Dungeons & Dragons as trasmedia vehicle of the 20th century literature in pop culture
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AuthorVallejo García, Jorge
With the new possibilities of social media and streaming services, some narratives like table-top role-playing games seem to find their way through pop culture. Their repercussion and referencing in TV shows and the Internet support the increasing awareness in pop culture at the same time that this sort of games is re-configured to meet the modern times in media, keeping their essence of pen, paper and friends around a table. This dissertation analyses the influence of the game in modern texts through its highest representative, Dungeons & Dragons. The successful show Stranger Things serves the purpose of analysing how the nostalgia created around the eighties and its aesthetic use of Dungeons & Dragons as vehicle for the main elements of plot and the focalised vision of the same. The live streaming of role-play sessions has also helped in this spread of the community, like Critical Role, allowing a higher engagement of the audience through the ease of the relaxed atmosphere of friends enjoying their hobby, yet reaching almost a professional level of production and writing. The analysis also discusses the roots of this game in the work of J. R. R. Tolkien and H. P. Lovecraft, highlighting several points of the game like the characterisation of the races, influenced by the concepts in Tolkien’s literature and the addition of a dark element from the cosmic horror genre, introducing recognisable elements of vulnerability, horror and antagonists’ new definitions.