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2004 - Role-Playing and Playing Roles: The Person, Player, and Persona in Fantasy Role-Playing

by Hawke Robinson published Feb 29, 2016 12:07 AM, last modified Feb 29, 2016 12:07 AM

In fantasy role-playing games, participants collectively create & play fantasy personas in an imaginary universe by using a vast system of rules that function as guidelines for make-believe action & interaction. Consequently, role-playing games obligate participants to occupy a liminal role located in the boundaries of persona, player, & person. This study, based on approximately ninety hours of participant observation & forty interviews with thirty role-players, explores how role-players actively negotiate these symbolic boundaries: how role-players carve out distinct spheres of meaning between themselves, their fantasy personas, & status as players of these games. It also illustrates how these distinctions fail. Boundaries erupt & role-players prove unable to compartmentalize themselves so discretely. Through the lens of these games, we can examine simplified & exaggerated dynamics & entertain the possibility that we are all players located at the liminal margins between the people we believe ourselves to be & the personas we perform in situated social encounters. 27 References. Adapted from the source document.

Author Waskul, Dennis 1 ; Lust, Matt

1 Dept Sociology & Corrections, Minnesota State U, Mankato
Correspondence author Waskul, Dennis
Author e-mail address
Publication title Symbolic Interaction

Year 2004
ISSN 0195-6086
Source type Scholarly Journals
Peer reviewed Yes
Language of publication English
Document type Journal Article
Number of references 27
Update 2007-10-30
Accession number 200422446
ProQuest document ID 60088790
Document URL