Hawke Robinson RPG Profesional High level timeline

A high level timeline of experience related to Hawke Robinson's development into becoming a paid role-playing game professional.

Hawke Robinson RPG Professional Timeline
Revision 20190806d


This is just a higher-level overview timeline related to my development as an RPG Professional. It is mostly missing project-specific timelines, that would be much lower level, and many pages in length. Some o f that information can be gleaned from my online resumes. I hope overtime I can put all the projects, milestones, breakthroughs, accomplishments, and notable events into a single expandable timeline application, but for now this will have to do for those asking for an overview. Other resources for those wanting more details:
Amalgamation Page: https://www.rpgresearch.com/about/media/amalgamation
Photo Timeline: https://www2.rpgresearch.com/about/photo-history
Text Timeline: https://www2.rpgresearch.com/documents/rpg-research-project/crpg-research-projects-history


1976/77 - Moved from California to Utah due to parents divorce, lived with grandparents and cousins for a while during transition.

1976/77 - Introduced to role-playing gaming by cousin (Nick Arentz?) using orange character sheets, perhaps original D&D, perhaps Holmes edition Basic D&D, or perhaps a simplified version of AD&D 1st edition. Continued playing intermittently with others. Not GMing yet.

1978 - Saint Joseph's Villa, comfort talker/listener for elderly. Started as community service, but kept doing long after required hours.

1979 - Started learning to program on TRS-80, Apple II (][ and later IIe), and an old decommissioned PDP-11 (not sure if older than PDP11, but it did use paper tape whatever the version). One of the programs I wrote was as simple text-based CYOA type game but with some “randomization” for different dice and actions, and computer-run combat.

1979 – First semi-regular paid “real job”, working at the Lost Packer Mine as dishwasher, firewood chopper, surveyor and general “go-fer” for my grandfather James Ivers the III, at the same mine he grew up working at most of his life. (https://www.deseretnews.com/article/760318/James-Ivers-dies----spirit-of-Park-City.html). Over the years my roles hours, and pay, would expand considerably until my final summer/fall working there around 1987/88. I also ended up GMing games with the miners in the last few years! They still talk about their unique experience with it.

1980/81 – began game mastering for small group using AD&D 1st Edition, gaming more regularly. Most of the groups I played in, or GM’d in were usully around, or very close to 50/50 male/female. I was usually by far the youngest player, the others usually 3-10 years older.

1982 – First paid full programming contract, creating Point of Sale (PoS) and inventory software for small video rental store.

1983 (early) – in addition to the usual “GM offerings” of drinks, snacks, etc., began getting paid as GM. All players were much older, ranging from 17 (youngest) to over 40/50 years old, most of them college students in the early 20s). This was mostly weekly, for up to 3 groups per weekend (2 on Saturday, 1 on Sunday), plus 1-2 freebie groups I either GM’d or played in during different times of the week. Mostly AD&D 1 at first, but quickly expanded to many other RPGs. It was enough to buy a new rulebook, dice, and many miniatures every week, soon I would have the entire AD&D 1st edition collection of all books and modules, and hundreds of minis, thanks to my earnings, plus some to spare on other areas.


1983 (later) – in response to growing backlash against gamers in the media, at school, and the libraries starting to ban gamers, I began researching about role-playing, role-playing gaming, potential effects, etc.

1984 – Based on what little I could find, and my own early observational experiments over a 6+ month time period, ended up writing 8-page essay, and since was very lively hot button topic of current issues, was asked to read in front of whole school. This helped reduce the stigma and teasing toward the various RPGers at the school somewhat. No idea where that paper is now alas.

1985 – Ran “RPG Class” at Realms of Inquiry “A School for Gifted & Talented Children” 5 days a week for final period, for a number of weeks. Continues to run RPG programs in and around educational settings on and off thereon.

1988 – my longest running gaming group (freebie one I think) disbanded due to many graduating college and moving out of the state and my moving our on my own and a number of life struggles that were manifesting and would be highly disruptive for some years to come. This group rang continuously in several parallel campaigns for years at a time, and one particular campaign for about 5 years straight!

1988 through 2004 – see resume of many different professions, certifications, etc. over the years – http://www.hawkenterprising.com/resume – some relevant highlights related to educational and therapeutic gaming listed below, also time period when I became more and more a “closet gamer” for fear of missing out on promotions that I saw others being passed over for because they were open gamers).

1990 – Habilitation Therapist, Hillcrest Care Center.
1990/91 – Certified Nurses Aide (CNA) Doxie Hatch medical center, LPN trainee.

1994 – Bryman Schools built initial core curriculum for what would become graphics artist computer design certification, “trained the teachers”.

1994/95 – American Automotive Institute Instructor (4x ASE certified).

1995 – Focused heavily on CS/IT.

1997 – Complete computer science degree, and many certifications thereafter.

1997/98 – Chief Information Officer PC Easy

1999 – Director of Security & Operations, Franklin Covey Electronic Solutions Division, online instruction designer and administrator.

2000 – Corporate Architect, Franklin Covey

2000 – Chief Technology Officer, MightWords Inc. (acquired by Barnes & Noble in 2003).

2002 – Instructor the Computer Schools, and guest instructor at various colleges in Utah & Idaho.

2003 – Semi-retirement possible, able to come home and focus on raising 3 boys (later as full-time single father with sole custody from 2007 onward).

2004 – Began work on Interdisciplinary degree in Music & Recreation Therapy, Neurosciences, & Research Psychology. Was not thinking of RPG at all when went into this. But very first textbooks kept asking questions that RPG seemed an obvious solution for providing answers. Later in the year start to “come out of the closet” as RPGer. Creation of the RPG Research Project website (no domain yet, just part of my existing hawkes-haven.com and other sites). Beginning of heavy focus on RPG research and therapeutic application of RPGs, working with, for, alongside, or independently, with many organizations (see TR resume for details). Began writing many papers on the topics,including my own early stages of RPG Theory and RPG Models, designing and implementing programs with various populations. See papers on RPG Research website, Academia.edu, Researchgate.net, and elsewhere. According to some I met at PAX East Unplugged 2018, these papers set their career goals leading to them working toward advanced degrees specifically in relation to the topics those papers! An uncomfortable responsibility (all that school loan debt!).

2006 – creation of the rpgresearch.com website, research open repository, community, etc.

2007 – increasing work load in educational and therapeutic RPG.

2008 – Increasing private practice, consulting, and professional training of others related to RPG professionalism. More than 100 Research questions (and growing every time started to answer one, would trigger even more).

2010-2012 – My first fully independent-larger-scale, longer-term study on optimizing the RPG experience. Included more than 100/120 players in around 12 to 20 groups. I ran this completely by myself, in my own offices. First time doing an RPG Professional related project on this scale without partnership with others. Would have run longer by life-threatening illness began in 2012 through 2016, and as of 2019 I am still recovering from the severe lung damage and consequences of extreme medication. This drastically slowed me down on and off. I would have periods of remission to catch back up, and then each relapse would be worse than before.

2012 - Began trying to move classes to online self-study courses to help improve scalability and reduce costs for students.

2014 – RPG Therapeutics LLC, too much work for me to handle, between everything going on, overloaded ar more than 90 hours per week. Start trying to find people to hire.

2015 – Give up trying to find anyone qualified, resigned to having to create the training programs necessary to create the needed work force. Wrapped up existing contracts & clients, and refused to take on most new ones (with occasional exceptions). Shifted energy away from LLC to focus more on RPG Research organization.
Big question at this point: Can the extensive knowledge and experience I had acquired be transferred effectively to others across the board, rather than the specific projects up to this point? While I had proven I could deliver professional well-paid services in recreation, entertainment, research, education, and therapeutic domains, it was unknown how well I could transfer these skills to others to take over for me. Building on the various classes I had created for contracts to train other professionals, would start to include an extensive curricula with more than 100 individual courses!

2016 – first long-term volunteer officially joins RPG Resarch, John Welker (later to become VP). I had been working in partnership with many other organizations over the years, working with hundreds (thousands?) of volunteers for specific projects and clients, but this was first volunteer that was in it for the long haul to get trained to become a paid RPG professional. Began refining “onboarding” and training process.

2018 – PAX East Unplugged, first time several people said “I am one of your greatest fans!” (first time anyone said they were a fan ever!). Still not sure what to do with that as a researcher & therapist, grateful, thankful, but daunted. How does one have fans of one’s research and therapeutic/educational work?

2019 – At GenCon July 31 through August 5th, with ZOE Booth 100. RPG Research at Volunteer number 73, and many more in the interview backlog queue. Spanning 5 continents, around a dozen researchers, ranging in ages from 14 to 60+, and up to several PhD’s, including active university professors.