Dungeons, Dragons, and Conquest: Using Fantasy to Address Topics of Colonialism, Archaeology, and the Destruction of Indigenous Culture

Author(s): Jesse Harvkey

Year: 2019

Summary

This is an abstract from the "From Tomb Raider to Indiana Jones: Pitfalls and Potential Promise of Archaeology in Pop Culture" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

In this research experiment, I use the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons to examine topics of colonialism, archaeology, and destruction of indigenous culture. Basing aspects of my fictional fantasy game on these real-world historical and modern-day issues, I plan to place my players into situations which will allow them to both learn the importance of cultural preservation and see the effect of colonialism on indigenous lands and peoples in a fictional world. The story and game will last until May of 2019, with the plot section relating to these topics ending in late March. During this time, I will examine and record my players' actions and reactions when given a interactive storyline of imperial conquest of native lands. They will be exposed to rich indigenous cultures and given opportunities to place themselves into the narrative, to learn of cultural preservation and archaeology, and to test their own western belief systems. I hope to open my players' eyes to these difficult topics and place them into the midst of this intense storyine, giving them the opportunity to take action and make conscientious decisions based on the knowledge and emotions I hope to bring to the table.

Cite this Record

Dungeons, Dragons, and Conquest: Using Fantasy to Address Topics of Colonialism, Archaeology, and the Destruction of Indigenous Culture. Jesse Harvkey. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450394)

Keywords

General
Colonialism Ethics Other

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25415