The larp White Death. Ingame. Photo: Peter Munthe-Kaas
Nordic LARP is a fascinating medium and we would encourage Serious Games designers to have a look at it from the perspective of education and learning. It offers a different view to learning and education and could be what we are all looking for.
Serious games is a term for games that serve another purpose than only to be entertaining, such as an education game. On a blog post at GALA - The Games and Learning Alliance three researchers from the Heriot-Watt University discuss if serious games and AI technology could benefit from Nordic Larp. Thanks to Jaakko for the tip.
During the fall my collegues from LajvVerkstaden made a one week introduction to Nordic Larp and edu-larp the GALA-researchers in Edinburgh.
Nordic LARP, should the Serious Game community think about it?
Photo: Peter Munthe-Kaas
The written documentation from the Nordic Knutepunkt-conferences and it’s Knutepunkt-books is a long going tradition. In January 2013, the Polish larp conference KoLa was held, and now for the first time, a publication in English have been released in connection with the event.
With the conference becoming more visibly on our larping map, these articles are gaining more readers. It is easier for us to share our knowledge, and we are becoming more eager to do so. We learn from each other, and so we stumble upon new, even better ideas.
It holds a great bunch of article with subjects like Polish roleplaying and larp history, definitions, larp documentation, and advice on that should play more with food. This is a milestone, so check it out.
KoLa 2013 – Conference publication
Storm knechts from The Guild. Portrait. Photo: Moa J-Molitor
The Swedish campaign Krigshjärta (Heart of War) is known for running great war larps several times a year. Every other summer a bigger event is held, and this year it was Krigshjärta VI. In this post you will find some stunning photos from the larp as well as concept art inspiring the participants into making all the amazing costumes and gear that makes Krighjärta come to life.
Sofia, Annica and Frida, the authors of Arrtankar. The picture was taken during the first run of the larp Debt and Deliverance. Photo: Caroline Holgersson
This year, the three Swedish larp organizers Frida Gamero, Sofia Stenler and Annica Strand started their blog Arrtankar. There write and reflect on larp organizing, while preparing for upcoming projects. Previously they have made great projects such as Understockholm and Next stop Kymlinge. Arrtankar currently holds a bunch of great reads, and my guess is that they will produce a lot more articles. The blog is in Swedish but you can find a translated link below.
I asked Frida Gamero why hey started Arrtankar:
The blog is about the many different aspects of producing a larp. We started the blog to show how all the parts of fiction, creativity, communication and practicalities come together to form a larp thats is ready for the participants to take part in. By writing about how we work we hope to inspire and help others in the process to take an idea and create a larp, from start to finish.
Arrtankar – (translated with Google translate)
Arrtankar (in Swedish)
RedHope 2013. Ingame. Photo: Thomaz Barbeiro
RedHope was a science fiction horror larp organized in Brazil by Confraria das Ideias (Brotherhood of the ideas) in 2013. This was the third installment in a campaign started in 2009. Luiz Falcão from São Paulo have here described the larp, and he also give us some insight to the Brazilian larp scene.
The 2012 Swedish run of Mad About the Boy. Photo: Electro-LARP
I myself have been very sensitive about the game, but what makes this the larp rich is precisely that larps are a great vehicle for science-fiction. The reflection created by the game about gender, masculinity, femininity and cultural construction is fascinating and it’s not a message delivered on a plate by an author but a group reflection that emerges from the larp .
French Baptiste Cazes has written a three piece review about the larp Mad About the Boy. The first part describes the context of the larp and his preparations. The second about workshops, transparency and the game design. In the the third and last, Baptiste describes the use of the black box and the debriefing methods.
Review – Mad About The Boy – Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
The articles have been posted and translated by Leïla Teteau-Surel at the French larp blog Electro-LARP, a site in English for larp news from written weekly by the French community. The original articles are to be found at Electro-GN, which is the French language parent of Electro-LARP.
For further reading, here is the review by Thomas B.
And finally. The larp will be played in France 2014. Don’t miss out.
Participants gathering before the start of scenarios in the big black box at Skarpnäck Culture House. Photo: Petter Karlsson
Stockholm Scenario Festival was a three day event packed with loads of play with the goal of combining both freeform games as well as larps. I had the chance to attend several scenarios and I also did some video interviews with participants. For this post I also got a comment from Anna Westerling who was one of the main organizers. Hopefully, Stockholm Scenario Festival marks the start of a tradition.
The man and a woman. From Mad About the Boy in Norway 2010. In-game. Photo: Li Xin
From a gameplay point of view, MatB proved me that yes, it was possible to have fun roleplaying daily life: no complicated plots, nothing to hide or save, just living life as someone else. Of course everything was more interesting because I was trying to do it «as a woman» but still, it worked.
Read the larp review of Mad About the Boy written by Swiss larper Tomas B who participated in the Swedish run, during the summer of 2013.
The larp was organized by Morgan Jarl, Annika Waern, Ulrika Wiborgh and Qla Zetterberg as producers and the original larpwrights Margrete Raaum, Tor Kjetil Edland and Trine Lise Lindahl as artistic crew. Read more on the Nordic larp wiki.
WHEN YOU REALIZE THE ENTIRE LARP FOLDER JUST GOT CORRUPTED BECAUSE OF WEIRD SYNCING BUGS
Check out the new lovely Tumblr: When You Organize Larps.
My guess is, that it’s run by a Swedish larp organizer. Anyway, I will gladly follow it.
Grenselandet is a great short larp festival organized in Oslo by Fantasiforbundet. I visited this year hosting my larp Papers, as well as playing Hirelings and Sarabande. I also attended the launch of the book Larps from the Factory. I also got the chance to get some thoughts about the history of Grenselandet and what is has become by the main organizer Martin Nielsen.
Jaakko Stenros at the Nordic Larp Talks Oslo 2013. Photo: Johannes Axner
Let’s move on to the aesthetics. Where is the beauty in larp?
Larps are created by a combination of game organizers and players and people that fall somewhere between the two. However, these groups are not comparable to performers and spectators. Larp is not staged by one group for another.
This means that the conventional aesthetics of, say, theatre, do not apply. You are not just someone sitting back and appreciating something beautiful, nor are you projecting an excellence in performance from the stage. You are participating in the doing and appreciating the action created.
Read the talk Living The Story, Free to Choose – Participant Agency in Co-Created Worlds by Jaakko Stenros, that was presented this month at the new conference Alibis for Interaction in Landskrona, Sweden.
Jakko is a games and transmedia researcher and a doctoral candidate at the Game Research Lab, University of Tampere and of the authors of Pervasive Games: Theory and Design. He is also the editor of several iconic works, such as the Nordic Larp book.
Me and my friend Åke was interviewed in the weekend edition of Fria Tidningen about how larp culture has grown up and why we larp. The larp Just a Little Lovin’ is featured as well as some images from Terra Incognita, The Monitor Celestra and Krigshjärta (Heart of War).
When people ask why I’m am larping I usually ask why we consume culture at all?
Watching a movie is to experience something.
To larp is also to experience something.
We assume a role to experience something other than what we do in everyday life.
Without culture our imagination dies, and larp involves a lot of imagination.
I think that it is a very important part of our humanity that we have imagination and play with it.
Fria Tidningen - Lajvkulturen har vuxit upp (In Swedish)
Larp Culture has grown up (English with Google Translate)
Peter Munthe-Kaas as Christer Von Lünow, the schools psychology and philosophy teacher. In-game. Photo: Frida Karlsson Lindgren
Lindängen is definetly one of the better larps I have participated in. Comparable only to larps as Just a little lovin, Den hvide krig and Brudpris both design wise and in the actual play experience. I predict that we will see more productions of Lindängen in the future and would recommend everyone with an interest in the psychology of schools and group dynamics to sign up.
Danish Peter Munthe-Kaas has written about the larp Lindängens Riksinternat (Lindängen Boardingschool) held in Sweden 16-20 October 2013.
The expedition in the Töfsing valley from the larp Terra Incognita. Portrait taken after game 2. Photo: Johannes Axner
Terra Incognita was a small and very well organized horror larp in the Cthulhu Mythos that was started with the stories by H.P. Lovecraft. The story was set in Sweden in 1922, telling the story of an expedition searching for a missing researcher, last heard of in a desolate village in the Töfsing valley.
A normal day at work. Pete PS (Petter Karlsson) and Jes Sic (Josefin Westborg) pitches a crazy concept to morally corrupt clients. In-game. Photo: Cosmic Joke
The Danish organizer Claus Raasted missed larp PanoptiCorp in 2003. Ten years later, he decided that the larp should be put up again and in June 2013 the cynical advertising agency PanoptiCorp was once again created. The result was an intense 36-hour experience with participants from all over Europe. In addition, some filmmakers who were also attending put together a mini-documentary about the larp. Welcome to the opening of PanoptiCorp’s new Copenhagen office.