In a live interactive game, the participants slip into a role and shape a character in a fictitious environment. It is an improvised, interactive setting without any prewritten lines. It is an art form as well as a learning tool. There is no audience other than the players themselves. All participants play specific characters and the verbal and non-verbal interaction is improvised. Crucial parts of the experience are the post-game reflection and the transfer of lessons learned to everyday life situations.
STARS (STudent Activating Roleplaying GameS) is a drama technique evolving around a coherent, co-creative, fictional narrative in a safe environment. It implies skill-training (literacy, socio-emotional skills, aesthetic and performative skills) in fictional situations. Following the concept of experiential learning, the game is framed by preparation workshops and reflection-activities.
As research indicates, participating in a STARS enhances motivation and leads to awareness and multiple perspectives on the subject matter. If applied repeatedly, STARS may be a tool for sustainable learning. The process of the game can lead to subject mastery and include cultural and personal maturation aspects. Consequently, possible outcomes are increased flexibility and the ability to adapt to new content and situations.
Through verbal, paraverbal and nonverbal interaction, the players co-create a story. They further train spontaneous communication. Players have to adapt to the means of expression of their role, be it a queen, a thief or a robot. This leads to increased language awareness, register skills, expanded vocabulary and opens the wide field of language and identity.
Our game scripts, including the preparation and reflection phases, are developed according to neuro-didactic standards. The roleplaying games can take place in person or online, or in a combination of both. Depending on the learning objectives, the game can be facilitated at any location or outdoors. The time frame is customized and ranges from 90 minutes to several days. We strongly recommend more than one playing event in order to make learning progress sustainable.
The STARS team provides all props and materials and guides the participants through the game. The preparation and follow-up are also led by the team. Our format is suitable for groups up to 24 participants. We are happy to custom-script a role-playing game for any group or topic.
The STARS project is headed by Dr. Katrin Geneuss. All games are designed and conducted by specialized didactic and scientific staff as well as professional actors. If you are interested in this project or have any further questions, feel free to contact Katrin Geneuss: perskgs(at)gmail.com
As part of this project, STAR-plays are being used at Munich schools as a method to convey or consolidate previously defined content. The playful character and the sanction-free environment increase the motivation of the students. Changing perspectives can sensitise learners to topics that are not directly in their field of interest. It is also possibility for learners to experience the consequences of certain actions as part of their role, without any negative effects on their real lives (role protection).
In addition to literacy learning objectives, this project focuses on social skills and value education. Basically, any topic can be "translated" into a live role-playing game. The STAR team's existing repertoire includes role-playing games on Greek Mythology, Children's Rights, the Middle Ages, Pompeii, Europe and Poetry. On request, the team also develops STARs on other topics.