Millions of people watch “actual play” streams of other people having a good time with tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. Critical Role is the biggest of these productions, but there are many others rolling dice and creating stories online. And many more playing around their own tabletops, be they physical or virtual. I have often wondered what people other than myself get out of these experiences, and how they appeal to us in ways different from books, movies, TV, or video games. When someone sees another person create a story by role-playing a fictional character, does that have the power to touch us, to help us, to transform us? These are the kinds of questions my guest expert and I answer on this episode of the podcast as we talk about a paper he wrote on the transformative power of Critical Role and Dungeons & Dragons in general.
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