Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Creative Studies, M.S.


Center for Studies in Creativity


Dr. David Yates

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First Reader

Dr. David Yates


This project explores how tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs) are an underutilized mechanism for developing the affective skills that constitute the foundation of creativity and reinforcing the emerging concept of the creative experience through the application of experience design principles. Outlining the core concepts of creative experience, experience design, and gamification, along with the associated role of phenomenology and embodied cognition, the project establishes a case for the intersectionality of these elements in understanding how to develop creativity. Expanding further, the project explores what existing literature shows about TRPG ability to exercise and develop cognitive, psychological, sociological, and emotional competencies through unique elements like narrative, immersion, transference of experience, and skill acquisition. This project posits that the unique manifestation of these inherent elements is what differentiates TRPGs as a creative experience tool unmatched by other training approaches. The outcomes of this project identify how existing TRPGs might be modified to maximize the effect of character creation, game mechanics, and the role of the Game Master to start exploring and testing the effectiveness for developing creativity skills and creative experience identifiers. Additionally, the outcomes include a brief description of the need to expand research in this area, with three initial suggestions for research opportunities that address gaps in existing knowledge and open doors for more research on creativity and the creative experience.