Golden Age of Tabletop Gaming: Creation of the Social Capital and Rise of Third Spaces for Tabletop Gaming in the 21st Century
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Hanyang University
Publication date: 2019-06-19
Polish Sociological Review 2019;206(2):199–216
This paper re-examines two turn-of-the-century observations of Putnam and Oldenburg about the decline of social capital-generating activities, and disappearance of certain social venues. Based on a decade of multisite observations on three continents I show that a particular type of an activity that Putnam claimed was disappearing—face-to-face, tabletop gaming—is thriving, and often doing so in third-place-like venues that Oldenburg described as endangered—local cafés and clubs. I present data on the proliferation of related leisure activities, including an estimate of their longitudinal and geographical spread and popularity. I also illustrate how social capital is created in physical gaming venues, and propose a six-type classification of those venues.