All posts by Sarah Lynne Bowman


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

* * *

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.

IJRP 8 and 9

The International Journal of Role-playing Issues 8 and 9 have arrived! These two issues feature articles selected from the Role-playing and Simulation in Education Conference at Northeastern University and Living Games Conference 2018 in Peabody, MA. These conferences took place May 17-20, 2018. The tables of contents are listed below with links to the documents.

ISSN 2210-4909

* * *

IJRP 8: Special Issue — Role-playing and Simulation in Education 2018

Sarah Lynne Bowman, Editorial

This special issue contains five articles chosen from among those presented at the Role-playing and Simulation in Education Conference at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, on May 17, 2018.

Ken Koziej and Mikael Hellström, Year Zero Economics: Using Edu-Larping to Explore Economic Systems in the Ninth Grade

This paper describes the process of converting elements of the game Mutant: Year Zero for teaching a ninth grade unit on economics, how students played the unit, and the post-game evaluation.

Magdalene Loh,Edu-Larping for Career Design

This paper explains the basis and structure of the Career Design Life Game, which helps participants better understand the job market by mimicking the actual world of school and jobs.

Rian Rezende, Sabrina Araujo, and Denise Portinari,Wonder Cards Storytelling: Imagination, Storytelling, and Role-playing in the Creation of Objects, Spaces, and Experiences

This article explores storytelling and role-playing as resources to create objects, spaces, and experiences in the design of the Wonder Cards.

Susan Weiner,Case Studies as Tabletop RPGs

This paper introduces a method of implementing case studies in the college classroom by using a tabletop framework, allowing students the agency to make decisions that have impact within the world of the case study.

* * *

IJRP 9: Special Issue — Living Games Conference 2018

Evan Torner,Editorial

This special issue contains four articles chosen from among those presented at the Living Games Conference at Northeastern University in Peabody, MA, on May 17-20, 2018.

Russell Murdock,Legal Liability in Live Action Role-Playing: The Law is Dark and Full of Terrors

This paper explores the legal liabilities and risks associated with running a live-action role-playing game (larp), including issues related to alcohol consumption, employee behavior, and personal injury.

Diana J. Leonard and Tessa Thurman,Bleed-out on the Brain: The Neuroscience of Character-to-Player Spillover in Larp

This article pairs emerging neuroscience theory and research with classic psychological models of emotion and motivation to examine the causes and consequences of the important larp phenomenon of bleed-out.

Brodie Atwater and Alex Rowland,Developing a Framework of Larp Counseling

This paper outlines the purpose and challenges of the role of larp counselor in order to discuss the need for standardization due to liabilities and expectations of care. The authors propose a three part guide containing a code of ethics, procedures, and best practices.

Jason Cox,Documenting Larp as an Art of Experience

This article approaches larp documentation and representation by foregrounding player experiences over the narrative created by the designers. The author discusses the development of The Magischola Museum website, designed to house artifacts from the larp series New World Magischola.