Book: “Dungeons, Dragons and Digital Denizens” by G. Voorhees, J. Call, and K. Whitlock (Eds).

The first title in Continuum’s Approaches to Game Studies series, Dungeons, Dragons and Digital Denizens is a collection of scholarly essays that seeks to represent the far-reaching scope and implications of digital role-playing games as both cultural and academic artifacts. As a genre, digital role playing games have undergone constant and radical revision, pushing not only multiple boundaries of game development, but also the playing strategies and experiences of players.

Divided into three distinct sections, this premiere volume captures the distinctiveness of different game types, the forms of play they engender and their social and cultural implications. Contributors examine a range of games, from classics like Final Fantasy to blockbusters like World of Warcraft to obscure genre bending titles like Lux Pain. Working from a broad range of disciplines such as ecocritism, rhetoric, performance, gender, and communication, these essays yield insights that enrich the field of game studies and further illuminate the cultural, psychological and philosophical implications of a society that increasingly produces, plays and discourses about role playing games.

“Dungeons, Dragons and Digital Denizens is as captivating as it sounds, a state of the art collection with provocative essays interrogating video games through close readings of game narrative, landscape, and digital structure. Space, time power, knowledge, language, and identity furnish rich interpretive accounts of an especially interesting array of games.

–Bonnie Nardi, Professor in the Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine

“The digital role-playing game is a strange hybrid: the conventions of pen and paper games translated to the computer; stories and games mixed in new ways. This anthology is an excellent guide, presenting a range of inspiring new approaches for anyone interested in role-playing games.”

–Jesper Juul, Visiting Assistant Arts Professor, New York University Game Center, author of Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds

“Dungeons, Dragons, and Digital Denizens is an exceptionally coherent and well-integrated collection. This collection is theoretically rich and engaging while remaining focused on the nuance and detail of a wide variety of games. The volume is essential reading for advanced scholars and students in game studies seeking to develop literary and cultural theoretical models of digital gaming as a mode of authorship, expression and critique. The papers in this collection push the envelope on the analysis of digital role playing games and provide fertile ground for further debate and new case studies as the landscape of digital gaming continues to change. This is a volume of papers by serious game scholars who can both attend to the detail and nuances of specific games as well as offer theoretical engaged and suggestive analysis.”

— Bart Simon, Associate Professor, Director, Centre of Technoculture, Art and Games, Concordia University, Montreal

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