chapter  9
16 Pages

The Impact of Role-Playing Games on Culture

WithEsther MacCallum-Stewart, Jaakko Stenros, Staffan Björk

This chapter explores the influence of role-playing games (RPGs) on other games and media products as well as their representation in popular culture. It examines the cultural impact of specific role-playing aspects that have caused a "drop down" effect whereby RPGs feed upon common themes and tropes to impact gaming as a whole. For computer RPGs (CRPGs) and multiplayer online RPGs (MORPGs), changes in the rules may require explanations by the designers, such as an expansion for World of Warcraft that changed the process used by groups to divide their loot. The chapter also examines the cultural impact of RPGs through their dissemination as a thematic genre and discusses their representation in three other popular media: literature, film, and television. RPGs lend themselves well to fiction writing simply because of the formulaic manner in which campaigns, events and games are structured. Often tracking versions of Joseph Campbell's monomyth, RPG campaigns can form the basis of stories or encourage derivative texts.