Nicholas McPherson

2023 McNair Scholar, Niko McPherson

University of New Hampshire
McNair Scholar, 2023
Major: Musical Theatre
Mentor: Dr. Michele Dillon
Research Title: Playing Great Games with Great People: How Flesh and Blood is Creating a Community through Trading Card Games

Scholars of Sociology are currently debating, and have debated for over 60 years, whether community is dying; the opinion that community is dying and that people are becoming more ego-centric and narcissistic is currently winning out. Through this research, I aim to contribute to this discussion by proving that community is not dying, but that it is instead alive and well by looking at it through Flesh and Blood, a Trading Card Game published by Legend Story Studios. To do so, my research involves two phases.

The first phase is an information gathering phase where I aim to gain a broader understanding of community and the debate around why community is dying. I will gather information about the Flesh and Blood community through online resources and interviews. The second phase is a field-research phase where I aim to travel to a Flesh and Blood convention in Cincinnati and make observations about the community, participate in activities within the community, and interview members of the community through a short questionnaire.

I expect to find that community is not dying, but that our definition of community is changing. I expect to find a vibrant community of people surrounding Flesh and Blood, and I expect to find a variety of reasons why people are involved with Flesh and Blood. Finally, I also expect to find a community that often provides a place for those who might not feel as though they belong to or fit into other communities socially.

This research is important because it contributes to a national debate among scholars and provides evidence contrary to popular belief. This research is also important because it is likely some of the first research surrounding Flesh and Blood and is focusing on Trading Card Games, which is not the most popular or well-researched topic.

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