At the Head of the Table
The TRPG Game Master as Dramatistic Agent
Keywords:Game Master (GM), Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric
This paper uses Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic approach to examine the way that the tabletop RPG Game Master (GM) is depicted in a number of different TRPG fan discourse sites distributed over time. The result of the analysis is a "rhetoric of the GM" comprising a fourfold typology of understandings of the referee role, labeled as "Fan," "Challenger," "Grown-Up," and "Demiurge," based on contingencies of dialogic versus monologic and adversarial versus non-adversarial orientations to the player-GM relationship.
Copyright (c) 2022 William J. White, Nicolas LaLone, Nicholas J. Mizer
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.