Apologies & Confusion

by Hawke Robinson published 2022/11/12 08:45:16 GMT-8, last modified 2022-11-12T08:45:16-08:00
I would like to apologize for the errors in my communication. A recurring topic came up once again about the failure on my part to help address the confusion many people have about the differences between RPG Research, RPG Therapeutics LLC, and my goals in the greater RPG community. I hope this posting helps.

Hello. Most people know me as Hawke Robinson.

Apparently I have caused a lot of confusion, and some recent distress, upset, and anger in people recently. I am here to apologize, and hopefully reduce some of the confusion I have caused. I hope this effort does not just make things worse. I welcome your (civil but direct) feedback.

Due to a combination of my faults and the organic nature of how my involvement with role-playing games evolved since the mid-1970s, and my being involved in the creation of many different RPG-related endeavors over the decades, I'm afraid I've failed to effectively communicate clear messages that are accessible to people outside of limited professional and academic circles.

I hope this posting helps.

TLDR Summary

I will try a quick succinct list for those that find my longer explanation TLDR. :-)

Much of the confusion is because these efforts have involved the same person: me, Hawke Robinson. Because of this, many of the different efforts are often conflated as one and the same, even though often they a different endeavors, goals, and even communities.

Apology (short version)

I am so very sorry for my ineffective communication style, my tone-deafness at fandom conferences, and my insensitivity to people's feelings.

RPG Research

RPG Research is a non-profit 501(c)3 focused on research studies and community programs involving music and especially role-playing games in all formats. The website was created in 2004 to attempt providing an open information repository and a community center attempting to connect the disparate researchers, practitioners, and others learning about the potential of role-playing games. The idea is that if we all work together and share freely, it will "float all boats".

If people want services outside of the limited scope of our research and community programs, and want professional, paid, consistent services, we refer them to other professionals, including RPG Therapeutics LLC and many others as appropriate to needs and location.

We are 100% volunteer-run, and provide free services. About half of our volunteers are in Spokane, Washington, and the rest are spread across the US and several other continents. See this posting for some numbers.

RPG Therapeutics LLC

A for-profit professional services organization. This evolved from therapeutic recreation private practice, in response to people asking for more professional and regular services that were outside the capabilities of RPG Research volunteers to provide on a regular basis. Over time the list of services has grown based on diverse demand from a very broad client base. 

In trying to find employees we created attempted suggestions at standards, training, and certification. This was not meant to be "our way is the only way", rather it was intended as a starting baseline, and we welcome other perspectives and approaches, and gladly change and adapt.


Longer Explanation for Those Interested

At the risk of boring most, but helping to clarify for others wanting to more, this section goes into greater depth trying to explain my involvement in the evolution of these endeavors, and my motivations. Based on recent feedback failures in my communication style has caused a 180 degree result from the desired goals in some areas. I hope to address these errors over time. Hopefully it is not beyond my many limitations to be able to do so.

I prefer to be an unknown entity behind the scenes helping to enable communities, but due to the nature of the work in RPGs, I have had to become the spokesperson for these endeavors until someone much more effective is able to do so instead. I look forward to the time I can fade back into the background while still enabling the progression of these goals furthering the benefit of RPGs to help improve lives.


Longer Apologies

First I would like to apologize to anyone I caused distress to at the 2018 PAX Unplugged East in Philadelphia due to my audience/panel tone-deafness and overly professorial approach to topics that were strongly emotional for others. I am so sorry for my verbal blunders and inconsiderate timing in trying to provide a "teaching moment" at an inappropriate time. I am truly sorry for causing such distress to people.

While I have a lot of experience speaking in professional conferences in technical and medical settings, I clearly lack an understanding of the nuances of fandom conferences. I hope it is possible for me to improve.

I would also like to apologize to the people that I have given the impression that their work is less-than or second-class to the work I put out there. That was the farthest thing from my intentions when suggesting standards of practice, specific training approaches, and certification programs. I was hoping for discussion, debate, feedback, and improvement upon these suggested guidelines, but my poor communication style appears to have completely failed to achieve those goals. I would like to reiterate the about 99% of what I put out there I mean as a Request For Comments (RFC) approach, hoping for community feedback, (civil) disagreement, debate, correction, and collaboration. Unfortunately it appears I was completely ineffective in doing so.

I would also like to apologize broadly to anyone else that I have upset and alienated over the years due to my "big boots" and big mouth. I hope people will believe me when I say I really wanted to try to share and collaborate and was just thinking out loud in many ways, but I did such a poor job of communicating my intentions that they were apparently often interpreted 180 degrees from the intended goals of inclusive community building. Apparently my efforts have been interpreted as kingdom/silo building rather than inclusive, open, discussion and community building. Wow I really dropped the ball!

I hope folks will some day be able to forgive me my many personality flaws, overzealousness, workaholism, health, balance, impulsiveness, and my many other flaws and errors. I wish I could better explain I am trying to come from a place of love and compassion, though apparently I have utterly failed to show that effectively.

I am striving to improve, and hopefully, based on feedback from others, I can find the means within myself to not repeat the same mistakes again, improve, and to do a better job going forward.


About WIlliam Hawkes-Robinson ("Hawke Robinson")





Where it all began, mid-1970s, circa 1977-1979 or so.


















Regarding Attempts at Standardization



Online Education




















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