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Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames

Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames
« on: November 15, 2011, 10:17:00 pm »

So to not totally take over the Skyrim thread, let's talk about LARPs here instead Smiley

The two LARPs I went to where both primarily played by people between 15-20 years old so they were not super serious. In both games we had received a little bit of information about our roles (name and some kind of diffuse goal). What happened pretty quickly was that no one I met cared much about their goal and instead just existed in the world. Especially in the first one which was a fantasy themed one you could just go out into the forest and explore. There was a lot of camps with weird creatures (orcs, elves, etc) all around the forest that you could find. I would say that that part worked pretty well, even though you had no sense whatsoever of what was happening in the overarching storyline. There was also rules for how you died but it didn't happen that much... and I think you got a new role then. The thing lasted for a couple of days. I was only 14 years old, so for me it was an awesome experience... dunno how it would feel to got there now Smiley

The other time the LARP was arranged by our highschool so people were definitely not experienced at roleplaying. It was weighed up by the preparation/reality of it though. We were playing refugees and was taken by armed men out into the forest and had to stay in tents, constantly supervised and somewhat harassed. In the night it was freezing cold and there was sounds of shooting all around us in the forest (at those moments we had to lay on the ground to avoid bullets...). All we got to eat was some potato/leek soup which I couldn't have for a year afterwards, just because of the association.

I don't know really what to make out of my experiences relating to videogames/notgames. Both events were very strong and memorable, though simplistic and with a lot of "out of character" moments. The reality of the situation (it was really cold, etc) kind of helped to keep it interesting anyway. I'll think more about it...
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Re: Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 10:23:23 pm »

Very cool.

I actually think they are very much related. I consider them to both be artistic mediums without an explicit structure. I blogged about the idea here: http://www.godatplay.com/2010/05/on-what-makes-videogames-distinct/

Theatre is simply the medium of LARP, with the "traditional" story structure added.

Videogames is simply the "unnamed medium" as I've called it, with the games structure added.
Re: Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 09:23:20 am »

Quote
We were playing refugees and was taken by armed men out into the forest and had to stay in tents, constantly supervised and somewhat harassed. In the night it was freezing cold and there was sounds of shooting all around us in the forest (at those moments we had to lay on the ground to avoid bullets...). All we got to eat was some potato/leek soup which I couldn't have for a year afterwards, just because of the association.

That sounds just like being in the army Smiley I am guessing there is a very fine line between simulation and entertainment (or what to call it) here though. Are there any things added to a LARP that takes a way the simulation/training aspects? For example it is quite common for medical staff (and I am myself done it) to have simulated accidents where people play different roles in order to train for these situations, for example the scene of a car accident.

Is there anything that really separates LARP from this kind of activity? Or would be okay to consider LARPing just a fantasy training program, other than the obvious aspect that it does not have any (at least direct) learning process as a goal? It is interesting because it means that we can perhaps use it to learn something from the serious games movement. Also I have a gut feeling that LARPing is really a dead-end in terms of what can be learned from it video games. Even though it has a very strong sense of actual role playing, I just feel it is too unbounded and is only really kept together by social rules which would be very hard to simulate in videogame.
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Re: Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 04:06:11 pm »

I've been thinking about serious games too, they certainly have a fair share of overlap with notgames when it comes to reasons why people dislike them!

I guess it's hard to bring things back from the LARPs into video games. I haven't played any MMORPG:s but in a perfect world those would be able to recreate it somewhat. In the end maybe we have to ask ourselves if it's worth trying to bring the LARP-experience into the computer when we could just have come to it instead?
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Re: Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 12:18:55 am »

In some ways, I think LARPs have come a lot farther than video games. I've never been to a LARP myself, but based on what I've heard from friends, there's a quite vibrant community around LARPs as art form here in the Nordics. There's LARPs that explore all sorts of things: destructive personal relationships, the threat of AIDS in the 80's gay community, what it must be like to be a cat, the relationship between the role you play and your normal self, etc. One LARP that I heard of was basically a two-day reenactment of the Dogme movie "Festen" –– without an audience.
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Re: Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2011, 08:20:15 am »

In some ways, I think LARPs have come a lot farther than video games. I've never been to a LARP myself, but based on what I've heard from friends, there's a quite vibrant community around LARPs as art form here in the Nordics. There's LARPs that explore all sorts of things: destructive personal relationships, the threat of AIDS in the 80's gay community, what it must be like to be a cat, the relationship between the role you play and your normal self, etc. One LARP that I heard of was basically a two-day reenactment of the Dogme movie "Festen" –– without an audience.

That sure are some really interesting themes! I would be very curious to know how it is different from improv-theater. Do all participant have a script? How much do they need to study before joining one of these events?

Perhaps there is something to be learned for LARP simply in the what they except from the participants?
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Re: Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 07:58:01 pm »

Maybe a game in which the goal is to stay in character?

If you are not the hero, but just one of many characters in the story. If you play your role you help the story evolve and get richer, if you don´t, the story just keeps playing without you.

This also reminds me this idea I had some time ago: a shooter in which shooting other players or getting shot does nothing, except that you have a button to pretend getting shot.
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Re: Live Action Role Playing and how it relates to notgames
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 07:53:41 am »

Maybe a game in which the goal is to stay in character?

If you are not the hero, but just one of many characters in the story. If you play your role you help the story evolve and get richer, if you don´t, the story just keeps playing without you.

Hmm, kind of like Sleep Is Death? Would it work without multiplayer, I wonder?

This also reminds me this idea I had some time ago: a shooter in which shooting other players or getting shot does nothing, except that you have a button to pretend getting shot.

Ha, I like this idea! Cheesy I bet it could be fun to take this idea further...
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