the Fairgame Archive

2008-02-29: Under my Skin
by Emily

I'll be running another session of the jeep version of Under my Skin at Intercon H, a larping con in MA this weekend. I wrote about this and games over at the Black & Green forum on the Forge. This is my first time at a larp con. Any tips from those more experienced?

2008-03-03 02:10:26 Emily

The con was great. I got to meet Gordon Olmstead-Dean, who recently did a series of Forge 101 posts oriented toward larp on his blog. He, Eric Johnson, Andy Kirschenbaum (sp?) and some other folks were talking theory on Saturday afternoon, so I got to slip in and hear some technique talk and war stories.  Frex, what's better than playing a wall in a larp? Playing a geyser.  Someone had had this job in a game. Every so often, they'd throw a large fake rock up into the air. He said it was more fun than being a wall, because at least he could huck the stone at people if they were walking by when his Old Faithful routine kicked in.

The larps were edifying and gave me some seriously intense experiences that I plan to write about. I have got to get the character creation time down for Under my Skin—we just got to the really juicy scenes when the time was up for the session. A six-way pair of interlocking love triangles that ended up with the couple with the open relationship re-thinking what the place of their outside relationships was in their lives, and a control-freak inventor architect and his clever and oh so sweetly passive aggressive librarian writer wife renew their bonds. With the transgressions of the architect outlined and highlighted by the librarian's very vocal not falling into temptation. Though she did so, as the player said, out of fear of loss and isolation. Her core issue of Aloneness made her choice for her at the critical moment.

Wow. Larps are complex story experiences*, insane projects to write, potential opportunities for deep interaction with other players and also impossible to predict what exactly will really happen. A wild ride and a challenge, both for play and theory.

*Satu, I feel as though your essay Role Playing: A Narrative Experience and a Mind-set, has much more context for me now. The relationship between larp and story is so much more distant, or comlicated than it is in table top role play, your phrase "narrative experience" fits like a glove.

2008-03-03 02:17:50 Emily

Here is a link to Gordon Olmstead-Dean's theory essays:

LARP 101 - The Big Model

2008-03-03 04:44:23 Julia

Wow! Emily, I'm happy the game went so well. I look forward to hearing more about it. Did you get to play in any larps?

2008-03-03 18:01:47 Emily

Hi Julia! Thanks. It was interesting to play with larpers. We had way more overlapping scenes. :) And, I did play in two larps: one where we got stuck in a Boston subway car and unravelled a mystery, the other based on Alice in Wonderland a la gangland Alice. I got to be a revolutionary for hope!

Next time around, I really want to see if you and Meg can come, Julia. (Maybe even Serena someday?) It is way, way diggable.

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