What is it about?

How were women represented in magazines for the game Dungeons & Dragons? I examine 45 articles over the span of Dragon magazine and look at the ways women's representation is reduced. My research showed through use of pronouns, comedy, a natural assumption of men as "leaders' and a presentation of women as in need of protection, women were assumed to be relegated to a second-class membership in the world of tabletop gaming.

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Why is it important?

Given that Dragon magazine was the principal resource for gamers at the time, this is significant. Women were always at the gaming table, but the research shows their participation was downplayed, minimalized, and effectively erased. With a resurgence of popularity, games like Dungeons & Dragons are faced with greater player diversity. However, my research implies to some degree this diversity was always present, just hidden.


Language is a powerful tool, not only for inclusion but also exclusion. By not using pronouns such as "she" or presenting women as helpers, girlfriends, and the source of comic relief, there is an implied history that women were either not at the gaming table or an ill fit. Neither of these things is true.

Steven Dashiell

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This page is a summary of: Chasing the Dragon (Magazine): Gender Erasure Through Discourse in Dragon Magazine, 1978–2005, Culture Studies &#x2194 Critical Methodologies, June 2022, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/15327086221097635.
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