Role-play as a Heritage Practice is the first book to examine physically performed role-enactments, such as live-action role-play (LARP), tabletop role-playing games (TRPG), and hobbyist historical reenactment (RH), from a combined game studies and heritage studies perspective.
Demonstrating that non-digital role-plays, such as TRPG and LARP, share many features with RH, the book contends that all three may be considered as heritage practices. Studying these role-plays as three distinct genres of playful, participatory and performative forms of engagement with cultural heritage, Mochocki demonstrates how an exploration of the affordances of each genre can be valuable. Showing that a player’s engagement with history or heritage material is always multi-layered, the book clarifies that the layers may be conceptualised simultaneously as types of heritage authenticity and as types of in-game immersion. It is also made clear that RH, TRPG and LARP share commonalities with a multitude of other media, including video games, historical fiction and film. Existing within, and contributing to, the fiction and non-fiction mediasphere, these role-enactments are shaped by the same large-scale narratives and discourses that persons, families, communities, and nations use to build memory and identity.
Role-play as a Heritage Practice will be of great interest to academics and students engaged in the study of heritage, memory, nostalgia, role-playing, historical games, performance, fans and transmedia narratology.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Heritage and Role-Playing; 1. Heritage Authenticity Meets Game Immersion; 2. Immersion, Authenticity, and Implicit Fandoms in Site/Event Visitation; 3. RH+TRPG+LARP: Prototypical Models and First-Person Audience; 4. RH+TRPG+LARP as Narrative Media; 5. Performative Representation of Heritage; 6. Processual Enactment of RH+TRPG+LARP Storyworlds; 7. Immersion/Involvement in Activity and Environment; 8. Immersion/Involvement in Character and Game; 9. Narrative Immersion/Involvement and Authorised Heritage Discourse; 10. Community Immersion/Involvement and Dissonant Heritages
Michał Mochocki, PhD, works as Assistant Professor at Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland. His research interests focus on non-digital and digital role-playing games, which he approaches from the angles of narratology and heritage studies. In addition to academic research, his knowledge of historical role-enactments comes from first-hand experience as reenactor, educator, RPG writer and designer. He is a member of Games Research Association of Poland, Digital Game Research Assocation, and International Game Developers Association.