I hate video games. So taking the GOBLIN training puts me a long way outside my comfort zone. I am one of the main authors of a teaching game about Galileo Galilei. During that process I worked with people who built ‘Call of Duty 3’ and ‘Lord of the Rings: The Fall of Isengard’. So I see that games can be used for constructive ends, but the great majority of the commercial variety are appallingly violent and sexist. As a teacher, I do not encourage people to rehearse destructive behaviors, even in a ‘fantasy’ context.
Practically the first thing I had to do during training was to select a character in a role playing game. As I was already outside my comfort zone, I pushed myself to select a character outside my comfort zone. Instead of looking for a character who used reason rather than force to resolve conflict (think: early Dr. Who) I selected the most violent character I could find. I’m still conflicted about this, but getting outside your comfort zone is supposed to be good for you. And I will be reporting on the game’s portrayal of violence and sex roles. Stay tuned.