> Studies on Role-Playing Games
ON ROLE-PLAYING GAMES
years gone by, it was fairly common to hear certain talk-show guests,
moral pundits, and paranoid parents' groups make claims of studies on
the dangers of role-playing games.
any of those claims had ever been questioned, the truth would have come
out very quickly - those studies never existed. In reality, the reverse
is true - there are numerous studies on the positive educational,
developmental, and social effects that roleplaying has on the
best place to find information on these studies is www.rpgstudies.net,
which includes over 70 different listings on different topics and
aspects of the roleplaying hobby. Only a few of the studies are
available online - unfortunately, publishing each of them on the site
is not possible. But there is enough information on the majority of the
other entries to allow you to contact the author or publishing journal
for more information.
are some examples of the studies you'll find on the site:
Wayne D. (1994). Dungeons and Dragons: The Use of a Fantasy Game in the
Psychotherapeutic Treatment of a Young Adult..
"A schizoid young man made a methodical attempt at suicide. He revealed
a paucity of object attachments leading to profound isolation. His
early upbring led him to extreme isolation of affect and a fear of
fragmentation. His inner life was not safely reachable by conventional
therapy. After he became involved in playing a fantasy game, Dungeons
and Dragons, the therapy was modified to use the game material as
displaced, waking fantasy. This fantasy was used as a safe guide to
help the patient learn to acknowledge and express his inner self in a
safe and guided way. The patient ultimately matured and developed
healthier object relations and a better life."
Robert & Lester, David (1998). Personalities of Players of
Dungeons and Dragons. "20 men who played
Dungeons and Dragons did not differ in mean scores on depression,
suicidal ideation, psychoticism, extraversion, or neuroticism from
Neil A. & McManus, Ian Chris (1993). The Personality of Fantasy
Game Players. A comparison of personality
types between play-by-mail RPG players and non-players.
SITES, STUDIES, PAPERS, AND ARTICLES
great as it is, the rpgstudies.net
site doesn't list everything. Here are other items of interest:
The International Journal of Role-Playing - "The International Journal of Role-Playing is a response to a growing
need for a place where the varied and wonderful fields of role-playing
research and development, covering academia, the industry and the arts,
can exchange knowledge and research, form networks and communicate."
W.A. Hawke Robinson's RPG
Research Project can be found at www.rpgresearch.com.
As the site describes it:
A multi-stage (earliest
stages being developed currently), large scale (more than 1,000
participants), long term (spanning years), multi-variable, triple-blind
research study on the therapeutic aspects of role playing gaming. The
purpose is to determine the CAUSAL characteristics of role playing
games, rather than relying on correlative data as many other studies
have done in the past. The first stages of this project (early thesis
drafts and discussions with university psychology department heads)
began in 2003, and are incrementally progressing.
article examines the impact of the role-playing game “moral panic” on
the role-playing game community and investigates the responses and
coping mechanisms utilised by those directly targeted and harassed by
churches, the police, schools and governments during the height of the
“moral panic” in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The article also
investigates the effect that the shared experience of being targeted by
a “moral panic” had on the formation of a role-playing counter culture
you know of other studies, completed or ongoing, that should be
included in this list, feel free to contact me: