Masters Thesis

Dungeons and dragons taught me how to write: analyzing the parallels between guides for new teachers and tabletop roleplaying game manuals

Rule books for tabletop, pen and paper roleplaying games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, are full of advice for creating stories that are coherent, three-dimensional, and engaging. In a composition classroom, students are striving to create arguments that are cogent, demonstrate their ability to analyze, and embed those arguments in interesting and relevant pieces of writing. Parallels exist between composition pedagogy and the techniques “players” and the leader in a Dungeons and Dragons-like game utilize to tell a story: collaboration, understanding audience, and maintaining continuity and coherence. Teachers in a composition classroom and Game Masters in a tabletop, pen and paper roleplaying game use similar techniques to achieve similar goals. I will expose these parallels with the aim to demonstrate what composition instructors can borrow from role playing manuals.