Abstract

Given the growing popularity of the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D, this thesis study applied the Uses and Gratifications theory to determine what players of the game get from engagement with this particular, previously overlooked form of entertainment media. Additionally, this research sought to determine whether these discovered gratifications overlapped at all with perceived similar media, specifically massive multiplayer online roleplaying games, MMORPGs, and social media. A series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews designed to elicit relevant responses were conducted with 14 respondents, followed by a thematic analysis to determine gratifications. The qualitative analysis determined a set of 24 gratifications, each categorized under social, immersion, narrative, and achievement labels. Among these included potentially unique gratifications such as story creation, control, creativity, freedom, and identity exploration. Moreover, while many similar gratifications were determined for D&D and MMORPGs, very few overlapping gratifications emerged between D&D and social media, possibly due to the latter's lack of available immersion gratifications. This research provides an insight as to why audience members choose to actively engage with a form of entertainment media previously discounted in scholarly literature, and how these reasons to engage differ from more modern, similar available media types.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2022

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Rubenking, Bridget

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Nicholson School of Communication and Media

Degree Program

Communication

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008978; DP0026311

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0026311

Language

English

Release Date

May 2022

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2022; it will then be open access.

Included in

Communication Commons

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