“Monstrous Adventurers”: The racecraft of the Dungeons and Dragons imaginary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the use of racial categories within the tabletop roleplaying game ‘Dungeon’s and Dragons’ through the lens of racecraft as outlined by Karen and Barbara Fields. Examining D&D as an imaginary, I explore how its mechanics and fiction create categories of race through a process of profiling that produces sumptuary codes, perpetuates a racial hierarchy, invokes racialized accounts of biology, and constitutes a racialized gaze. Through stressing the continuity of this fictional account of race with real world racecraft, I analyze how the fiction of D&D fails to imagine beyond the condition of race. This fiction thereby operates as a mirror that reflects back to us the difficulties of thinking beyond such racial logics, reaffirming the need for continued critique and a reimagining of race.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHoward Journal of Communications
Early online date24 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jul 2023

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