The middle grades lay the foundation
for a person’s reading preferences for
the rest of their life.
Adolescents need to read material
that meshes with their interests.
Jim Trelease, The Read Aloud Handbook:
“Those who read the most read the best.”
2002 study of 15 year-olds in 32 countries:
The kids who were most engaged with what they
read had the highest reading scores. (And
kids who read comic books had high scores.)
Book Based RPGs
• Played by reading and writing
(including meta reading and writing)
• 62,016 words/month?
• 1000 words/post?
• Fandom – engaging because it’s all
about their loves
PbP Online Text RPGs
Each player writes one character’s thoughts
Like a collaborative story with a different
narrator for each character
No winners or losers
A Product of RP
Sorcery and Cecelia
By Patricia Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer
A blogging site with cool extra features
Users can create shared blogs called
Real Life Roleplay
•My personal LJ •My character’s LJ
•Girl_gamers •Game community
At least 34,108 character journals on LJ!
Two Types of Book-Based RPGs
All one canon: every character is from the same
Example: A MWPP-era Hogwarts RPG
The Milliways model: characters from books by
different authors interact with each other
How To Do It!
LJ account for each character (13 and up)
Character userinfo pages give crucial details
Moderator creates game community, sets
privacy so only members can post
Community userinfo gives setting and
Players join the community as their characters
The moderator makes the first post
Players come in with “intro posts”
The moderator decides how much to control
the plot and whether to be a character
This does take time!
The “backstage” of the game
Only members can post OR read
Where players make announcements
IM – where plotting happens on the fly
Only write your own character
No plots that involve others unless they agree
No killing off other characters!
“Ratings” for posts/behind cuts
Fanfiction copyright issues and the appeal of
playing HP, Naruto, etc.
Folk and fairy tales, mythology, non-
copyrighted characters like Shakespeare’s
Romeo and Juliet
Genre fiction conventional characters like your
own made up superhero
Why Book-Based RPGs Rock
They reward reading in depth
“Role play is provocation to bring in
knowledge from other sources and map it onto
the game” – Henry Jenkins (7/22/07)
Screen time that’s a social connection
They attract lurkers
They let kids create and accomplish