Using Role-Playing Gamification to Create Safe Spaces for LGBT Students in the Composition Classroom
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This thesis examines how applying gamification (the practice of using games and game-based mechanics) in the composition classroom can help foster a safe environment for expression for members of the LGBT community. Role-playing games (RPGs) – both video games and classic tabletop games – allow players to create distinct, unique characters in a game-world that is entirely separate from their real-world identities. While acting as these characters, queer players can experiment with and express facets of their gender and sexual identities in a safe and non-judgmental space, something that they may not be able to do in their real lives. By turning the composition classroom into a gamified experience with role-playing elements, teachers will be creating safer spaces for students from marginalized communities to share their experiences. Since unhindered expression is extremely important to the writing process, making sure that the composition classroom is a place where all students can freely discuss and share ideas will not only help queer students find acceptance within academia, but improve the overall quality of instruction and increase the potential for learning and student growth.