Role-playing games offer a chance to pretend, make believe, and share fantasy. They often invoke heavy themes into their game play: morality, violence, politics, spirituality, or sexuality. Although interesting moral debates perennially appear in the media and academia concerning the appropriateness of games’ ability to deal with such adult concepts, very little is known about the intersection between games, playfulness, and sexuality and what this might mean for players.
This book offers an in-depth, ethnographic look into the phenomenon of erotic role-play through the experiences of players in multiplayer and tabletop role-playing games. Brown explores why participants engage in erotic role-play; discusses the rules involved in erotic role-play; and uncovers what playing with sexuality in ludic environments means for players, their partners, and their everyday lives. Taken together, this book provides a rich, nuanced, and detailed account of a provocative topic.
Table of Contents
1. Finding the Erotic in Role-Play 2. Sex, Games, and Sex Games 3. Erotic Role-Players 4. Multiple Pleasures 5. The Role of Rules 6. ERP IRL 7. The Future of Erotic Role-Play
Ashley ML Brown is a lecturer in digital games theory and design at Brunel University, London. She completed her PhD at the University of Manchester in sociology in autumn 2013. She volunteers as secretary for the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), and is a founding member of the recently created UK chapter of DiGRA.
"An exemplary look at an understudied facet of both role-play and digital sexualities." - J. Tuomas Harviainen, University of Tampere, Finland
"In this compact, precise work, [Brown] explores the interesting and sometimes libidinous world of erotic role play in table-top games such as Dungeons and Dragons and online gaming such as World of Warcraft... This is an exemplary piece of academic work that is beautifully structured and makes a valuable contribution to the interpretation, exploration and future development of games studies." - Trudy Barber, University of Portsmouth, UK