International Journal of Role-Playing Inaugural Issue

The first issue of the  International Journal of Role-playing is out! Sorry one has to download the entire issue (it does not say and should but I think the PDF is around 11mb). Anyway, my paper is an ongoing conceptual fermenter on what defines a world, and  useful distinctions between cultural and social presence.  I’d appreciate any feedback…

Title:

Roles and Worlds in the Hybrid RPG Game of Oblivion

Abstract:
Role-playing is both an important part of cultural learning (Hallford and Hallford 2001 pp231-236), and an important genre in computer games (Tychsen 2006). Roles are intrinsically related to the notion of social worlds, yet exactly how is not clear in the academic literature. There are few grounded theories in computer game studies on how role- playing works in sustaining and augmenting a thematic “world”, there are few clear descriptions of what “world” means in this context, and the social versus cultural dimensions of both roles and worlds are seldom delineated. I suggest that the cultural and social dimensions of both real world and virtual world playing are important, and that commercial computer role-playing games (CRPGs) offer more opportunities to support deeper cultural aspects of role-playing.

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