As I mentioned it was a packed program so let’s just do it from one end and see where that gets us. We arrived on Tuesday and went straight in. The weather was warm and I was not wearing shorts, and was not clever enough to get a quick dip in the lake during the lunch. So are you going the tip is: even a quick dip Can mean a world of difference and there will almost always be someone who also wants to swim.
We started with the basics with a talk about what larp is and the history of larp. Interesting but not much new for me, except it was very fun the get the “whole” story of role play, not just the: “Gygax made D&D then stuff happened”, it was also interesting to hear that larp was invented simultaneously around the world by people going: “why are we killing orks with dice, lets do it for real.” It explains why larp has so many different cultures and backgrounds. But these two talks were very necessary because then we had a common ground to start from.
Then only a few hours in we played our first game. It was a simple game, and this again showed the well put together program. The games we played was very well placed, so we always felt ready for them. This game might have been boring towards the end, but was just perfect for the beginning and likewise some of the other games would had failed had we played them the first day. Well maybe I would have made one change and played “New voices in art” before “When our destinies meet,” but I’ll come back to that.
The game was called The Village and was a very short educational larp about how local history can make us make bad decisions. I might write a play report but I don’t think so, I wanna write about the others games more. But it was a good beginning game and I can see it as a good edularp both for getting a point across but also if you want to introduce new people to roleplay, a good gateway game so to say. Manly because you play four families that have to negotiate and vote about increasingly bad choices. So the small but important detail is: you play families not people. So each group represents a family and gets some clues to how this family acts. It’s a good midway point between just doing a group project and then playing your own character. You are still acting out, but it’s not you the person but you the group.
After lunch it was straight on to the first two of the mentioned larp presentations which was Halal Hisar, a game wanting to show the situation in Gasa by placing the Gasa situation in Finland. A game that sadly became more and more relevant as the week went on. One of the saddest and most moving moments was watching the two palestinians there watch the news. The hug I gave them after that is the most heartfelt hug I have ever given. Sorry getting emotional here, the other larp presentation was the by now classic Monitor Celestra and as I have mentioned these and the other larp presentations was then referenced to for the rest of the week.
The next item was a talk about what makes a playable character, one of the first eye openers talks for me. One of many. I can’t remember what it was, but I got the notes that I’ll take out when I next have to design characters. I think the slides will be online for all the talks somewhere, let me just check. Humm it looks like they are for our eyes only so far. Well that’s just another reason for you to go! But I won’t go into details about the many talks and workshops unless I have a point to make. The point for this first talk is: it was good, I remember there being many good things in it but I can’t remember what, but I got notes and the slides, so it’ll come back to me when needed.
And then a second game, so that’s two games in just one day along with many talks. I told you it was a packed program. The game was “When our destinies meet” but in a light version. The game is a very free game and more of a framework on how to create a game but for this play the organizers had made many of the choices for us.
But it was still fun to play. But as i mentioned I might have switched this game with the game that ended the second day. In “When our destinies meet” we have a very loose framework and characters that consisted only of one word: “The boss” “The exgirlfriend” and so on. From that we build relations and by via them the characters. So we had to create a lot and at least I was still a bit uncertain and shy. The other larp “New Voices in art” was much more create your character on your own and then during the game interact a lot. Maybe they should switch I don’t know.
After the game we had the first debrief, which was something that happened at the end of every day, where we were divided into the same three groups each day and an organizer asked us all the same two questions each day: tell us one thing you take away from this day and tells us what you feel right now. A good way to get us to reflect a bit on the day. Oh and very important they also went thru what had happened that day, rather useful because with so much happening it could be hard to remember even on the same day.
After debrief it was free time, the first day was pretty quiet, we drank a few beers and talked but for the rest of the days there were a lot of extracurricular things happening in the evening and even during lunch, so that meant that there was really rarely a spare moment.
So that was day two, a long post, and I fear they will only get longer. I had considered putting the larp descriptions in their own posts, but I see now they fit into the whole thing so much that I wont, even though that means even longer post. Sorry.
Is The Village available somewhere? If not, could you expand a little on how you portrayed your characters in the game?
I think most of the games and talks are in a google folder shared with us participants, so I can’t link to it.
But we didn’t play characters per say. We just had the family and that was it. So it was more of a negotiation game than a role play game. Like when schools dose mock elections and say you are the social democrats and so on. But you don’t play Helle Thorning.
The Village .PDF in english here: