Safety in Research-Driven RPGs

Thu 23 May, 2024

What are the challenges to emotional and psychological safety in research-driven RPGs?

Discussion topic

Role-playing games (RPGs) offer a unique learning environment where players can experiment with different identities and explore complex topics. However, maximizing these benefits hinges on creating a safe space. This Research Roundtable delves into the challenges and opportunities of designing RPGs that must weigh emotional and psychological safety for players against demands of research.

We invite researchers and game designers interested in all types of RPGs, including tabletop and live-action formats, to discuss such topics around how to integrate safety measures while maintaining research integrity and collecting valuable data. We’ll discuss balancing player well-being with research objectives that might necessitate pushing players outside their comfort zones.

Specific questions include:

  • What game design practices for building trust and setting boundaries are particularly useful or challenging in research contexts?
  • How can research design balance player safety with the need for reliable research data?
  • How can facilitators help players navigate sensitive topics while respecting research goals?
  • How can emotional and psychological safety be assessed and measured?
  • What are the consequences of dual roles, e.g., researcher-facilitator, instructor-player?


Time & Place

Thu May 23, 2024
11 am – 12:30 pm PDT
Zoom invite sent upon registration

Series background

The Leadership studies + RPGs Roundtable series brings together leadership scholar-practitioners with a specific interest in role-play/gaming. Our purpose is to stimulate conversation about the frontier of leadership studies + RPGs, find directions for future work, and forge connections among pioneers in this emerging area of work.

The series is part of Creative Crisis Leadership’s Research Roundtables, a program that aims to bring together innovative thinkers to discuss boundary-spanning topics that contribute to a theoretical and phenomenological understanding of successful grassroots crisis response.



  • Joe Lasley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Leadership and Organizational Studies, University of Southern Maine


  • Susanne Jul, PhD, Founder & Executive Director, Creative Crisis Leadership
  • Garett Dworman, PhD, Program Director, Creative Crisis Leadership

About participating

What to expect

The session will be divided into four parts: Introductions, Discussion, Review, and Wrap-up. A moderator will be on hand to deliver introductions, help keep the conversation moving, and lead the review. A notetaker will be taking notes, to which participants are welcome to contribute.

After the session, we will share a list of participants and their contact information, a transcript of the session, and the session recording. You should review the recording, and let us know if there are sections you feel should be redacted before public release. You will also be invited to help prepare the discussion summary. Finally, we will ask for your feedback on the roundtable so we can improve the experience for future participants.

Recording agreement

By participating, you grant permission for Creative Crisis Leadership and re+connect to

  • Record audio and video of the session
  • Make session recordings and transcripts publicly available
  • Publish your name, title, and affiliation as a participant

Intellectual property policy

This is a free exchange of ideas. We encourage participants to build on each others’ ideas, both during and after the discussion. Authors retain rights to materials authored after the discussion, but are expected to acknowledge the contributing role of Research Roundtable discussions and individual participants when appropriate. 

Creative Crisis Leadership and re+connect retain ownership of session materials, including recordings and reports. Participants are granted the right to use redacted versions of these materials, with attribution.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.