Dungeons and Queers

Reparative Play in Dungeons and Dragons

I play Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) at least once a week–more if I can convince my friends to play with me. I have a monthly tabletop gaming group where we try new and weird role-playing games (RPGs) like Fiasco and Dread, where there are a few rules that create a space of play that’s otherwise pretty boundless. But I always come back to D&D. It’s something special, getting to play with friends in worlds that I’ve imagined alone for so long (see also my long-standing obsession with Bioware-style RPGs, heavy on character creation and relationship-building). Continue Reading

Shared Fantasy

Role-Playing Games as Social Worlds

At the time of Shared Fantasy’s publication, Dungeons and Dragons had not yet been on the market for ten years, and if the anecdotal evidence from Gary Alan Fine’s text is to be believed, the genesis of fantasy role playing itself had occurred only a few years earlier (14). When Fine researched this book, the fantasy role playing was in its very early stages, and it is this proximity to the origins of the genre that makes this an enduring text worth studying. Fine notes the origins of FRPGs in war games, simulation games, and folie-à-deux (shared delusion), and draws on existing scholarship for these precursors; Shared Fantasy is, however, the first academic study of fantasy role players as members of a distinct community. Continue Reading