Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dungeons and Downloads: Collecting Tabletop Fantasy Role-playing Games in the Age of Downloadable PDFs.

Stephannie Tornow
Fall 2016


Sich, D. (2012). Dungeons and downloads: Collecting tabletop fantasy role-playing games in the age of downloadable PDFs. Collection Building, 31(2), 60-65.

Summary: Sich explains how RPGs are a great resource for libraries. As they only require rule books and/or guidebooks, they can easily and compactly be stored on the shelves (some game may require dice or figures which can be kept behind the desk). Adding RPGs to the collection could bring more people into the space to participate in this spontaneous activity. However, it is important to understand how RPG publishing works in order to avoid copyright issues. While many RPGs are available as digital PDFs, these are intended for single use. Libraries which purchase RPG PDFs for use as part of the collection may be breaching copyright.

Evaluation: This short article can feel more like an advisory than an exploratory essay or analysis, but it does have an interesting literature review on the use of RPGs in libraries.  For a look at alternative materials in collection building, it is also demonstrates how librarians should consider copyright issues has they build their collections.

1 comment:

  1. Great find, Stephannie! As Sich points out, there is a fair bit of research on the value of tabletop roleplaying in libraries, or about how to implement its programs, but this is the first article I've seen focused on the collection side of things.
    It's also interesting to note that since this article was published, Dungeons and Dragons has arguably bucked the trend Sich described of ever-increasing complexity from the "rules-intensive" camp with their successful and simplified 5th edition.