chapter  27
20 Pages

Power and Control in Role-Playing Games

WithJessica Hammer, Whitney Beltrán, Jonathan Walton, Moyra Turkington

This chapter examines prior work on role-playing game (RPG) and power and contextualize it within existing work on power relations. It discusses how the different frames of an RPG allow the reshaping of power. The chapter looks at the concrete ways in which RPGs distribute power, both to intervene in the game and to enforce one's intentions. It attempts to reconcile scholarly approaches to power by pointing out how each is relevant to a different aspect of RPGs. The chapter considers how scholarly understandings can be applied across a range of role-playing forms, including table top RPGs, live-action role-play, single-player computer PRGs, multiplayer online (MORPG), and online freeform play. Luca Rossi examines how the technical and social tools available to guilds in MORPG interact to give guild leaders and members power in conflicts. For example, Rossi defines the power controlled by individuals and guild leaders.