Indie Gaming Meets the Nordic Scene: A Dramatistic Analysis




rhetoric, freeform, jeepform, tabletop, role-playing games, indie games, TRPG, the Forge, discourse analysis, Kenneth Burke, dramatistic pendad


This paper examines video recordings of a panel presentation by game designers Ron Edwards of the United States and Tobias Wrigstad of Sweden at an Italian gaming convention in May 2010. The paper uses a dramatistic perspective to explore the discursive dynamics of their encounter, which represented contact between role-playing game designers from different traditions that were driven by similar imperatives and goals. It establishes the context of their encounter, summarizes the video recordings that document it, and uses the “dramatistic pentad” developed by rhetorician Kenneth Burke as a tool for reading the multiple levels of narrative and interaction that emerge as each speaker presents their perspective on the development of the different communities of play for whom they speak. It identifies an important dynamic within their speech as being how orientations toward differentiation or toward integration manifest in different ways. Ultimately, the encounter between Ron Edwards and Tobias Wrigstad provides access to different ways of thinking about the relationships between role-playing communities over time and in space: as instances of differentiation or as parts of a larger dialogue.




How to Cite

White, W. J. (2020). Indie Gaming Meets the Nordic Scene: A Dramatistic Analysis. International Journal of Role-Playing, (10), 40–55.