Having just written a rather academic answer, I'm again at the point where I'm wondering if I can make RPGs a genuine research output.
I'm prepared to, over the next 8 months, try to find a journal willing to do a special topics issue on RPGs if I can have 8-12 people who are willing and able to contribute academic papers on the topic of RPGs. (What specific facet of RPGs is... somewhat open to interpretation and will be coordinated with the authors.)
If you have an idea for a paper that's around 6-8k words (including references), please leave it in the answers. If we can get enough, then I'll feel comfortable trying to get a special issue and peer reviewers lined up.