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Thoughts on Inspiring Motivation in my RPG Community Program

Updated: Mar 5

Hello again,

I seem to be on a roll, because here we are now with a second blog post about something that has maintained my ambition and motivation!

I have followed up with the director of the Parks and Rec program here in my community, and I have started the dialogue about what the program will look like. The director informed me that he was having a hard time, and therefore so was his program, inspiring the interest of the young adults from 7th grade to high school age groups.

Now, I've worked with young adults all throughout my career. I feel pretty confident in my ability to engage with young adults and inspire their interest when I'm working one-on-one with them. But, I have to admit, inspiring a whole cohort or generation of young people to engage in a program is not something I've ever had to do from the ground up. I figured it warranted further investigation, so I did a little research as I do when confronted with things I know little about.

I found this article that suggested three primary types of motivation that inspire young people to act. I'm not going to break down the methodology and research described in the article, but something I thought was interesting was that altruism as described in this article did not stem simply from a desire to help other people. Instead, it spoke to how a combination of factors was needed to inspire the young adults to volunteer or consider volunteering - a combination that included not just the desire to help others, but also the desire to quest for "the new" and the desire to quest for one's self.

Specifically, two of the most common single motivators for the participants in the study were to develop one's self – which I interpreted to mean that they wanted to improve their own insights and understandings – and to learn about other cultures.

So, kind of ironically, it seems that something I could do in my games to foster motivation in the local young people might be to have the setting take place in a different culture, or have the setting take place in their community but have the story unfold in such a way that they learn about other cultures or incorporate them, perhaps, into their local community!

I continue to juggle which themes and story beats I'd want to explore, but I'm curious about what everybody else thinks! Should I have the students experience a culture they don't know as a part of the setting? Should the setting take place at their community, but explore other cultures through the story? What if I want to explore a culture I personally don't know a lot about? Are there any resources for educating young adults about other cultures that I can incorporate into my game?

Thank you again for the time to read all this, and please continue writing your own story, and be well!

Matthieu A.F. Fortier

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