Preferred Name


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication


Cathryn Molloy

Angela Crow

Scott Lunsford


An Exploration of Embodiment, Narrative Identity, and Healing in Dungeons and Dragons is composed of two sister articles: the first is titled Me, Myself, and My D&D Character: The Recursive Process of Embodiment and Narrative Identity in Dungeons and Dragons, and the second is titled Dungeons and Dragons as a Site of Healing: Towards Embodied Writing as Healing. Dungeons and Dragons, or D&D, is a fantasy role-playing game where a Dungeon Master, leader and rules referee, leads a group of players acting as fantasy characters, or avatars, through a story together where outcomes are determined by rolling dice. Since players role-play their designated characters alongside other players, I pose that D&D is a rich and recursive process where players embody their characters through experiences similar to and different from their own lives. This recursive process of embodiment and narrative identity, I pose, also has significant use in allowing players to heal through these embodied experiences. Using an ethnographic approach to autoethnography, I observe in the first article my own experiences playing D&D both as player and Dungeon Master to understand the recursive process between a player, their character, and the other players/characters in the game. In the second article, I take this understanding that D&D is a recursive embodied experience and explore my own healing journey playing my two most recent characters, Shasta and Edris. I found that a character’s embodied experience can interact and overlap with the player’s embodied experience, and that D&D provides opportunity for self-reflection through these experiences to heal and grow.

Available for download on Friday, April 29, 2022