chapter  12
18 Pages

Sociology and Role-Playing Games

WithJ. Patrick Williams, David Kirschner, Nicholas Mizer, Sebastian Deterding

This chapter focuses on the sociology of role-playing games (RPGs) will take the variety of perspectives into account. It aims at interpretivist and constructionist approaches to RPGs, focusing first on important concepts such as interaction, identity, role, and frames to then broaden focus to culture as discuss player relations, collaborative action, and rationality. The chapter presents social stratification research that highlights noteworthy trends related to class, education, religion, gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity in RPGs from a realist perspective. Sociologists often study players' experiences and behaviors in and around RPGs. This has to do with what many see as inherently attractive about RPGs – the interactive environments within which groups can collaboratively construct an imagined world and then act in it. RPGs facilitate many different player configurations and types of social interaction. In sociology, "race" refers to dividing humans by observable physical characteristics like skin color, while "ethnicity" refers to dividing humans by culture.