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W. A. Hawkes-Robinson

by admin published Jun 18, 2015 09:55 PM, last modified Oct 29, 2018 12:03 PM
W. A. Hawkes-Robinson, "Hawke Robinson", is the founder of the RPG Research Project, creator of the Wheelchair Friendly RPG Trailer, and President of RPG Therapeutics LLC.



Hawke Robinson is registered with Washington State's Department of Health as a Recreationsl Therapist. Hawke is also an interdisciplinary student in Recreation Therapy, Music Therapy, Neuroscience, & Research Psychology at Eastern Washington University.

Founder/Creator: RPG Research ProjectRPG TrailerRPG Therapeutics LLCNorthwest Recreation TherapySpokane Music Therapy Community WebsiteOther Minds MagazineThe Ea Tolkien SocietyTolkien MootMerpConEa RPGSuiteGM,  Spokane American Sign Language (ASL), Spokane 2600Dev 2 Dev Portal LLCSynthetic Zen Music, Hawke Enterprising d.b.a., and many others.

Credentials: Washington State Department of Health Registered Recreational Therapist, AS in Computer Science, MCSE, CNA, SANS GCIH.

He has been involved with RPGs since approximately 1979, researching the effects of RPGs on participants since around 1985, and developing programs using RPGs in all formats (tabletop, LARP, computer-based, and solo) to achieve educational and therapeutic goals for various populations since 2004. 

Interviews, Articles, Videos, Audio, Essays & Presentations

Here is summary of just a few of the relevant essays and presentations. (Please note that Blog postings are much more informal and not to be considered formal research reports):

Listed in reverse order from most resent to oldest:


Project Highlights

Hawke is constantly involved with a wide range of communities, here is just a short list of some programs related to using role-playing games as an intervention modality for therapeutic and/or educational goals:



Hawke is an undergraduate senior student at Eastern Washington University (EWU) working on an interdisciplinary degree in Recreation Therapy, Music Therapy, Neuroscience, & Research Psychology. He is expecting to complete two internships, the degree, and sit for the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist test in 2016. He has been registered with the state of Washington as a Recreation Therapist since September 2014. The internships include a 16 week Therapeutic Recreation department internship and 10 week Psychology department internship, in addition to the thousands of related work and volunteer hours with a wide range of populations over the years, He plans to continue with graduate and potentially post-graduate programs in related disciplines, is developing a private practice and privately funded research facilities.

Hawke's philosophy about research, teaching, and sharing information:  “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” ― Thomas Jefferson, Selected Writings

Research efforts include a broad range of areas, while noting any potential uses of RPG as an intervention modality for therapy and education. Areas have been related to developing some program trials and using RPG from a Recreation Therapy perspective for Autism spectrum (ASD) toddlers, youth, & adults, as well as designing program plans (though not yet implemented) for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Cerebral Palsy (CP) and other populations. While fortunate enough to have opportunities to run a few small trial programs, and some questionnaire-based efforts, has not yet had the resources to implement the desired controlled studies, but working toward such long term goals. Most of the research is on his own time, with his own resources, and not in any way linked with the university (the 164 respondents to the gender bias self-report questionnaires for example), while some efforts have been as an undergraduate student at Eastern Washington University (ASD toddlers).

After enjoying for many years working in the information technology (IT), information security (InfoSec), and computer science industries, Hawke Robinson was fortunate enough to be able to retire from the computer sciences in 2003 (age 33), so that he could focus on raising his three sons. He continued occasional technology-related exclusive speaking and consulting for select clients until 2011.

One of his goals is to develop a comprehensive body of scientific work useful toward the creation of an effective set of tools implementing recreation therapy related role-playing gaming as modalities for therapeutic and/or educational interventions.

In relation to the RPG Research project it is hoped the research data will indicate methods for developing effective therapeutic interventions using role-playing games (tabletop, live-action, and computer-based) as the modalities for treatment of diverse populations and needs including but not limited to the deaf and hard of hearing communities, depression, PTSD, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other neuro-plasticity related benefits, as well as other areas where the research indicates appropriate.

RPG Research new logo nimbus font red text 20120809h

Roots of RPG Research

Hawke first began the roots of the RPG Research project around 1985 in reaction to the "moral panic" of the 1980's backlash against the popularity of the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (and other popular media of the time). In early high school at the time, he wrote an 8 page essay for the school English course at Realms of Inquiry "A school for gifted and talented children" in Salt Lake City, Utah. The instructor then asked that he read this essay to the entire upper school with a follow up Q&A. The essay and subsequent discussion were so successful that it helped dissuade a number of students from their beliefs in the media's misleading negative claims about role-playing gaming and gamers. Some of the students and staff that had been previously skeptical, concerned, or mocking about role-playing games and gamers, became interested enough that they at least discontinued the harassment of role-playing gamers, and some even began participating in the actual role-playing game sessions.

Through the RPG Research Project, Hawke is taking a longitudinal approach, planning to span many years (decades) creating new research and experiments attempting to identify any causality related to the therapeutic and educational impact of role-playing gaming, and the possible development of controlled uses of role-playing games for specific therapeutic goals where potential is found to be appropriate.

Volunteer Work

Hawke Robinson has been providing all services without charge to many participants. In addition to (so far) self-funding all research efforts, he provides role-playing gaming sessions for many people throughout Washington & Idaho, free of charge. He also frequently volunteers with other organizations in a wide range of areas. He has worked as a volunteer for many facilities, locations, and populations, including (but not limited to):


Related Work Experience

  • Habilitation Therapist, Hillcrest Care Center, Sandy, Utah, 1991.
  • Nurses Aide, Murray, Utah, 1991.


Education, Degrees, Certifications, Advanced Training, & Professional Membership

As well as being strongly self-educated, entrepreneurial, and professionally successful in many domains, Hawke has a broad range of practical real world business and R&D (Research & Development) experience in various fields. He has also acquired a number of certifications and advanced training in multiple fields over the years including CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), ASE (Automotive Service Excellence in 4 areas), MCP+I (Microsoft Certified Professional plus Internet), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), CNA (Certfied Netware Administrator), SCSAp1 (Sun Certified Solaris Administrator part 1), Java programmer, Silverstream developer and administrator, Broadvision architect and administrator, the SANS Institute's information security GIAC GCIH (Global Information Assurance Certification - GIAC Certified Incident Handler) and many others, including his paper on the vulnerabilities of Microsoft's PPTP implementation subsequently published by the SANS Institute. You may view his lengthy and more complete resumes online at for more details.

Originally from California, he has also resided in Utah, Idaho, Oklahoma, and currently Washington state. In 1998 Hawke earned an Associates degree in Computer Science in Salt Lake City, Utah. He now resides in Spokane, Washington, USA.

Hawke is in good standing as a member of the:

  • American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) since 2013
  • Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association (WSTRA) since 2013.
  • Pacific Northwest American Therapeutic Recreation Association (PNWATRA) in 2015.
  • Pacific Northwest Therapeutic Recreation Association (PNWTRA) in 2016).


W.A. Hawkes-Robinson is registered with the Washington State Department of Health as a Recreational Therapist since 2014, registration #RE60526204. Once he finishes the requisite coursework and internship, Hawke plans to sit for the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) test through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).


Relevant Completed Coursework at Eastern Washington University

Below is a list of relevant courses already completed (unless marked pending). Hawke is currently Magna Cum Laude status at EWU. This is not a comprehensive list, and does not usually include unrelated general degree requirements and non-relevant courses.

Recreation Therapy-related Courses

  • Recreation & Leisure in Modern Society (RCLS 201)
  • Leadership in Recreation (RCLS 220)
  • Overview Therapeutic Recreation Services (RCLS 240)
  • Recreation Therapy for People with Disabilities (RCLS 245)
  • Arts in Recreation (RCLS 260)
  • Outdoor Adventure Programming (RCLS 325)
  • Programming in Recreation and Leisure Services (RCLS 385)
  • Legal Foundations in Recreation and Leisure Services (RCLS 400) (pending W18)
  • Therapeutic Recreation Program Planning (RCLS 420)
  • Professional Issues in Therapeutic Recreation (RCLS 440)
  • Processes and Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation (RCLS 445)
  • Assessment Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation (RCLS 450)
  • Professional Involvement in Recreation (RCLS 498)

Psychology, Neuroscience, Sociology, Medical, & Research-related Courses

  • General Psychology (PSYC 100)
  • Kinesiological Application of Anatomy and Physiology (PHED 132)
  • Psychology of Risky Behavior (PSYC 190)
  • Counselling, Education, and Developmental Psychology - Lifespan Development (CEDP 201)
  • Religion & Theology (HUMN 215)
  • Medical Terminology (HLED 256)
  • Theories of Personality (PSYC 301)
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 302)
  • Child & Adolescent Development (PSYC 305-75)
  • Psychology of Adjustment (PSYC 307)
  • Scientific Principles of Psychology Research (PSYC 309) (pending)
  • Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC 313) (pending)
  • Psychology of Human Relations (PSYC 315)
  • Computerized Research Techniques (PSYC 318) (pending)
  • Statistics in Social Sciences (CSBS 320) (pending)
  • Computer Aided Data Analysis (CSBS 321) (pending) 
  • Psychology of Women (PSYC 331)
  • Psychology and the Legal System (PSYC 425-50) (pending SU 17)
  • Theory, Assessment, & Treatment of Trauma (PSYC 450-77)
  • Psychology of Group Dynamics (PSYC 483) (pending)
  • Child Abuse: Recognition and Intervention Strategies (PSYC 484-75)
  • ADD/ADHD in the Schools (PSYC 485-75)
  • Neuroscience of Memory (PSYC 498)
  • Psychology of Cults (PSYC 498)
  • Psychology of Deception (PSYC 498)
  • Psychology of Meditation (PSYC 498-77)
  • Psychology of Play Therapy (PSYC 498-82)

Music and Music Therapy Related Courses

  • Composers Symposium 2012 (Performed)
  • Solo Vocalist - Baritone - 2004-2012 (MUSC 100 x3, 108 x3, 208)
  • Music Theory I, II, & III (MUSC 101, 102, 103)
  • Sight Singing and Aural Skills I, II, & III (MUSC 104, 105, 106)
  • Piano for Non-Majors II & III (MUSC 118, 119)
  • Compositional Techniques (MUSC 209)
  • Music in the Humanities (MUSC 212)
  • Guitar and Music Fundamentals (MUSC 230)
  • Digital Sound, Sound Engineering, and Production (DESN 275)
  • Counterpoint (MUSC 305)
  • Concert Choir 2004-2008 (Baritone/Bass) (MUSC 336 x7)
  • History of Rock and Roll (MUSC 396)
  • Power of Music - Music for Healing & Education - Overview of the power of music and music therapy. (MUSC 396)


  • American Sign Language I, II, & III (ASL 376, 377, 378)
  • Aqua Aerobics 2006-2007 (PHED 125 x3)
  • Chinese - Mandarin (CHIN 101)
  • Analysis, Research, and Documentation (ENGL 201)
  • Composition, Exposition & Argument (ENGL 101)
  • Computer Literacy (CPLA 100) see my technology resume here:
  • Computer Literacy (CPLA 101)n see my technology resume here:
  • Geography (GEOG 100-75)
  • Geology (GEOL 100)
  • History, East Asian (HIST 104)
  • History, Western (HIST 105-75)
  • Interdisciplinary Portfolio (ITSD 300)
  • Karate (PHED 125)
  • Literature (ENGL 170-75)
  • Math (MATH 103, others pending)...
  • Modern Government in American Context (GOVT 100)
  • Religion & Theology (HUMN 215-75)
  • Yoga (PHED 125)

For more detailed information, see Hawke's lengthy resume at

VHA Train


Workshops & Miscellaneous Courses



  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Utah, 1991.
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • CPR / First Aide 


Role-playing Gaming Background

Hawke is founder of The RPG Research Project since 2004, and President of RPG Therapeutics LLC since 2014.

Hawke has been involved with role-playing games since 1979 as a paper and dice tabletop role-playing game player. Around 1983 he became a regular Game Master (GM), often paid by players for each session, and during the summer often running three or more weekly groups.

Around 1984/1985 Hawke convinced the high school headmaster (Ross Jones of Realms of Inquiry, a "school for gifted and talented children" in Salt Lake City, Utah) to allow temporarily running a role-playing gaming class for all the students, every school day, for several weeks, in lieu of the drama classes, while the school looked for a new drama class instructor. More details on that experience here: Anecdotal Experiences of Social Stigma as a Tabletop Role-playing Gamer.

Throughout the 1980s he was a member of the Role-Playing Game Association (RPGA).

In 1986 at the age of 15 Hawke created and ran a Role-Playing Gaming Association (RPGA) based Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) campaign involving 50+ gamers in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Millcreek Library.

Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s Hawke was engaged in various activities with The Society for Creative Anachronism (, as minstrel, cook, fighter, volunteer, and more.

He is the founder of the annual Tolkien and role-playing gaming conventions in Spokane, WA, known as MerpCon and TolkienMoot from 2005 through 2014.

He was also the founder of the Tolkien-based role-playing gaming online periodical "Other Minds Magazine" ( ), and semi-regular talk show host for Middle-earth Talk Radio ( ) from 2007 through 2012.

Hawke also writes RPG adventures, and has created various system offerings modifying existing systems, and creating new ones from scratch ( ).