chapter  19
9 Pages

Communication Research and Role-Playing Games

WithWilliam J. White

This chapter discusses the field of communication as a disciplinary site for the study of role-playing. The main avenue of approach for communication scholars interested in this topic is the equally interdisciplinary field of game studies—which means that role-playing as an object of study is often addressed obliquely in studies mainly devoted to understanding, example, immersion or identification in multiplayer online role-playing games. The field of communication is an interdisciplinary enterprise that draws upon number of intellectual traditions for its theoretical models and paradigmatic exemplars, investigating human interaction in a multitude of contexts from perspectives that include both humanistic and social-scientific outlooks. The chapter presents the study of role-playing in communication by laying out the broader contours of the study of games in the field. Communication research contributes to the interdisciplinary field of game studies most heavily via social psychological investigation of digital games, relying mainly on the sociological, psychological, and literary approaches described elsewhere.