Computers and Composition
This article argues that roleplaying games have the potential to challenge, encourage, and subsume the privilege of the stereotypical gamer, one who is white, male, and heterosexual. Though roleplaying games as they are currently designed are neither ideal nor perfect, the article contends they embrace feminist programming strategies and offer those who do not want to play a straight male avatar the opportunity to develop and explore identities through characters in ways that other genres do not. Roleplaying games extend the privilege of representation to other gaming demographics, giving players the opportunity to “play who they are” in the digital world, whether they are able to, or even desire to, explore this identity offline. Without the diversity of representation found in roleplaying games, players would be unable to participate in the potentially fruitful criticism of stereotypes and the ability to interact with players and characters different from themselves.
Nielsen, Danielle, "Identity Performance in Roleplaying Games" (2015). Faculty & Staff Research and Creative Activity. 215.