Impact Statement

RPG Research's programs have a proven real-world impact, not just on those who participate in our programs, but also a positive impact on  the neighborhoods, businesses, and other communities where our programs reach.

About RPG Research
 | Our Staff | Mission | Vision | Impact | Volunteer | Donate | Events | Schedule | Museum

Non-profit Listings for RPG Research: Washington State Government Lookup | Rating | 

Beneficial Impact of RPG Research's Use of Role-Playing Games

There is a very long list of role-playing game benefits, here are just a few highlights, and how RPG Research's use of role-playing games helps improve the lives of participants, and the communities where are programs run.

RPG Research's Community & Global Impact

In 2020 RPG Research directly impacted the lives of more than 30,000 participants with just 130 volunteers and less than $10,000 USD!

Each $1 USD helps improve the quality of life for at least 3 people, and each volunteer helps at least 230 people across 6 continents!

RPG Research directly helps improve the quality of life for hundreds (now becoming thousands) of people each year. As we grow, we hope globally it will become many millions (dare we hope billions?) of lives.

This impact ripples out to many more people around the world benefiting from our programs every year!

Our programs have impact in different ways, throughout different populations, due to the variety of our program offerings, and the expansiveness of our outreach, including:
    • Local and online RPG Community Programs
    • Drop In and RPG Mobile Programs with the Wheelchair Accessible RPG Bus & RPG Trailers
    • Research programs, open research repository, live Internet streams, online programs, videos, blog postings, publications, conventions, conferences, panels, etc.
    • Educational workshops, videos, online education, and other applied learning programs

2020 Impact Numbers

We are still finishing crunching the numbers for 2020, but we have found that our efforts directly impacted AT LEAST 30,000 lives in 2020!

With fewer than 150 volunteer and less than $10,000 in funding, we helped improve the lives of tens of thousands of people across 6 continents!  It looks like we may have raised up to $18,000 USD in 2020, but the difference did not arrive until the end of the year after all of our programs in 2020 were complete.

  • This means that each $1 USD donated to RPG Research measurably improved the quality of life for more than 3 people!

  • This means that each volunteer directly impacted the lives of at least 230 people per volunteer!

This of course does not count the harder to measure impact from the ripple effect of our programs. For example proven reduction of the juvenile crime rate in local neighborhoods from our programs. 

Our programs measurably improve the quality of life of both the direct participants and indirectly improve lives for businesses, families, neighborhoods, schools, online, and around the world.

  • Proven measurable benefits include developing and improving:

  • Anger management

  • Anxieties reduction

  • Artistic awareness & expression

  • Brain injury recovery

  • Behavior guidance & moderation

  • Cognitive functioning development

  • Communication skills

  • Compassion

  • Creativity

  • Creative writing

  • Cooperative problem solving

  • Cultural awareness & understanding

  • Delayed gratification

  • Drawing

  • Effective assertiveness (not aggressive) behavior, speaking up for oneself

  • Emotional well-being

  • Empathy

  • Ethics

  • Family connections

  • Friendships

  • Frustration tolerance

  • History

  • Improvisation

  • Intentional speech directed at others
  • Languages learning & development (native & foreign)
  • Leadership

  • Learning complex concepts & systems

  • Loneliness reduction

  • Long-term planning

  • Math fundamentals

  • Mental health

  • Music

  • Physical well-being

  • Poetry

  • Problem-solving

  • Project management

  • Quality of life measures

  • Reaching consensus

  • Reading comprehension level

  • Reduction in aggressive behavior

  • Reduction in crime

  • Reduction in recidivism

  • Resilience, perseverance, "grit"

  • School participation levels

  • Science

  • Self-control / Impulse control

  • Self-efficacy

  • Self-esteem
  • Self identity
  • Shyness
  • Social phobias
  • Turn-taking

  • Writing skills

  • Vocabulary

Populations that often frequently benefit directly from our programs include:

  • Accessibility / adaptive

  • ADHD

  • Agoraphobia

  • Anxiety

  • Autism spectrum (ASD, PDD, Aspergers, etc.)

  • Aphantasia

  • At-risk youth and adults

  • Brain injuries (stroke, TBI, etc.)

  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)

  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HoH)

  • Depression

  • Developmental delays (DD)

  • Developmental impairments (DI)

  • Gifted & Talented

  • In-patient youth and adults

  • In-patient to out-patient rehabilitation transition programs

  • Incarcerated populations

  • Learning disabilities

  • Muscular Dystrophy (MD)

  • Phobias

  • Trauma & PTSD

  • Vision impairments

    RPG Research Community Programs
    For each single RPG Research volunteer running our monthly RPG community program 3 hour sessions per month, the quality of life for the participants of over 100 people per year are improved.

    The ripple effect in the local community positively impacts hundreds more per year.

Impact Example: Spokane West Central Impact through Spark Central Program.

Example Drop In and RPG program at Spark Central, initially once per month, later asked to increase to twice per month.

Has been running since August 2018 (over 2 years).

With just 1 to 6 RPG Research volunteers per session, 1-2 three-hour sessions per month, we impact directly the lives of 150+ people per year.

This is a ratio of about 75 people directly impacted per year, per 1 RPG Research volunteer just once or twice per month.

 The indirect ripple-effect impact on the families, neighborhood businesses, residents, schools, and larger society as a whole means that just 1 RPG Research volunteer running just 1-2 programs a month impacts hundreds of lives for the better.

All other youth programs cut back by Spark Central board due to problem behaviors and complaints from local businesses, EXCEPT our RPG programs because our participants were not causing complaints or trouble and instead many comments on the striking improvement in behaviors immediately and long-term.

We accommodate between 1 to 5 tables per session, 2 sessions per month. With current schedule the minimum direct impact around 6-12 people per month, maximum direct impact up to 30 people per month.  About half are regulars and half new walk-ins each session.

Annual direct program participation around (average 6 regulars and 6 new per session) = 150 people per year just at this one program alone.

Regular reports from other organization’s, schools, parents, counselors, and teachers that these participants are now taking what they learned and creating their own sessions and program in their home, at their school, and at their community centers, creating a ripple effect impacting hundreds more people per year.

Indirect impact on reducing crime, vandalism, loitering, improving the social good, education, empathy growth, communication skills, community engagement, school engagement, affects all local businesses and neighborhoods.


RPG Research Educational Programs Impact

Our training workshops and other educational and outreach programs have an even more exponential impact on improving the quality of life for people around the world.

Each of our programs can host between 6 to 50 participants per 4 hour training session.

Each individual is then able to provide on average 1 RPG session a week for 4-6 people per session.

Many of these groups may be one shots, while others may be ongoing months-long campaigns.

This means they are providing RPGs to anywhere from 5 to over 100 people per year.

This multiplied by the number of people we provide the training to each week means potentially anywhere from 30 to 5,000  people around the world are impacted by the benefit of just one of our 4-hour training sessions per year!

Our Research & Publishing Programs Impact

Our research, blog postings, essays, and research team streams have directly impacted participants as well as many others that use our open research repository to inspire others to engage in higher learning and research programs of their own. Our studies are often cited by many others.

In 2004 there were only about 40-60 studies on role-playing games, when RPG Research was created.

There are now hundreds, perhaps thousands, and growing weekly.

This is in large part due to RPG Research’s open research archives, and active community. We have been contacted hundreds of times and told by academics and researchers that it was because of our repository that they were able to put together the programs and studies, that they otherwise were having too much difficulty finding the necessary data to take to committee for approval.

Dozens of people have approached RPG Research staff explaining that our content had directly inspired them to a career path that lead to them going to college to get bachelors, masters, and even doctoral degrees so they could further study the effects of role-playing games.

They state they were directly inspired by our papers, postings, panels, and videos to make these career path decisions.

People around the world are implementing programs and research studies because of our works, building on the existing body of knowledge about the effects of RPGs.

There is now, in large part directly because of RPG Research, exponential growth in the research on role-playing games around the world, potentially impacting millions of lives through all these others.

We have been contacted many times from individuals that read our works during their junior high,  high school, or undergraduate stages in education, and made long-term education and career decisions explicitly because of our works. They went on to finishing their bachelors, masters, & even doctoral degrees directly because of our original research papers& related media!

Our research archives are nearing 10,000 content items related to the research, training, and evidence-in-practice about role-playing games! How many people this has benefited is now beyond our ability to track, but we do see from our web traffic reports that about 2,000 different people browse the website each month. That is not just landings, bounces, and clicks, that appears to be actual different people. This is still tiny by web standards, but we are seeing improvement since the move to Odoo.This is still a fraction of our traffic under Plone, back around 2016 we had this number per day.  Our hope is that as we finish our server movies, cleaning up the archives, etc., that the numbers will come back up.

How Much Impact Does Your Donation Have?

Operating Costs vs. Impact Formula

This is still a work in progress. We are sharing with you our rough estimates & calculations. We are updating these as the data keep improving over time.

Direct community programs cost volunteer hours, plus transportation and supplies.

If covering the costs of supplies for the volunteer, one-time cost RPG kit costs between $100 to $500 depending on the game system (without miniatures).

Recurring costs for pencil, paper, character sheets, hand-outs, markers, etc., works out to about $10 per session, these are often covered by either the volunteer or the community center.

1 volunteer GM = 6+ people’s lives improved per week.

This means that donating just $10 per month will help improve the lives of ________ people around the world.