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Acknowledging, Assessing And Addressing Racism Within The Fantasy Genre

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 02:  The cast of Maze Arcana help unveil the new Dungeons & Dragons storyline, 'Tomb of Annihilation' during a live streaming event  at The House Studios on June 2, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Dungeons & Dragons)
Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Dungeons & Dragons
The cast of Maze Arcana help unveil the new Dungeons & Dragons storyline, 'Tomb of Annihilation' during a live streaming event at The House Studios on June 2, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.

The fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons has editions that date back to the 1970s. While the game is made up of mythical characters and spells that can be cast, its depiction of race and gender are anything but a fantasy.

The fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons has editions that date back to the 1970s. While the game is made up of mythical characters and spells that can be cast, its depiction of race and gender are anything but a fantasy. 

The Dungeon Master uses the rule book to narrate the story that allows players to decide the actions of their characters. According to a recent piece in WIRED, “genetic determinism is a fantasy tradition.” Game makers are starting to grapple with the deeply ingrained stereotyping that exists. But experts recognize that changing a few rules here and there only goes so far. So where does the fantasy genre of gaming go from here and how can it increase representation? Today on AirTalk, we talk with experts who have been following this. Do you have thoughts or questions? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

With guest host Libby Denkmann 

If you're interested in learning more about role-playing games from BIPOC & LGBTQ+ game makers, here are just a few places to start: 

Guests:

Aaron Trammell, assistant professor of informatics and core faculty in Visual Studies at UC Irvine, he writes about inclusivity in geek culture and how tabletop games inform the lived experiences of their players, he's also editor-in-chief of Analog Game Studies; he tweets

Antero Garcia, assistant professor at Stanford University, where he studies how tech and gaming shape youth learning, his recent research recent research explores learning and literacies in tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons; he tweets

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