Learning About Ourselves: Communicating, Connecting and Contemplating Trans Experience Through Play
Keywords:LGBTQ, trans, digital games, live-action role-playing, edu-larp, non-formal learning, informal learning, game-based learning, analog games, gamevironments
This article posits that intentional non-formal and informal educational game design can provide an opportunity for the safer exploration of, and learning about, (trans)gender subjectivities. Non-formal and informal learning has been shown to be a more accessible and safer proposition for marginalised communities who are often excluded from formal and recognised social institutions. Non-formal and informal learning is also a structurally appropriate approach for exploring counter-normative topics, including diversities of gender and sexualities. I will demonstrate how studies of game-based learning and edu-larp put these principles into practice through gameplay and framing activities which facilitate experiential and situated learning. I will argue that this approach is particularly useful for the simulation of the complex intersectional socio-cultural function of gender. I will conclude that an edu-larp design approach can provide the basis for intentional educational game design utilising principles of safer containers of play, emancipatory bleed, and transformative role-play to explore trans experience, for both trans- and cis-participants alike.