When I tell someone I was playing a LARP this past weekend, I often have to explain that LARP is a type of roleplaying game. And, no matter how I phrase it, I can’t get away from the next question they ask: “on the computer?” I have to explain that LARPs are not done on the computer, but instead played out in person. Then I back track and say that sometimes they do involve emailing other players, or video chats, or phone calls – but that in the end it is all about the players.
After one of these conversations I walked away thinking about what I just said – LARP is all about the players and creators; about the people involved. When I talk about LARP – and I love to talk about it – the topics almost always fall in to a few themes: the game mechanics, theories of role-playing, plots, characters, or stories about what players did in-character. I don’t spend much time considering who the players are out of character – what they think about LARP, why they do it, and what they get out if it; nor do I have a very good idea even of what they have done or created, much less why.
In short, I find that LARP players and creators are not well represented in our discourse.
I hope that this series of videos will start to introduce some of the people involved in LARP, as well as capture some sliver of the opinions and perspectives we find among the characters that make up the LARP community. This is a work in progress, and I hope that the conversations I have will lead me to more engaging questions, better ways to understand who LARP creators are and the arc of their work, and a deeper understanding of the commonalities and differences in the LARP community.