Alicia Copeland

Research title: Creating Worlds with Words - How Language is Used in Fantasy Roleplaying Games to Create Immersive Environments

Research Summary

We have all been drawn into a great book, movie, or game to the point that we felt immersed in that fictional world ourselves. The aim of my PhD research is to investigate how these fictional worlds draw us in by looking at one crucial aspect of world creation: the type of language found within that world. I will be examining how language is used to create immersive environments in digital roleplaying games, particularly looking at the Forgotten Realms franchise, as the games are prototypical examples of the fantasy roleplaying game genre. I intend to explore questions such as:

* Do certain fantasy races within the game use archaisms or dialect features more than others?

* Is there a significant difference between the dialogue text of player options versus the text of non-playable characters?

* How much of the non-dialogue text contains archaisms or dialectal features?

* Is it possible for a person to determine the race and class of a character by reading a short extract of that character’s dialogue?