Year of Publication

2022

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/School/Program

English

First Advisor

Dr. Regina Hamilton

Second Advisor

Dr. Kishonna Gray

Abstract

Representations of fantasy settings in roleplaying games often draw upon understandings of the medieval and early Renaissance world. This dynamic often extends to racial politics in such worlds. For the contemporary roleplaying game, this often means that game mechanics are built around race, species, or gender. Often, players interpret such mechanics as a means of bioessentializing race or practicing stereotypes rooted in Eurocentric morality and values.

This thesis examines the underlying rhetoric and implicit stakes by which race in fantasy worlds overlaps with the rhetoric and proposed stakes of White Nationalist and Alt-right actors. As fantasy roleplaying games, and especially analog games, have evaded scholarly attention, little has been said about the burgeoning, identitarian movements in such communities and the ways in which these communities interpret popular gaming artifacts. This work reveals ongoing issues in representing race, medievalisms, and the genre of fantasy.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2022.172

Funding Information

This work was supported by a Teaching Assistantship granted by the University of Kentucky's Department of English from Fall 2020 to Spring 2022.

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