Possibilities for Queer Community-Building Through LARP

In-game photo by Karin Ryding from a Sweden Run in 2012

More than just trying to present an immersive, believable world, both games attempted to ensure that players were grounded in a sense of history. Moreover, by creating worlds dominated by queer issues, it was queer histories that rose to the forefront. Players were given the opportunity to gain some level of understanding of how being queer here and now directly related to the events then and there. Continue Reading

Immersion into LARP

Theories of Embodied Narrative Experience

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Some forms of immersion focus upon the repetitive execution of a particular task or activity involving a certain degree of agency (Adams, 2004; Holopainen & Björk, 2004; Ermi & Mäyrä, 2005; Calleja, 2011). While in video games, immersion into activity often involves manipulating interfaces using a keyboard, mouse, or controller; in larp, kinesthetic involvement is more fully embodied. Some larps still use representational mechanics for combat, e.g. using one’s hands in rock-paper-scissors in a Vampire: the Masquerade larp. Others use a mixture of embodiment and mechanics, such as hitting a combatant with a foam sword and calling out numbers to represent the amount of damage incurred. Continue Reading

Nordic LARP

Edited by Jaakko Stenros & Markus Montola

Review - Nordic LARP

Live Action Role-Play(ing), or LARP, is a type of playful activity incorporating elements from (tabletop) role-playing games, improvisational theatre, historical re-enactment, and performance art, among other things. In the book Nordic LARP, editors Stenros and Montola present an engaging and valuable overview of LARP in the Nordic countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland), a tradition and community that has become famous for its experimental and artistic approaches to LARP. The book is filled with accessible sketches of selected LARP games from the Nordic tradition, illustrating the diversity of the LARPing scene, as well as Nordic LARPing communities’ inclination towards exploring the boundaries of the medium itself. As such, it is a book aimed both towards the critical LARP enthusiast and those involved in the study of games in a broad sense. Continue Reading