In the Nordic countries, live action role-playing has developed into a unique and powerful form of expression. Nordic larps range from entertaining flights of fancy to the exploration of the intimate, the collective and the political. This incredible tradition combines influences from theatre and performance art with gamer cultures, in order to push the boundaries of role-playing.
Nordic Larp presents a critical cross section of this vibrant culture through 30 outstanding larps, combining stories told by designers, players and researchers with over 250 photographs of play and preparations. In addition the book contains two essays that explain the history and rhetorics of Nordic larp, and contextualizes it in relation to theatre, art and games.
The editors Jaakko Stenros and Markus Montola are life-long role-players, as well as game researchers at the University of Tampere. They are authors of Pervasive Games: Theory and Design (2009) as well as the editors of Playground Worlds (2008) and Beyond Role and Play (2004).
In 2012 Nordic Larp received the prestigious Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming.
The games featured are: Trenne byar, Helsingin Camarilla, Föreningen Visionära Vetenskapsmäns Årliga Kongress, Det sista kapitlet, Ground Zero, Knappnålshuvudet, Carolus Rex, 1942 – Noen å stole på, Europa, PehmoYdin, The Executive Game, inside:outside, Hamlet, Zombie: Rædslernes Nat, PanoptiCorp, Mellan himmel och hav, Luminescence, Rollespil i Rude Skov, Silmäpuoli merirosvo, Once Upon a Time, Enhetsfront, System Danmarc, Dragonbane, The White Road, Prosopopeia Bardo 2: Momentum, Totem, En stilla middag med familjen, Krigslive V: I Kejserriget Blev Jeg Født…, Antikristuksen yö and Delirium.
Said about Nordic Larp:
“Nordic Larp is a rare and vivid glimpse into a fascinating gaming tradition. If anyone knows how to imagine better worlds and build a more engaging reality, it’s larpers.”
– Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
“The rise of the ars ludorum is not confined to the bombastic power fantasies of the videogame but is manifest all over the globe in diverse ways, from the doujin games of Japan to the passionate intensity of the indie games movement to the rise of the Euro-style board game. Not least among these movements is larp, brought to its apotheosis in the Nordic countries, where vast, imaginative works of enormous artistic ambition receive attention not only from game geeks but from their national cultures as well. This vital phenomenon is now accessible to English speakers through this landmark work, an anthology of articles describing some of the most impressive and compelling works of the form. Anyone seriously interested in role-play, interactive narrative, and the collision between games and theater will find it of enormous interest.”
– Greg Costikyan, Game Designer
“Now evolved far from its roots in genre consumption and modification, the progressive Nordic live roleplaying scene is building the tools for participatory performance that artists internationally will be using for generations to come. Nordic Larp is the first book to put the community’s key pieces in one easily digestible and visually seductive format.”
– Brody Condon, Artist
Editors: Jaakko Stenros & Markus Montola
Producers: Anna Westerling & Anders Hultman
Graphic design and photo editing: Tommi Kovala, tommikovala.com
Authors: Samir Belarbi, Karl Bergström, Søren Lyng Ebbehøj, Erlend Eidsem Hansen, Eirik Fatland, Ole Peder Giæver, Susanne Gräslund, Kristin Hammerås, J. Tuomas Harviainen, Holger Jacobsson, Laura Kalli, Kåre Murmann Kjær, Johanna Koljonen, Valdemar Kølle, Katri Lassila, Mika Loponen, Markus Montola, Tiinaliisa Multamäki, Marthe Glad Munch-Møller, Lars Munck, Peter Munthe-Kaas, Andie Nordgren, Bjarke Pedersen, Juhana Pettersson, Mike Pohjola, Claus Raasted, Asbjørn Rydland, Jenni Sahramaa, Jaakko Stenros, Jori Virtanen & Aksel Westlund
Photographers: Kim Aagaard, Pilar Andeyro, Carsten Andreasen, Niklas Arugård, Mikko Asunta, Samir Belarbi, Britta K. Bergersen, Janne Björklund, Henri Block, Samantha Bonnevier, Jakob Brasch, Agnete Brun, Richard Chambury, Christoffer Lorang Dahl, Anders Davén, Jenny Drakenlind, Frode Dybvad, Mattias Ekman, Alejandro García, Alexander Graff, Susanne Gräslund, Daniel Hallbygård, Oskar Henriksson, Izabelle Hesselberg, Rasmus Høgdall, Kim Hr. Holm, Frederik Høyer-Christensen, Nino Hynninen, Anne Isene, Kim Jakobsen, Annette Jørgensen, Saara Kähönen, Kalle Kaivola, Matti Keltanen, Sampo Sakari Korhonen, Katri Lassila, Suvi Lehtoranta, Bengt Liljeros, Charlotte Lindström, Mads Lunau, Robert R. McElroy, Christina Molbech, Peter Munthe-Kaas, Andie Nordgren, Sofia Nordin, Emma Öhrström, Bjarke Pedersen, Juhana Pettersson, Claus Raasted, Malcolm Rich, Mathias Kromann Rode, Johan Röklander, Staffan Rosenberg né Jonsson, Asbjørn Rydland, Sampsa Rydman, Olle Sahlin, Natalie Sjölund, Tue Søttrup, Jaakko Stenros, Prokop Suchanek, Tanja Suokivi, Kristoffer Thurøe, Karin Tidbeck, Sasa Tkalcan, Kaia Spilhaug Torkildsen, Hannamari Vahtikari, Max Vallentin, Ilmari Vauras, Emma Wieslander, Michel Winckler-Krog, June Witsøe, Li Xin & The Road Knights
Photography consultants: Suvi Korhonen & Katri Lassila
Country contacts: Eirik Fatland, Susanne Gräslund & Bjarke Pedersen
Proofreading: Tutkimustie, Tampere; also Johanna Koljonen & Solveig Rydland