Session Zero

Session Zero is a discussion podcast that seeks to explore the psychology of role-playing. Each episode will feature a new aspect of the experience of role-playing, viewed through the lens of psychology by clinical psychologist Porter Green and industrial-organizational psychologist Steve Discont, They’re doing the thinking, and you get to do the listening.

Porter Green is a clinical psychologist living in Chicago with zer spouse and their three cats. Ze is a long time RPG enthusiast both of the tabletop and digital varieties. Porter loves to learn about people and share their stories, and often writes zer own as well. Currently ze is working on adding more queer shapeshifter novels to the world. “

Steve Discont loves live-action role-playing and tabletop gaming a lot. Like… a lot. He is an industrial-organizational psychology Ph.D candidate, living in Chicago with his wonderful husband who helps to produce this show. When he isn’t gaming, he can be found having strong opinions about hip hop dance styles, fandom communities, and queer issues.

Episode 8: Bleed, Part 1

Porter & Steve are joined by game developer and conservationist Emily Care Boss in the first of a two-part interview where they come together to discuss the idea of bleed, the different types, how it can manifest, what might be causes of it, and how to go about making characters while taking bleed into consideration.

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Episode 7: Emotions

Porter & Steve discuss what the literature says about what emotions are at their core, what their meaning and value can be in the gaming experience, and some useful ways to consider and manage the emotions of yourself and your fellow roleplayer.

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Episode 6: Gaming with ADHD

Steve and Porter explore the challenges that come with gaming at the table when you have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder by exploring what ADHD is, how it can manifest, and what are strategies for working around it.

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Episode 5: Termination

Steve and Porter explore what it means when things come to an end, be it for a game or a gaming group, and how you can prepare for it.

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Episode 4: Implicit Theories of Playership

The Session Zero duo discuss what it might mean to be a player at the table, including player expectations, norms, and styles of play.

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Episode 3: Feedback

The Session Zero duo explore the idea of feedback at the table, how to structure it, and the importance and benefits of active communication for the roleplaying group.

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Episode 2: Implicit Theories of GMing

The Session Zero duo explore the rules and expectations that are often placed upon the person who sits at the head of the gaming table: the gamemaster.  You can go to the following URLs or research articles to learn about some of the topics discussed in this episode:Schema: https://www.psychologistworld.com/memory/schema-memorySchema: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_(psychology)Implicit Person Theory: https://psychology.iresearchnet.com/industrial-organizational-psychology/leadership-and-management/implicit-theory-of-leadership/Implicit Person Theory: Chiu, C., Hong,...

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Episode 1: Group Dynamics

Steve and Porter discuss one of the fundamental social units within roleplaying: The gaming group and the group’s dynamics, norms, and more.

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Episode 0: Introductions

Porter and Steve have their own session zero for Session Zero as they introduce themselves, talk about their professional backgrounds, and discuss what roleplaying means to them.

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