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Playing Angels and Angels at Play: The Study of Religion in Tabletop Role-Playing Games

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Playing Angels and Angels at Play: The Study of Religion in Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Streck-Havill, Trenton (2012) Playing Angels and Angels at Play: The Study of Religion in Tabletop Role-Playing Games. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs) provide a unique religious experience to players through three levels of interaction. Players engage with religion and religious concepts in TRPGs through mechanics and system rules, setting, and interpersonal interactions with other gamers during the game session. Together these three facets of the TRPG experience create a bridge between the player and the game environment. This allows for players to experience the game setting as part of their conventional reality. Religious constructs erected in the game world and interacted with via the player's character, become authentic expressions of religion worthy of study by scholars of religion. Religion becomes actualized by the player as he translates the experience of his character into personal experience with the game environment. Mechanics help facilitate that translation by creating the liminal space of the game. Rules and system create boundaries for the game that creates the place where religious play can occur. Setting then fills the liminal space providing the environment that is explored, creating an understandable engagement with religious components of the game. Lastly, the act of play, by the player, creates religious belief within the setting. Taken together the game experience of the TRPG is actuated to conventional religious experience, which opens it up as a subject for religious study.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religion
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Streck-Havill, Trenton
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History and Philosophy of Religion
Date:13 March 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Boisvert, Donald
ID Code:973912
Deposited By:TRENTON STRECK-HAVILL
Deposited On:19 Jun 2012 14:59
Last Modified:19 Jun 2012 14:59
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