All posts by Sarah Lynne Bowman


The International Journal of Role-playing Issue 12 has arrived! The tables of contents are listed below with links to the documents.

ISSN 2210-4909

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IJRP 12: Full Issue

Table of Contents

William J. White, Evan Torner, and Sarah Lynne Bowman,Editorial: The Social Epistemology of Analog Role-Playing Game Studies

Reflections on the interdisciplinary and heterogeneous nature of role-playing games studies, as evident in the five uniquely distinct articles in Issue 12.

Tadeu Rodrigues Iuama and Luiz Falcão,Analog Role-Playing Game Studies: A Brazilian Overview

An overview of the history of role-playing games and their respective game communities in Brazil, as well as the development of role-playing game study scholarship, including research on RPGs in education.

Marissa Baker,An Analysis of the Literature Surrounding the Intersection of Role-Playing Games, Race, and Identity

A review and examination of a body of multidisciplinary scholarship on representation and race in fantasy RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons and World of Warcraft.

Pascal Martinolli,A Scholarly Character Sheet to Frame Learning Activities and Improve Engagement

An evaluation of the use of role-playing game inspired character sheets in a graduate seminar on library instruction to assess the participants’ knowledge, present the curriculum, and measure the their progress.

Hanne Grasmo and Jaakko Stenros,Nordic Erotic Larp: Designing for Sexual Playfulness

Mapping, organizing, and understanding the phenomena of erotic larp design through a systemic examination of 25 design abstracts of Nordic art larps from the last decade.

Christian Mehrstam,Recomposing Lovecraft: Genre Emulation as
Autopoiesis in the First Edition of Call of Cthulhu

An examination of how genre is emulated in the first edition of Call of Cthulhu (1981), analyzing the game’s potential to answer social needs during the Reagan era.


The International Journal of Role-playing Issue 11 has arrived! The tables of contents are listed below with links to the documents.

ISSN 2210-4909

* * *

IJRP 11: Full Issue

Table of Contents

Evan Torner, Sarah Lynne Bowman, and William J. White,Editorial Introduction to Issue 11

Some context for the current issue, especially with regard to current critiques of themes of violence and oppression in games, as well as this year’s Call for Papers on Applied Role-playing Games and the excellent articles submitted in response.

Sarah Albom,The Killing Roll: The Prevalence of Violence in Dungeons & Dragons

A textual analysis evaluating the language used in the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Player’s Handbook. This article discusses the ways that the text incentivizes characters to take violent actions more often than offering peaceful solutions.

Diana J. Leonard, Jovo Janjetovic, Maximilian Usman,Playing to Experience Marginalization: Benefits and Drawbacks of ‘Dark Tourism’ in Larp

An examination of how playing characters with marginalizations the player does not share can lead to perspective taking and empathy, but can also cause harm if not done with care.

Joe Lasley,Fantasy In Real Life: Making Meaning from Vicarious Experiences with a Tabletop RPG Internet Stream

A qualitative study examining seven fans of the livestream show Critical Role, in which actors play Dungeons & Dragons. The fans described an increase in their well-being due to parasocial relationships with the fiction and players in the show.

Kerttu Lehto,Role-Playing Games and Well-Being

A secondary literature review discussing the main themes in role-playing game studies, as well as arts and well-being as fields of study. This author advocates for more dialogue between these fields as a fruitful line of inquiry, especially with regard to the design of games for personal development and well-being.

Josephine Baird,Role-playing the Self – Trans Self-Expression, Exploration, and Embodiment in Live Action Role-Playing Games

An autoethnography blending gender theory with personal experience exploring gender in role-playing games and other performance spaces. The author considers how best to design larps explicitly to help trans people embody their identities.

Katrin Geneuss,The Use of the Role-playing Technique STARS in Formal Didactic Contexts

A summary of Design-based Research on 16 educational live action role-playing games (edu-larps) created for German schools. This article offers several best practices for educators who seek to implement edu-larp in the classroom.


The International Journal of Role-playing Issue 10 has arrived! The tables of contents are listed below with links to the documents.

ISSN 2210-4909

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IJRP 10: Social Dynamics within Role-playing Communities

Table of Contents

Shekinah Hoffman, “Dedication

This issue is dedicated to Dr. Matthew. M. LeClaire (1989-2018), with a special memorial from his close colleague Shekinah Hoffman, as well as biographical information about his many accomplishments from his parents, Guy M. and Mary Jo LeClaire.

Sarah Lynne Bowman, Evan Torner, and William J. White, “Editorial: Retrospective, Challenges, and Persistence

This editorial discusses the history of the journal, including shifts in scope. The editors also thank the contributors and reviewers for their persistence in times of great challenge.

Aaron Trammell and Nikki Crenshaw, The Damsel and the Courtesan: Quantifying Consent in Early Dungeons & Dragons

This article applies critical gender theory to early fanzine discourse. The authors examine discussions around rules for sexual encounters that were seen to objectify women characters.

Steven L. Dashiell, “Hooligans at the Table: The Concept of Male Preserves in Tabletop Role-playing Games

This paper examines sociolinguistics in tabletop role-playing communities, asserting that player behaviors such as “rules lawyering” and “gamesplaining” privilege exclusionary “nerd” masculinity.

William J. White, “Indie Gaming Meets the Nordic Scene: A Dramatistic Analysis

This article analyzes a discussion between indie designers Ron Edwards from the Forge and Tobias Wrigstad from Jeepform. The author applies Kenneth Burke’s dramatic pendad to the rhetorical moves made by each participant.

Matthew M. LeClaire, “Live Action Role-playing: Transcending the Magic Circle

This participant-observer ethnography examines the ways in which Dagorhir larpers explore identity and negotiate social dynamics withing their role-playing community.

Matthew Orr, Sara King, and Melissa McGonnell, “A Qualitative Exploration of the Perceived Social Benefits of Playing Table-top Role-playing Games

This qualitative analysis discusses how participants perceived tabletop role-playing as beneficial to the development of their social competence.

Juliane Homann, “Not Only Play: Experiences of Playing a Professor Character at College of Wizardry with a Professional Background in Teaching

This paper presents experiences of teachers who played professors at the larp College of Wizardry, applying concepts from studies of work and leisure.