Despite the rise of computer gaming, millions of adults still play face to face role playing games, which rely in part on social interaction to create stories. This work explores tabletop role playing game (TRPG) as a genre separate from computer role playing games. The relationship of TRPGs to other games is examined, as well as the interaction among the tabletop module, computer game, and novel versions of Dungeons & Dragons. Given particular attention are the narrative and linguistic structures of the gaming session, and the ways that players and gamemasters work together to construct narratives. The text also explores wider cultural influences that surround tabletop gamers.
Historian Johan Huizinga once described game playing as the motor of humanity's cultural development, predating art and literature. Since the late 20th century, Western society has undergone a "ludification," as the influence of game-playing has grown ever more prevalent. At the same time, new theories of postmodernism have emphasized the importance of interactive, playful behavior. Core concepts of postmodernism are evident in pen-and-paper role-playing, such as Dungeons and Dragons. Exploring the interrelationships among narrative, gameplay, players and society, the author raises questions regarding authority, agency and responsibility, and discusses the social potential of RPGs in the 21st century.
The concept of world and the practice of world creation have been with us since antiquity, but they are now achieving unequalled prominence. In this timely anthology of subcreation studies, an international roster of contributors come together to examine the rise and structure of worlds, the practice of world-building, and the audience's reception of imaginary worlds. Including essays written by world-builders A.K. Dewdney and Alex McDowell and offering critical analyses of popular worlds such as those of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and Minecraft, Revisiting Imaginary Worlds provides readers with a broad and interdisciplinary overview of the issues and concepts involved in imaginary worlds across media platforms.
Since the release of Dungeons & Dragons in 1974, role-playing games (RPGs) have spawned a vibrant industry and subculture whose characteristics and player experiences have been well explored. Yet little attention has been devoted to the ways RPGs have shaped society at large over the last four decades. Role-playing games influenced video game design, have been widely represented in film, television and other media, and have made their mark on education, social media, corporate training and the military. This collection of new essays illustrates the broad appeal and impact of RPGs. Topics range from a critical reexamination of the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, to the growing significance of RPGs in education, to the potential for “serious” RPGs to provoke awareness and social change. The contributors discuss the myriad subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways in which the values, concepts and mechanics of RPGs have infiltrated popular culture.
Taking as its point of departure the fundamental observation that games are both technical and symbolic, this collection investigates the multiple intersections between the study of computer games and the discipline of technical and professional writing. Contributors engage with questions related to workplace communities and gamic simulations; industry documentation; manuals, gameplay, and ethics; training, testing, and number crunching; and the work of games and gamifying work.