Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Exploring Identity Through Gameplay: The Intersections of Tabletop Role-Playing Games, Game Design, and Queerness

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posted on 2022-11-07, 00:52 authored by Morris, Emily

Tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs) are an effective vehicle for exploring facets of personal identity, but are a product of masculinity and have historically only catered to heterosexual, cisgender, white men. LGBTQIA+ players have long been ignored as a minority in the TTRPG sphere, particularly those that have more intersectional and marginalised identities. Based on the opinions of 331 queer TTRPG players and concepts surrounding roles, identity, character creation, game design and queerness, this research portfolio discusses how TTRPG design can better meet the need for LGBTQIA+ identity play and exploration via queer mechanics, systems, themes and premises instead of mere representation and tokenism, and provides an example of a play-tested game designed by such principles. This will allow game designers to gain a better understanding of queer game design, and rainbow players’ wants and needs in this ever-expanding field of research and design.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Design Innovation

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

3 Applied research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design Innovation


Horrocks, Dylan; Maxey, Sarah