David Squire is director of DESQ Ltd, a UK based independent learning games and e-learning developer. David founded DESQ in 1998 after spending 10 years working under various guises in community arts and further education. He oversees a team of producers creating award winning e-learning materials and game-based learning applications for clients such as the UK National Learning Network (NLN), Oxford University Press, Channel 4 Television and the BBC. DESQ is a member of Game Republic, a UK regional games developer association and an industry member of Nesta FutureLab. David is an honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, looking at theories of game design and game-based learning to inform practice.
Creating Links - RPG Characterisation, Identity and Learning
In RPGs, the player takes on the role of key protagonist in the unfolding gameplay and back-story. A character's physical appearance and personality traits though often pre-defined and pre-rendered, form a powerful bond between protagonist and player. Character development is central to RPG gameplay, and your character grows with you as you play, gaining new powers, weapons and knowledge.
The presentation explores notions of identity, agency and emergence and the nature of the avatar in RPGs, under a backdrop of immersion and flow theories in gaming.
Drawing on, amongst others, Link, the central character in 'The Legend of Zelda' series, the author explores the unfolding relationship created between the protagonist and the player in RPGs and looks at how this bond could be harnessed for learning.