Kategoriarkiv: Knudepunkt

My journey through Knudepunkt 2015 – Saturday part two

So the party gets it’s own post impressive, but it was also long and a lot happened. And the post also ended up being rather long, how did that happen?


– The theme for the parti is the seven deadly sins and the four virtues. But I opt to just put on my suit and a tie I have wanted to show off for a long time, (my Rosettastone tie).
– Walkover, straight away meet people more of the lovely but all melted together by now greeting, lose talking and so on. I remember surprisingly many recognising my tie, which is nice.

66-IMG_1236– But people in general talked about each others costumes, which is understandable as there were many beautiful, cool or just funny costumes.
– Meet Signe talk about the Summer School. She has signed up, and hopes to get in, later in the evening I put in a good word for her. It’s strange but having been there you want as many others to have that experience as well.

– Meet Stuart also from the summer school, pretty much the first time I see him at KP. We start talking and somehow end up talking about doing a larp book, a kind of follow up to “Larps From the Factory”. We both love that book but also feel that more are needed or that book will become too much a representative of nordic larps, which is sad as there is so much more.

IMG_1207– We talk about useing the summer school as the starting point, there’s a lot of great games made there via the Larporatory, and many of the participants have since made games on their own. Also there have been played great games there as part of the curriculum, such as the legendary “White Death” and isn’t it time that got published?

– We corner Martin, one of the organizers, and talk with him enthusiastically. He’s wearing a lions mask and makeup and remarks: “it’s hard to take myself seriously like this.” But we don’t mind, we don’t care, we want to do this. During the conversation he also tells us that the summer school organizers would be willing to support such a project by covering some transport costs.

– As he leaves, we continue and talk about broadening the scope. Stuart suggest the title: “The Chamberlarp Revolution.” I’m sceptical because that takes the focus away from the summer school (my inner journalist wants a clear angle), but he remarks: “and is that a problem? why limit ourselves?” I can’t think of an answer to that, and the more I have thought about it, the more I agree, that could be cool. Use the summer school as the starting point and foundation but widen the scope to the whole chamberlarp scene.

– Later I walk past Stuart talking to Trine and Lizzy, some of the people behind “Larps from the Factory.” I’m dragged into the conversation, and we get a lot of good advice on the idea and a lot of support. Lizzy even offers to let us use her network of american proofreaders. This project is slowly getting harder and harder to say no to.

– At this point Trine looks at me and says: “don’t feel pressured to do this, only do it if you really want to do it.” I know I want to do it, but do I have time for it? It was great of her to say it, kind of someone reminding you of the opt out rule during role play. I now know that if I do it, it will be my own choice.

IMG_1198– At the beginning of the party Claus had introduced the theme and that around the place all the sins and virtues was represented in different ways. I only managed to find some of them.

– At the back of the Bazaar was a huge table filled with candy, that must have been gluttony, and the big high school reunion like photostage would be pride, where me, Signe and Rhiannon had some rather spontaneous pictures taken in front of I think three flashing cameras, very Hollywood.

64-IMG_1227– A relaxing cuddle puddle was sloth where I spend a few minutes relaxing but couldn’t keep still so of I went again. But that is all I found, did any find the others?

– Later me and Signe discover a blues dancing room in mordor, slow music and a lot of very stylish dancing. And thats the second time I had to help out a girl, this time Signe just wanted away from a guy dancing a bit too awkwardly. And I even experience a girl asking my to dance. I love dancing, but am not very good at it, but did my best, and it was nice being the one being asked.

– When at KP you see someone sitting down in a circle, you join in, something strange might be happening, so when I saw Piotr organizing people in a circle I joined in. It turned out someone had challenged him to do a spontaneous workshop, so he did one on flirting. Some good bits, but need work, but high five for doing it.

65-IMG_1234– That was interrupted by the sound of rhythmic clapping, Erik Fatland had started up a ritual workshop. That was crazy, disorganised, spontaneous and very very fun. I’m so glad I joined in on that.

– Wow writing this, I can see that that one party was so full of all these little happenings all the time. This is a great crowd. If someone does something mad, others join in rather than just looking at it with a frown.

IMG_1208– While walking around I suddenly hear singeing and see a group of the College of Wizardry is recording a song for the larp in an empty hallway.

– At some point I had a break by talking to Morten and Frederikke, who run the local larp campaign “Fladlandssagaen” in Hobro where I recently moved to. I’ve wanted to join in, but never having done campaign larps before, I’m not sure how. We talk for a good bit and decided I’m going to join their npc crew. I’m looking forward to that.

– Later me and Frederikke talked about her concussion, how it was to be her, a young but sometimes a bit too admired girl in the larp community and also about her work, bringing more young girls in to larp. It’s so important for me to have these conversation with people, I need more different aspects on life. It’s why I became a journalist. It’s why I role play.

– She has also signed up for the summer school, so later I brought her and Åslaug together so they could meet, those two needed to meet. I would never have done that, but here at Kp: You. Just. Do!

– Later I joined the dance floor with some of the belarusians such great people.
– It was getting late, people slowly going home, walk around a bit suddenly hear folk music. In a corridor someone was playing and sing folk music, this is a mad place, I keep telling you that. Join in on that as well. It really brought me back to my time in scotland.

– At very late I see green haired Petra sitting by herself. I join her and we end up talking for a long time. We are both in the same situation, educated in journalism but drawn to other things. It was a brilliant, strange talk that still haunts me. I the: “I know what I should do not sure I dare it” kind of way.

– The party slowly fading out, I roam around a bit and finally decide, that that was it for me. when I go to bed the time is 7.40 so that must have been a night well spent.

Tomorrow sunday and maybe even a bit monday. Let’s see. This has been great yet hard to write, and I have spent way too much time on it. But I have enjoyed it a lot. This has kept my KP experience going for longer.

My journey through Knudepunkt 2015 – Saturday part one

You know the drill this is my personal experience of KP, what I felt and thought, just random rambling thoughts. KP seen through the eyes of a first timer.


09.00 – 11.00
– Wake up feeling ok, tired but fine.
– Same routine: breakfast then the next round of Keynotes.

IMG_1145– Keynotes theme this time is: Roles, first of is legendary Erik Fatland, whom I mostly know from his work with ritual workshops, something I want to use a lot more. His breakdown of what is a character is rather good. A role play character is never a whole person, but rather: an alternative pattern of thought, a different public identity, a different set of relationships, an alternative pattern of movement, an alternative voice and language, an unique reason and goals within the game.

IMG_1148– Next up is another person I hold in high regard: Tor Kjetil Edland have been part of creating among much other: “Just a Little lovin” His talk centered around the relationship between us and our character. Very close to the body workshop from friday. It was interesting to hear some theory connected to the very physical experience that workshop had been. It’s a brilliant aspect on how to get into character: by looking at where the character is different from you and where you are the same. That’s something I’m going to be using more, both as a designer, and as a player.

IMG_1153– The last bit was by my good friend Oliver Nøglebæk and Josefin Westborg, and this time the theme was: what is the players looking for in a game and in their characters. I think these three keynotes was the most thematic complementing. First we heard about what a character is, then the relationship between character and player and now a look at what the player wants from a game and the character.

– And taking inspiration from a U2 song, the players want us designers to: hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me. Hold Me: Safeness, knowing what to do, knowing responsibilities as a player. Thrill Me: excitement, hype, awesome, Oliver suggested that to get thrilled about a character he always finds a song for that character. Kiss Me: create emotions and motivations, and that these are different from the everyday you. Kill Me: something should be on the line, where is the drama?

11.00 – 15.30
01-DSC_0044 - 2015-02-14 at 16-27-54– With the keynotes over, it’s time for me to step up my game, it’s time to start prepping for running my game “Waiting for Flight GO901”
– Feeling very strange, both looking forward to it, because I get to run it with the best players in the world. But also feeling nervous, because I have to run it for the best players in the world.

– Force myself to forget that, and just go and do it. Start prepping room, can’t find the rather important glass hearts, slight panic, find them. Also slight panic when the technical equipment acts up. But all is solved bit by bit.

– Room is ready, people start showing up. A lot of people wants to play my game, end up increasing the amount of players from 15 to 20.
– It’s about to start, sit down to relax and listen to my hype song, open eyes, start!
– I won’t say much about the game, here, read this post, to get my (way too) thorough description of the game. This will mostly be my rundown of thoughts and emotions during the run.

IMG_1174– Feeling very nervous during the workshop. What do they think? Does it make sense? Are they bored? Try to hide it as best I can, and just do it.
– realise that the brainstorm with posts it at the beginning of the workshop not only gives the players a lot to work with, but also gets them in a creative mindset. Always fun to discover that your design is more clever than you thought.
– Stick too closely to the workshop script, not realising, that they are doing fine on their own. You
have opened the floodgates, should just have stepped back and let them at it.
– Become a bit better at that as the workshop goes on.
– The workshop is taking longer than normal, the game ends up taking six hours all in all, the players don’t seem to mind.

15.30 – 20.00
02-DSC_0058 - 2015-02-14 at 17-31-29– The game starts, the amount of people means that the background soundscape is not needed they create that themselfs.
– They play much more aggressive and outward than the first two runs, perhaps it’s the amount of people again, or just different play styles.
– I have to step in as NPC much more than
the first two times, they need someone to blame, someone to ask questions to. I stick to my concept of not giving any information. This creates a lot of frustration among the characters, but I think the players are loving it.
05-DSC_0069 - 2015-02-14 at 18-01-17– Not sure if this difference of play is better, badder or just different. I’m leaning towards the last.

– It’s great to have Jacob by my side to talk about things and the game. Discuss how such a simple things as them having plastic cups they can crush and crumple does a lot to the game.

– As the game moves into the tragedy the play style becomes more intense, but at the same time more quiet. The room is radiating emotions, I feel them myself.

– Haveing to, as an NPC, go and tell them: the plane has crashed is physically hard.
08-DSC_0082 - 2015-02-14 at 19-02-15– The last symbolic scene in the spotlight works beyond great and it’s very emotional to watch them.

– For the first time someone survives the crash and thats creates whole new dynamic in the group. As someone said afterwards: “I hated them, because the one they were waiting for survived. Why not mine? Why him?”
10-DSC_0092 - 2015-02-14 at 19-12-44– The game ends, waow… waow… This was a great and very powerful run. We do a runde and people keep thanking me for a well run game and workshop, except for a few minor mistakes, that I agree with. This is by far the best run of this game so far, I will not soon forget it.

– Taking of the NPC costume is a physical relief, like taking of that character. This had influenced me more than I thought.
– Doing completely improvised debrief “get out of character” excise based on all the new ideas and techniques KP have given me. Seemed to worked very well.

– Get them to move around, more and more exaggerated. Shout! Shout as loud as you can, I think we all needed that. Move your body, move it a lot, shake out the character, the experience, find yourself again, deep breaths and then over.
– Thank you a lot.
– The players hug it out with each other. Then many find me and then immerse me in a great big group hug. God I needed that.

– Start packing as the others go to dinner, we agree to sit and eat, at the same table. When I come over a bit later, one of the players finds me and brings me to that table. They want to talk to me about the game.

– Spend the next long time just talking about the game with the players, and listening to them talk about it. Very strange to really get to talk this game all the way through.
– Decide to go and change for the party that night. As I’m by myself I reflect on the game. Not sure I want to run it again. This was such an intense and special experience. I kind of feel like I’m done with this game. But promise myself to make a larp script so others can run it from now on.

And tomorrow the party, yes that get’s it’s own post, but hopefully not that long.

My journey through Knudepunkt 2015 – Friday part two

Second part of friday, the first became a bit more my normal style, but as we move into the evening the stream consciousness returns a bit as the experience becomes less intellectual and more emotional.


16.00 – 19.00
– Joined a workshop about finding emotions in even small changes in body position, and how you can work with that. Find small points you can feel in your body in different positions, and feel which emotions they give you. Exaggerate body position to immerse whole body in that emotion. Can be used to both work your way into a character or find back to your self.

IMG_1050 Sadly next was my last co-creative session. Looking through the options this caught my eye: “Using video in larp”, and having an idea for a larp that would use film clips I stopped reading and went to that.

– A very different session than the first one. That had been a loose talk, this was a proper brainstorm workshop with a lot of post its notes. We talked about the options with videos and then went brainstorming. There is a lot you can do with this, and I’m so looking forward to start work on my Wall-E black box larp.


Click the pictures for a big version, so you can read what people wrote.

19.00 – 21.00
– Dinner then meeting with Suus starting to plan Larpwriter Summer School reunion party.
– A bit of stress and bad nerves, whenever I do things like this, my brain always goes: “but what if no one shows up?” Have learnt to ignore it and just charge ahead and do it.

– Setting up the room, getting the champagne, smiling at all the crazy stuff Dan, the room party organizer, has gotten for us (lego, paint, mustaches and so on).

– First people start showing up, realise I left computer in sleeping room at different place. Say to everyone: “welcome, I need to get my computer, here play with this lego and pour this champagne, I’ll be right back.”

– Return a few minutes later, table is covered in IMG_1057lego ponies and elephants and all is in deep concentration building more. Feel myself smiling. God I love those people.

– Party is a success, a lot of people show up, many say thanks for doing it. People are filling out the three posters we put up: one for things they think others should watch or read, one for cool things people have done since the summer school and one for best memory from summer school.

– Didn’t talk to many, just move around the room in a kind of daze, smiling madly and hugging and nodding, so happy just to be among and watch these people.

– It ends as quickly as it started, then getting IMG_1058people out and cleaning the room. End up talking for a long time with Suus and her friend Mandy from Holland about a very cool game they run for teenagers and kids there. Me and Mads loosely consider doing it in Denmark, and are promptly invited to go visit them and see how they do it.

21.00 – 24.00
– Walk down to another room party and just miss the end of the Finns celebrating the start of the next Knudepunkt or Solmukohta as it’s called in finnish. They want to do it on a boat, sounds mad, sounds like us.

– Randomly wander around for a bit, go near the bazar suddenly hear live singing, go in and hear Rhiannon singing. God she has a great voice. Stand and just listen and then stay for the rest of the open mike event, that included: brain surgery with a fork, a poem by Kipling about the IMG_1077Danegeld, and for me most memorable: a stand up routine by my new hero J-Mac as mentioned in the last post. Listening to him was an eye opening experience for someone like me who grew up in a small town on Fyn.

– What he does is important. Through the humor and stand up it becomes almost more honest than just a lecture. I feel, I understand the transgender situation a bit better now, just from that short stand up routine. What danish comedian Omar Marzouk have been doing for nuancing the discussion around muslims, J-Mac can do on the transgender issues.

– Later join in on conversation with J-Mac and other cool people such as Lizzy, just to listen along a bit, (bless you open chair policy).

24.00 – 04.00
– The Just a Little Lovin Room party, wow that was an experience. (“Just a Little Lovin” is a Larp about love, homosexuality, the eighties and AIDS, that have run several times, and that I hope to play this summer.) It was a first for me in two ways. It was the first time I experienced having to help a girl get rid of a bit too enthusiastic dancer, by squeezing in between them and taking over after seeing her mouthing “help me.” Felt good to help out, felt bad that I had to.

– The other was that for the first time in a long time I reached my own limit for physical contact. See the party simulated an eighties gay disco with many people in little space, so you would be surrounded closely by a lot of bodies. Normally what holds me back is the worry that I’m, crossing others boundaries, never want to do that. But this time it was my own limit I reached and had to leave. I’m not saying that is was bad, but is was an intense and interesting experience. And it was good to discover that I can recognize when I have had enough, and then also get my self to leave.

– Drifting around a bit a still landing after the JaLL party, buying a strong drink. Stumble upon the dutch room party. This more a showcase of dutch food and larp. I like their cheese nom nom nom. Meet Mandy again and she talked me through their many different projects via a picture slideshow. They do a lot in interesting stuff. Looks like traditional larps but often with a few modern twists.

IMG_1123– Later stumble in on the battle of the air guitars, what a mad event. People battling to be the best on air guitars. Best moment was some crazy dude doing “Let it go”.
– Around four of to bed, seemed early because many was still up and going strong, but had to run game next day, need to be sensible.

Tomorrow the first part of Saturday and how it was to run my game Waiting for Flight GO901 at KP.

My journey through Knudepunkt 2015 – Friday part one

Part two of my discombobulated KP experience, we will continue in the format of an almost stream of consciousness. Hope it makes sense, but at least it’s helpful for me.

09.00 – 11.00

– Wake up with still a light buzz from the day before, but not feeling all that bad despite the small amount of sleep. Slow breakfast still waking up before heading to the first keynotes.
– The keynote speaks started the four thematic sessions rules, rooms, roles and bodies each was followed by groups of talks workshops a the so called co-creative sessions, more about this later

IMG_1031– First talk is by Brody Condon. I’m not sure what the point was, but it was an interesting thought experiment of how simple can you make larp. From rocks just lying there to dead bodies and plants and slowly adding more and more until we came to fully fledged larp. always cool to hear people talk about larp, that has an artist background.

IMG_1032– Second talk: By my new hero J-Mac, a transgender female to male performer and stand up comedian. I have no notes from this talk just remember a sensation of being pulled along in a rush of words and laughter (need to find the talk online and watch it again.) This is a man with a lot on his heart, and luckily I got to hear more later on.

IMG_1034– Talk nr. 3: Hanne Grasmo, who proposes that when larp is viewed as art the bounders for what is safe are different and we should be less afraid of doing hard things. Or so I think. It’s was a bit like watching Birdman, I could feel this was clever, but I’m not sure I understood it. And afterwards I felt that it sparked a good deal debate, which is always good.

11.00 – 14.00
– First workshop: 2 player yoga, the organizer, Ebba Petrén had noticed that yoga is a one player game, so what happens if you start doing this together, can we use it in larp or workshops? Was an lose and interesting first look into what yoga can be used for. In groups of two we slowly created our own short routine of exchanged between pressure and support positions. Slowness and awareness of body and others bodies was keywords. Could be really interested use in workshops, I need to think more about this.

– First co-creative session, while most of us had been to talks or workshops those that had an idea to do something, was inspired to explore a question from one of the kay notes, or just wanted to create something unknown for and with others had meet and developed a range of spontaneous sessions with very different content and format, then when the rest of us were done, we could go to a wall and see what the others had come up with and join in on one of the sessions. This was brilliant. I could sadly only go to two of these.

IMG_1155– First one was: how to wear you character on your sleeve and was all about what tools we could come up with in making different character traits visible for other players and what potential challenges this could help solve. A very loose session where we just talked and brainstormed. But we were all so caught up in it that we went to lunch together and continued talking.

14.00 – 15.00
– Time went on quickly, on the way to the gymnasion (KP was this year called the Knudepunkt village as they used several venues, so one for social activities and parties, two for talks and workshops and two for sleeping.) I meet up with the always awesome Åslaug one of the organizers from the summer school and I ended up telling her a lot about my shyness and self awareness and how I used role play to deal with this. Strange how KP can get you to spill out your heart. thanks for listening.

– Wanted to go to a physicality workshop I knew Jannick ran. Had talked to him about it the evening before. But sadly I got lost and ended up no where near it when things started. So looked around and popped in on a presentation of a book called “The Birth of LARP in the Arab world”.

– Waow what a project, what a book. A few years ago a group of norwegians and palestinians went together to bring larps to the most unlikely place: Palestine and the palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. It raises the question: why on earth would the people there spend time on something as silly as larp, when their situation is so hard?

– They gave this answer: “Because it’s better to light a candle even for a short while, than to curse the darkness all the time” They have also run a game in Finland that simulated the situation in Palestine, as if it had happened in Finland. I so want that game in Denmark, we need it right now.

15.00 – 16.00
IMG_1039– Second round of keynote talks this time around the theme “rooms”. First was by Signe Hertel. It was about how you can influence play by how you design rooms, something I have heard Oliver talk about before, but her words was still interesting she had a good divide of paths – influences play by how players can move through the play area, objects – basically chekhov’s gun: if it’s there they will use it, and space – how is it built up, if theres chairs people will sit down, if there’s not people will move around more..

IMG_1042– Next: Martin Nielson talked about the chamberlarp revolution, and is was a proud moment when Black Box Horsens was namedropped in this talk. And I agree this is really where a lot of stuff is happening right now. This is the point where roleplay meets an old passion I thought I had left behind: the theatre, but this feels so much more like me.

IMG_1047– The last was by Martin Ericsson and in my notes I wrote: “what will the players be doing? If you can’t answer that, you have a problem.” “Physical action is the cement for immersion and it’s connected to the placebo effect which we don’t understand.” A lot of interesting thoughts, not yet sure how to use it.

That’s it for now, tomorrow the rest of friday.

My journey through Knudepunkt 2015 – Thursday

My first Knudepunkt is over (a huge international conference for role players that travels around the four nordic countries and this year it was in Denmark, on Fynen in Ringe.) And as always I’ll try to write about how it was.

But I’ll try a bit different format here, and present what I can remember from KP. Mostly because my brain looks like this text reads, a huge jumble of fractured experiences flashing before my eye. And a constant fear of forgetting it (I can already feel pieces missing) So this is also just for my self, to store these memories in words before they disappear from my mind. I might pick out some parts and expand them later on. We’ll see. (If there’s parts you want me to go into further say so in the comments.)







12.00 – 17.00
– Thursday has finally arrived, almost rested from Black Box Horsens, now Knudepunkt.
– Last minute panic packing, everything taking longer than expected, just want to leave.
– Leaving Hobro in car with girlfriend (who being beyond amazing offers to both drive me there and pick me up again.)
– Long drive, just want it to start, bloody ques, finally here.

17.00 – 20.00
– Check in, drop stuff of at sleeping school, eat quick dinner on the way to opening ceremony.
IMG_1009– At the opening ceremony the screen says “InFucus” a lot longer than the organisers would properly have liked. Complicated chart shows how co-creative sessions work, but it will probably make sense when they start.
– Already the mood is happy and open, the open chair concept is repeated: when you are talking keep an open chair (real or symbolic) so all know that they are welcome to join in. Such a little rule, makes such a big difference. I cannot count the number of times during KP a conversation I was part in opened our ranks to let a complete stranger in or I had the courage to join in on a conversation, sometimes just to listen along to cool people discussing cool things because of that one rule.

20.00 – 23.00
IMG_1016– Go to talk for KP first timers, not what I was expecting. About what topics are being discussed at KP, not about how KP works. Wanted structure got theory. Still interesting though.
– Mill around a bit, talk, meet old friends, hug a lot, can’t remember details.
– Join in on Meet new people workshop. Lot’s of laughter, lots of exercise where we meet each other in strange and funny ways, first new connections found.
– Linger briefly at Project Presentations before back into the incoherent mass of hellos and hugs. So many smiles and faces can’t pick any out.
– D&D Speed Dating – Short game: we are at a tavern, we are all kliche and simple Dungeons & Dragons characters that we quickly make up our selves. We are looking for fellow adventures. Simple, fun, mad.

23.00 – 03.00
– Just going down to look at the German rave party in party room “Mordor” (there were four party rooms that participants could both hold planned and spontaneous things in, there was showcases, parties and all kinds of madness, as you will see.)
– Ended up staying for most of the time dancing very badly to rave music and playing with a pink boa, (they also make great hats). But the cool thing is: that feels just fine, no one is judging.
– Up to the Bazar (a huge common area in a sportshall, but built up in a cool and engaging way, with a cafe, larp showcases, a stage in the middle, sofas for relaxing, tables for board games, and so on.
IMG_1023– Watching KP TV. Otto Channel from Fastaval had gone international and gotten crews from Finland, Sweden and Norway to make a sketch each to complement their own. Very funny, very selvironisk (no corresponding english but making fun of ourselves.) Laughed a lot and at the same time was impressed that it was possible to make.
– More unremembered mingling. Because you want to meet new people, many familiar faces was met with a smile and a hug and a eye contact that said “Yes I see you, yes we are still friends, yes we are both busy meeting new friends, we will talk later.” Also I think more tentative dancing.

Some time around 3.00
– Go to bed, as the bar was closed and most had gone to bed.