great discoveries.
Modernization of education in Quebec and role-playing games
At the same time, the Quebec situation echoes the changes observed in Europe. In Quebec, education evolved significantly with the reforms of the middle of the century, as illustrated by the period of 100 years of education which sees the school move from a rigid institution to a more open and diverse place of learning. Role-playing games become a valuable teaching tool, capable of providing a nuanced and interactive understanding of history.
Acquisition of skills and knowledge
Beyond the fun aspect, historical role-playing games facilitate the development of critical and analytical skills. Students learn to argue, debate and position themselves in complex contexts, thus promoting the emergence of autonomous and informed thinking.
Conclusion: The continuing importance of role-playing games in contemporary education
Ultimately, the rise of these educational tools in the 20th century suggests the enduring importance of role-playing games in educational settings. They embody a living and dynamic teaching method that endures and renews itself, always serving the learning and personal development of each student.

Educational exploration through the ages

THE historical role-playing games represent a rich and dynamic range for learning and teaching. They offer an immersion in varied eras, allowing an in-depth understanding of the social, economic and political issues that have shaped the history of humanity. Their educational potential is also reinforced by the emergence of inclusive themes such as hard to queer role play, where diversity and acceptance of differences are part of fun learning.
Inclusion and representation in historical role-playing games
The arrival of queer characters and storylines in historical role-playing games marks a key development in the genre. Players can now explore stories where LGBT+ perspectives are present, enriching the experience by offering a more inclusive look at the past. Communities like the one highlighted by Gus & Co offer stories that embrace all identities and orientations, creating a learning environment that is more respectful of human diversity.
Interactive learning across the ages
Beyond the inclusive aspect, the interactive dimension of role-playing games invites participants to live the story actively. Educators like Jeanne, find a considerable asset in these tools to engage their students. The varied scenarios, ranging from ancient civilizations to more recent periods, encourage dynamic participation and provoke critical reflection on past events, historical figures and social movements.
The cognitive and social benefits of educational role-playing games
The use of role-playing games in an educational environment goes beyond the simple transmission of information. It stimulates cognitive development, by stimulating memory, concentration and analytical skills. Furthermore, it promotes social learning through negotiation, collaboration and empathy. The complexity of the rules and strategies innate to educational board games such as chess lead players to sharpen their critical thinking and decision-making.
Optimizing role-playing games for teaching
To enrich the educational experience, historical role-playing games must be adapted to the educational objectives. Educators design tailor-made scenarios to specifically address historical themes, taking care to integrate essential social issues. The use of authentic material and supervision by specialists, such as an expert in ancient games, ensures the consistency and precision of the historical information shared.
The future of historical role-playing games in education
With technological advancement, the possibilities for immersion and interactivity for historical role-playing games have increased tenfold. Board games now double as digital applications allowing detailed simulations and the expansion of scenarios. This convergence between the tangible and the digital opens up promising educational horizons, where history is not only learned, but lived.
To conclude, the Historical role-playing games represent a powerful teaching method, constantly evolving. Incorporating values ​​of inclusion, such as those presented in queer scenarios, and providing an interactive and cognitively stimulating framework, they model vivid and profound history learning for participants. Through these games, the story is not only told, it is experienced, interrogated and embodied, allowing for a timelessly enriching journey through time and space.

Integrating role-playing games into school programs

Current educational programs are constantly seeking renewal in order to increase the effectiveness and dynamism of teaching methods. In this evolving context, historical role-playing games emerge as an innovative solution allowing not only to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals linked to education, but also to breathe new life into the learning process.
Educational contribution and educational inclusion
The adoption of historical role-playing games in schools is part of a dynamic educational approach. This active method engages students in a simulation of historical facts, thus promoting a better understanding of complex and remote contexts. Serious games, as they are often called, allow teachers to bring abstract knowledge to life and provide an immersive experience that can boost motivation and retention of information. Studies, such as those supported by the UNESCO General Conference, show the positive impact of such tools on inclusion and education.
Video games and learning
The use of video games in an educational context, for its part, is a rich and still little exploited avenue. Their potential in modeling historical periods offers students a concrete visualization, and according to some experts, can promote understanding and critical analysis of past events. Digital simulations, when well supervised, transform learning into a captivating and interactive quest.
E-sport: a vector of learning
Even e-sport, often seen from an entertainment perspective, is now recognized for its educational benefits. Through strategy, planning and team spirit, e-sport suggests skills that can be transferred to the study of history. It also contributes to democratize access to education by attracting a diverse audience and offering new forms of intellectual competition.
Integration of digital games
Integrating digital games into the classroom is a possible and increasingly necessary mission. They can be excellent vectors for addressing specific themes, such as howIslam is discussed in programs or to demystify bygone eras. They thus present an opportunity to overcome certain stereotypes and preconceptions conveyed by sometimes dated manuals.
Multiple benefits
Incorporating historical role-playing games into a school environment is not only of cognitive interest. It also provides an opportunity to develop social and emotional skills, encourage teamwork and build empathy by allowing students to put themselves in the shoes of different historical actors.
For teachers looking for an innovative way to integrate these practices, resources are available through platforms such as UNESCO or Canopé Network, which offer insight into the potential of serious games in the classroom.
Historical role-playing games therefore represent more than a simple complementary tool; they embody an educational revolution capable of considerably enriching school programs. Thus, educators interested in providing an enriching and inclusive learning experience can draw inspiration from these innovative practices to prepare future generations for the complex world around them.

Leave a Reply