Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Defining Fan Subcultures within Dungeons & Dragons
by Strickland, Klaira, M.A., Western Illinois University, 2018, 86; 10809137
Abstract (Summary)

First created in 1974, the largest table-top role-playing game (RPG) Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) started out as a war game where multiple players could join in and fight monsters. Grounded in fantasy conventions and as a way to explore fantasy genres, Dungeons & Dragons popularity continued through new editions and add-ons. In addition, Dungeons & Dragons legacy has lived on in the gaming world as the father of most RPGs and fantasy games with a large fan following across various editions and over multiple decades. The fan following is still evident today due to D&D's foundations in high fantasy. An exploration of the ways in which fantasy narrative plays a role in the fan culture of D&D is necessary to understand how the aspects of fantasy affect gameplay and how players view D&D. By conducting a study of Dungeons & Dragons players which focused on close game play, players' relationships to other fantasy genres, and how players interacted with game conventions, I explored the ways in which Dungeons & Dragons introduced players to fantasy and how they participated in a fandom. This paper will present the findings of the study as well as situate Dungeons & Dragons in relationship to other fantasy and gaming subcultures.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Buchanan, Rebekah
Commitee: Baird, Neil, Morrow, Chris
School: Western Illinois University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Cultural anthropology, Social research
Keywords: Cultural study, Dungeons and Dragons, Fandom studies, Game studies, Game theory
Publication Number: 10809137
ISBN: 978-0-438-08061-4
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