OK. Here’s a nerdish idea to encourage English/Drama students to enjoy English. Don’t know how it’ll work.

Imagine a role-playing game. Swords and sorcery, sci-fi like Paranoia, whatever. Doesn’t really matter. Now take away all the crap that makes it boring and nerdy: the dice, the character sheets, the maps. The Game Master makes it all up as they go along (or not, they can prep if they want to). Players need nothing.

The fun bit: characters in the game can accomplish things by extending their vocabulary and expressive power. You can’t just say “my fighter attacks the goblin”, you have to speak as the character and defeat opponents with your wordsmithery.

So goblins are easy, yeah? One might say “arg, you die now!” and to successfully knock them off your character could say: “defiled vermin, may thine guts be curdled with foul malice” and the poor outclassed little thing will drop dead. As enemies get tougher, the exchanges get longer and more complex. Vampires quote from Mary Shelley, and the ultimate enemy is probably a lawyer. Or Tolstoi.

Could work nicely for poetry students too; maybe you have to speak in rhyme? Thoughts?