The Functions of Role-Playing Games
How Participants Create Community, Solve Problems and Explore Identity
About the Book
This study takes an analytical approach to the world of role-playing games, providing a theoretical framework for understanding their psychological and sociological functions. Sometimes dismissed as escapist and potentially dangerous, role-playing actually encourages creativity, self-awareness, group cohesion and “out-of-the-box” thinking. The book also offers a detailed participant-observer ethnography on role-playing games, featuring insightful interviews with 19 participants of table-top, live action and virtual games.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
About the Author(s)
Sarah Lynne Bowman is an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, Richland College, Ashford University, and Brookhaven College. Her current research focus emphasizes character development and social dynamics in role-playing games. She lives in Round Rock, Texas.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
Table of Contents
1. Historical Evolution and Cultural Permutations 11
2. Role-Playing in Communal Contexts 33
3. Interactional Dynamics in Role-Playing Games 55
4. Role-Playing as Scenario Building and Problem Solving 80
5. Tactical and Social Problem Solving 104
6. Role-Playing as Alteration of Identity 127
7. Character Evolution and Types of Identity Alteration 155
Appendix: Interview Questionnaire 183
Chapter Notes 185