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Psychiatrists’ Perceptions of Role-Playing Games


The literature has seen a surge in research on the mental health impacts of technologies such as Facebook, video games, and massively-multiplayer online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft, but little is known regarding the mental health impact of non-video role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons. The present study examines how psychiatrists’ perceive role-playing games and whether they play them. Psychiatrists at a tertiary care centre in Canada completed a questionnaire assessing history of playing role-playing games and whether they associate them with psychopathology. Forty-eight psychiatrists responded. Twenty-three percent have played a role-playing game over their lifetimes. Twenty-two percent believed there was an association between psychopathology and role-playing games. A majority of psychiatrists who responded do not associate role-playing games with psychopathology. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

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The authors acknowledge the members of the McGill University Psychiatry Perceptions of Emerging Technologies Labs for their support.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Correspondence to Eric Lis.

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Lis, E., Chiniara, C., Biskin, R. et al. Psychiatrists’ Perceptions of Role-Playing Games. Psychiatr Q 86, 381–384 (2015).

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  • Role-playing games
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Stereotypes
  • Psychiatrists