Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation

Political Science

Document Type



Television can have a major impact on how groups of people are seen in shows. The media that people consume have an influence on how they view and interact with the world. Television also utilizes character creation of different types of people to create an array of characters for viewers to enjoy. However, how these characters are portrayed can influence how the public sees the groups that the character is apart of. The “Nerd” subgroup started for form as a subcultural identity in the 1970s and 80s, and as this group began to form, stereotypes about them quickly began to form as well. This paper utilizes visual media representations of Dungeons and Dragons and tracks the changes from the 1980s to the modern day. The subsequent analysis focuses on the gender and sexuality of the Dungeons and Dragons players that are represented to determine the stereotypes about the group and how they change as the nerd identity becomes more formalized.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Tamara Van Dyken, Ph.D.


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | History