Content of the article: "Playing Dungeons and Dragons with chronically ill Kids in the Hospital"
Hi, I work in a local hospital and I absolutely love working there. One thing I have noticed, especially since the COVID epidemic, is that kids/teenagers who are in the hospital for a longer period of time tend to become somewhat isolated from their friends and society as a whole, even more than prior to the stricter rules for visitors took effect. So during the last few weeks I have been contemplating if maybe I can introduce Dungeons and Dragons in their life in order to provide them some entertainment, escapism, maybe even help them in more profound ways. This Monday I finally decided to shoot my shot and approached the volunteering department of the hospital I work at. A few emails later they have invited me to pitch my idea to the unit head of the Children’s department and the main pedagogue of the department.
My main question would then be if anyone here has any experience running a DnD game for hospitalized kids/teenagers in specific and/or kids/teenagers in general? Any subjects to either focus on or avoid? Should I follow their lead or establish a "module" of sorts with set themes and all beforehand?
I have DM’ed both for friends and am currently running a campaign for my family, so I know a bit about different audiences, but I have never DM’ed for children, let alone children facing chronic diseases and who are simultaneously a child but also in many ways advanced beyond their peers due to the harsh experiences they face(d) in life. I have as part of my academic career researched- and written on the benefits TRPG’s and shared storytelling can have for minorities, and I think some of the essences in the arguments presented in that body of research can be extrapolated and/or adapted to playing DnD with hospitalized children/teenagers, but I am also very much interested in more focused academic literature if anyone has any suggestions.
My secondary question would be if anyone has tips for the upcoming pitch I am going to have to do in front of the unit head of the Children’s department and the main pedagogue of the department.
Should I try to “explain” DnD? Maybe create a super-short one-shot to show them what DnD entails? Should I focus on DnD as a general fun activity or instead look up some sources on the potential health benefits of creating shared narratives and TRPGs?
Also, any general tips would be awesome!
- I’m up to the “decide the fate of the tree spirit” part of the Ladies of the Wood quest. Wanting to get more info I went back to the orphan’s town…and no one’s there. No/minimal spoilers please, I just want to know if this is part of the story, a gamey way to stop you talking to them, or a bug.
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