Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is an immersive fantasy role-playing game (RPG) which allows players to fulfill real-world social needs through interaction. Although D&D may appear to be a game of simple make-believe, the emotions, camaraderie, and accomplishments experienced by players are real, thus suggesting that RPGs have real-world implications for players. Therefore, the goal of this study is to explore the ways in which players fulfill social needs through group communication during the context of D&D table-top role-play. Utilizing Bormann’s (1972) fantasy theme analysis, this study uses a case study approach to identify four themes which emerged within player talk on Facebook: (1) democratic ideologies; (2) friendship maintenance; (3) extraordinary experiences; and (4) good versus evil. Findings provide a description of group members’ real-world needs met through symbolic in-game interactions evidenced by communicative markers.
Adams, Aubrie S.
"Needs Met Through Role-Playing Games: A Fantasy Theme Analysis of Dungeons & Dragons,"
Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research: Vol. 12, Article 6.
Available at: https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/kaleidoscope/vol12/iss1/6