photo from here
I just got back from Knutpunkt 2014, the annual Nordic-countries larp conference. 300 or so very interesting, clever and fun people talking and doing about larp for three days at a holiday camp not far from Gothenburg. It’s going to take me a little while to internally process everything I took in – as this was my first time attending, I was pretty much just being like a sponge and soaking stuff up – but here anyway is an initial list of the more formal events that I attended. These were more than matched by the social/entertainment events, informal get-togethers, conversations, parties, play sessions, late-night chalet chats, etc… Anyway, I’ll do more detailed writeups soon on all of the below, but here’s a central list for handiness.
- Opening game: bus stop – quick 5-player icebreaker larp, nice way to meet people
- Gender 101 or How to KP like a rockstar – addressing gender issues strongly
- Pre-larp workshops in the Nordic design traditions (subtext – are they really that great?) – what are workshops used for, what are they good at, what are they bad at?
- Pics, videos, privacy, ethics and larp – presentation of results of a survey of larpers’ opinions about photo use
- Larp, tabletop and other form of roleplay. What can we learn? – round-table discussion about useful cross-media insights
- Social media in larps – examples of different ways social media have been used within the larp itself, discussion of pros and cons
- The great player safety mess – round-table discussion questioning whether debriefs really are useful for player emotional/psychological safety
- Ethics in larp writing – discussion about writing particular sensitive types of character in an ethical way
- The world is my playground: cultural appropriation in larp – panel about use of other-culture stereotypes in games
- Living Games in the US – report on the recent Living Games Conference
- Larp design : theory and practice – outlining a model of larp design elements and their interactions
- Creating the connect-with-coplayers toolbox – workshop about techniques to be used while players are communicating with each other before a larp
- A new edu-larp standard for adult professionals – larp as a practical training tool in a business context
- Blackboxification – practicalities of converting a freeform (non-UK meaning) into a blackbox larp
I need to write stuff up over the next few days, because on Saturday 12th April I’ll be talking about my Knutpunkt experiences at an event that Cat Tobin is organizing in London1. She’s going to really drive forward a London group working in Nordic-style larp.
(Cat is an awesome larp designer and organizer from Ireland, currently based in the UK. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with her on several projects, including The Outsiders, the Nordic-style larp that ran in the UK in November 20132. The success of that game was because of her intense creativity, hard research work, and analytical thoughtfulness.)
1 If that link doesn’t work for you, contact me via Facebook or comment below…
2 Nathan Hook has been pretty much single-handedly representing Nordic larp in the UK for several years now, but I suspect that The Outsiders might have been the first such game designed and run in the UK by anyone other than him. Does anyone know different?