hungrytiger: (Gaming - MojoCharley)
Lately I've found that my interest in LARP writing has shifted from interesting games I'd want to play in (often involving ethical dilemmas in a SF setting) to an attempt to explore the outer reaches of the medium of LARP in general and discover new ways to expand the form. My recent Mad-Libs Style Camelot game was one such experiment.

I had fun putting Mad-LARPs Camelot together. I really enjoyed the mental challenge of developing the Excel spreadsheets and Word mail-merge documents that easily allowed me to set up the forms for players to fill in the blanks I had written into their character sheets, and everyone seemed to get a real kick out of reading the resulting characters. The game itself though fell flat on its face. I think that this was partially my fault in that I didn't have enough defined things for the players to do in the mini-game (I was expecting it to be more of a dinner-conversation game and may not have gotten that idea across well enough) and part of it was the form itself which ended up forcing players to have to review the weird and unfamiliar terms in their sheets before being able to say anything. No one seemed particularly upset by this, we all knew it was an experimental game, it only ran for 90 minutes, and everyone did have fun reading the sheets.

So now, I'm thinking about what to do next in a continued attempt to push the boundaries of LARP. I've talked to a couple of people about an idea involving choose-your-own-adventure character sheets, but that hasn't gelled sufficiently yet in my head. One other idea I've been playing with though, is gaining nudging me for attention and I thought I'd mention it here to see what some fellow LARPers thought about it as both an experiment and if it might be playable. Many years ago, there was a LARP called See Jane Run, in which participants role-played parts of Jane's body in an attempt to get her messed-up life back on track ("Jane" herself only existed outside of the game in the details of what the gamemasters told the players). I've always been intrigued by the idea of LARPs in which players play things other than traditional characters and here's one that recently came to me...

My idea is to do a horde-style "History of the World" LARP. The initial thought is that, unlike most horde-style LARPs, there wouldn't be fixed characters throughout but some players would switch back and forth between being a fixed character and a member of the horde. The "fixed characters" would be the major political powers of the world (mostly nations, but possibly corporations or technology as we enter the modern age) and the horde would be historical events that the nations would have to interact with. As Nations rise and fall, players playing the older declining nation-characters (like Egypt or France) would switch from being fixed characters to joining the horde and other horde players would become new fixed characters to represent emerging powers (like the US or the media). The horde would consist of things like "invention of gunpowder" or "the war of 1812."

I can see it working as a parade of events in a school history pageant, but I'm really not sure if I could get it to work as a LARP. Any thoughts from LARPers?
hungrytiger: (Default)
I was donating blood at a Red Cross blood drive yesterday* and was thinking about the litany of questions that you're required to answer for them to determine if you're eligible to donate. Among the items they ask are a couple of questions about whether you've received a transfusion or come into contact with someone else's blood. The random thought that occurred to me was that we'll know that Vampire LARPs (or the fear thereof) have hit the big time, when the Red Cross has to add a specific question or two along the lines of "Have you drank blood in the last 12 months" or "have you drawn blood while biting someone in the last 12 months."

* Yes, I know... Yea me! But really, the only reason that people say yea to blood donors is that so few people do it. If more people would donate regularly then it would just be something that we do once in a while, like changing the oil in our cars, not something that's considered an accomplishment. Yes, the "yea you" is pleasing, but it just makes me think that more people should donate.

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hungrytiger

April 2011

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