Giano Academy is a reality that we had the pleasure of discovering last year, through the person of Laura Cardinal and the Association "Giano's living room". We finally had time for an interview on their most ambitious project: “Giano Academy”.
What is "Giano Academy" and who is it for?
The "Giano Academy - Accademia del Gioco di Ruolo" is a section of the cultural association Il Salotto di Giano in Rome, dedicated to training. Divided into courses and workshops, different by level of competence, it ranges from mastering to miniature painting, from world building to system design. It is open to everyone, players or not, who want to perfect their skills or approach the recreational world from a professional point of view: use of role play for socio-cultural or educational projects, group therapies or corporate training, but also associations or groups of friends who want to discover new perspectives and techniques. In short: from the writer who wants to turn his novel into a setting, to the player who wants to improve his skills.
What is your experience in this regard?
In October we inaugurated our third academic year. In general, the courses and workshops are attended by two different figures: the coordinators, that is staff from Il Salotto di Giano, and the guest teachers. As for the former, these are people with playful and organizational skills (they are authors, demonstrators for publishing houses, prize winners and so on), they follow the association projects at national level, as well as taking care of the role-playing events promoted by the association itself (Memento Mori Organized Gaming League, Dominus et Deus for Lex Arcana, as well as collaborations with GDR in the Dark and LabGdr, just to name a few). The guest teachers, on the other hand, are people with known knowledge and qualifications: actors, journalists, voice actors, writers, game designers.
What type of courses do you offer?
The annual training offer is divided into courses and workshops. The workshops are monothematic training events, linked to the presence of a "guest teacher", the annual courses, however, divided into several levels: from preparatory to advanced, they are aimed at those who want more complete training in the various fields of study. The meetings take place during the weekends to facilitate student participation, compatibly with the various work, family and study commitments. They are structured according to one or more weekends and last the whole day. We have currently divided them into four categories: writing, gaming, painting and illustrating.
Do you think your courses meet a need?
More than thinking it ... let's say that's why we founded it. First of all, were the questions asked by our members during the sessions, such as "how would you interpret a character with these characteristics" or "where do you get inspiration for your stories? how do you write them? ". We had then recently inaugurated our very personal “Master's Trial”, a way to get to know the Association's aspiring masters and many were starting to ask us to make preparatory meetings. The step, then, was short! Beyond this, however, just think of how many people follow podcasts, youtube channels or buy texts dedicated to these topics. I am of the idea that you never stop learning and that people, especially as curious as role players, are always looking for new stimuli and advice. Have you ever thought about holding these courses in other parts of Italy? We taught at Lucca Educational and at PLAY in Modena, an experience that we will repeat also in this edition, but only for short meetings. We have recently been contacted by some associations that would like to host some courses at their offices and we are taking steps to hold lessons elsewhere. Soon there will also be online modes, but I can't reveal too much ...
What has the public response been to date?
I must say very good! In reality, initially we were not sure what to expect, but we were greeted with great enthusiasm. Now that three years have passed I must say that we are with the tripled training offer, a great variety of guests and contacts and, overall, we have had more than one hundred students. We consider it a great success!
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