Wyrdcon is annual larp convention held in California, US. It is accompanied by the Wyrd Con Companian Book which this year was edited by Sarah Lynne Bowman.
The book both looks back on history of larp as well as current topics, primarily from an American perspective.
Among other things it was fun to read about the article Culture Shock: Building a Freeform Scene in Edmonton. It is written by Eleonora and Mikael Hellström and hold both great reads about the larp scene in the Swedish 90’s as well as the culture shock for the couple when they tried to get into Canadian larp.
What we learned during these years is that patience is a key word if you want to introduce a non-traditional larp design into an established community. With that come also optimism and stubbornness, as well as repect for other people’s preferences. We met with—and still meet with sometimes—anger and fear of change. These emotions need to be met with respect as well, but also with an open discussion about how the larp community as a whole can only benefit from diversity.
You find the pdf here
Czocha College of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Ingame. Photo: John Paul Bichard
I went to College in November – magic College.
In the fan-made production College of Wizardry myself and almost two hundred others travelled to Czocha Castle in Poland to attend college Harry Potter-style. I’ve interviewed Claus Raasted from the organizing team about the production the media attention it has received afterwards.
In 2012 a UK-based production company called Cosmic Joke embarked it’s journey to capture larp in the form of a documentary. They started a Kickstarter-campaign, got it funded, and now it looks like the final result soon is here.
The movie will be screening at the German larp conference Mittelpunkt 2014 in November.
There has been a few attempts of making a good documentary about larp. My hopes about Treasure Trapped are still very bright. I met the team when they where filming PanoptiCorp in Copenhagen during the spring of 2013.
At the larp conference Knutpunkt 2014 me and Rasmus Høgdall hosted the session Social Media in Larps, in a combination of presentation and panel. We provided some of examples of how people have been using social media in connections to their larps, both for off-game and in-game use.
Oliver Nøglebæk. Photo: Åke Nolemo
Oliver Nøglebæk is a great mind and fortunately for the community, also a larper. He has put together a great list of links as a primer for Nordic Larp. Check it out!
“I realized I didn’t have a good starting point for new folks to learn more. What I mean is, that the information is out there, but it’s scattered across a lot of different places.”
What is common to Nordic larp is that it is primarily directed at a first person audience: the participants are the primary audience of the performance. If I play a mother of a family in Ground Zero, I try perhaps to remain calm and composed in order to avoid frightening my children, performing a strong mother to the other players. At the same time, however, I probably try to engage emotionally with the horrible tragedy, playing an ordinary scared civilian to myself. Everyone in the shelter is engaged in these two performances for the whole 24 hours, pretending to be a refugee in a bomb shelter.
Markus Montola writes about Nordic larp in an article at for the Goethe-Institut’s project SPIELTRIEB! – Nordic Larp: Performing for the first person audience.
Photo: Radiation suit for work down in the reactor at The Monitor Celestra. Credit John-Paul Bichard (CC-NC-ND)
Knutepunkt is a Nordic conference for larp and today is your last chance to sign-up for Knutpunkt 2014. The event is will be held in Halmstad, Sweden 3-6 April. Before that there will be several activities during A Week in Gothenburg (AWiG) such as Nordic Larp Talks on Wednesday 2nd April.
I have attended the Knutepunkt-conference since 2008 and I warmly recommend a visit as you the most amazing people from all over the world.
Photo: Kristoffer Thurøe
In the workshop we also did a lot of freeform scenes within the playgroup. For the characters we did scenes from the past, the future and “what if”-scenes. This turned out to be very strong.
We had a black box, which was a simple room, where a game master would help you set up the scene you needed.
Emily Care boss interviews Anna Westerling, larp designer and organizer of Stockholm Scenario Festival. Read up on Annas thoughts about the festival as well as her views on game design and the history of Nordic freeform and black box larps.
Stockholm Scenario Festival: Interview with Anna Westerling
When do we know if the choices we make are the right ones and what should we really do with our lives? During a few hours, twelve players dive into the stories of Agnes, Markus, Olivia & Thomas to meet them during three stages of their lifetimes.
Blackbox Malmö is an organization hosting and promoting short larps in the Malmö-region in Sweden, in January they organized The Kick Inside.
Noisli is a website and text-editor in which you can choose and mix background noises. It it also continuously changes background color. My guess is that it could also be a kickass player to create ambience for your freeform or black box larp. Try it yourself.
From the larp Halat hisar. The pacifists and more militant foreign activists are having a physical disagreement about throwing rocks at the enemy soldiers. Ingame. Photo: Tuomas Puikkonen (CC-BY 2.0)
How is life under occupation? A team of Finnish and Palestinian organizers created the larp Halat hisar, which took place in a modern day Finland under a fictional occupation. The project was well documented with photos by Tuomas Puikkonen and in this post your will also find some thoughts about the larp by players and organizers.
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)