Project Title

Dungeons and Dragons: Social Needs met through Gaming?

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Brandon D. lundy

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons has enthralled people since its release in 1974. Why has it remained relevant for more than four decades? Does its popularity have anything to do with how it serves as a creative outlet fulfilling our human need for sociality? How are communities formed as a result of playing Dungeons and Dragons? These are just some of the questions this research looks to address. To answer the question, how does Dungeons and Dragons affect players’ social lives?, data was collected through semi-structured interviews with players who have been involved in the game for at least one year and who are over the age of 18. Study participants were identified through purposive and chain referral sampling techniques. Additional data was collected from various publicly accessible Dungeons and Dragons communities through direct observation at gaming stores. This research explores how this game promotes the social wellbeing of players in meaningful ways. The results of this study may be applicable to other subcultural groups where collective actions promote a shared sense of community.

Keywords: social wellbeing, role-playing games, Dungeons and Dragons, creativity, community building, collective action

Project Type

Poster

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Dungeons and Dragons: Social Needs met through Gaming?

The role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons has enthralled people since its release in 1974. Why has it remained relevant for more than four decades? Does its popularity have anything to do with how it serves as a creative outlet fulfilling our human need for sociality? How are communities formed as a result of playing Dungeons and Dragons? These are just some of the questions this research looks to address. To answer the question, how does Dungeons and Dragons affect players’ social lives?, data was collected through semi-structured interviews with players who have been involved in the game for at least one year and who are over the age of 18. Study participants were identified through purposive and chain referral sampling techniques. Additional data was collected from various publicly accessible Dungeons and Dragons communities through direct observation at gaming stores. This research explores how this game promotes the social wellbeing of players in meaningful ways. The results of this study may be applicable to other subcultural groups where collective actions promote a shared sense of community.

Keywords: social wellbeing, role-playing games, Dungeons and Dragons, creativity, community building, collective action