Worldbuilding and Role-Playing in the Classroom

This Edchat Interactive discussion will focus on the practice of worldbuilding and role-playing as a way for educators to blend critical thinking with creative production in their classrooms. Students are highly motivated to build their own sprawling fictional worlds like the ones they see in Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and their favorite videogame franchises, and instructors can use this enthusiasm to have students compare thoughts and opinions about how worlds "work." This collaborative, cooperative exercise reveals how social forces affect people differently for a variety of reasons, and it asks students to put themselves in the shoes of many different kinds of characters in their fictional world.

Some questions for discussion:

  1. In what ways do you see students bringing their interest in worldbuilding to your classrooms?
  2. What are some challenges, obstacles, or opportunities you see for worldbuilding exercises in your classrooms?
  3. What factors would prevent you from trying a collaborative or role-playing project in your classroom?

Trent Hergenrader is an Associate Professor of English-Creative Writing at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches fiction courses that use games and playful approaches to writing as well as teaching courses in literature and media studies. His short fiction has appeared in Best Horror of the Year, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, and other top science fiction, fantasy, and horror publications. He is co-editor of two scholarly collections, Creative Writing in the Digital Age and Creative Writing Innovations, the author of Collaborative Worldbuilding for Writers and Gamers, and the designer of the Collaborative Worldbuilding Card Deck.

Trent is a featured speaker at the SeriousPlay conference, for those who create, teach, or train using serious games or sims.

Date: Thursday, May 16

Time: 8:00PM Eastern/7:00PM Central time

At the time of the event, please go to