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Well, some of it at least.

The book is nearing completion. It should be out before Christmas. We have received a number of grants which enable us to print the book, but every cent counts. So we are crowdfinansing the last parts. Everything we get at this point will go to making the book more awesome. Better paper quality, more pages for pictures, dust jacket, this is the stuff we are after. So if you want to support the project and get your name in the book – as well as get your copy of the book as soon as it is out – then this is your chance to help.

One of the best parts in a book process is moving stuff out of the agenda and into the proofing folder. Browsing the proofing files, I again fell in love with some of the subheadings of our stories. Do you know the games behind these headings?

    1. Brilliant NexSec Mindfuck Failure?
    2. Changing the World One Sword at a Time
    3. First Person Bourgeois Drama
    4. In Prison with Kafka and Beckett
    5. Sailing the Seas of Mental Disorder
    6. Sex, Death & Decadence

      Read more to get a hint.

      In other news, we are busy choosing photos these days. In addition to Jaakko and me, we have two photographers, Suvi Korhonen and Katri Lassila, helping us out.

      Read the rest of this entry »

      We have again spent a whole day, some twelve plus hours, editing stuff for the Nordic Larp book. It is all a blur at this point. More than half of the texts are now near the finishing line. In addition there are numerous promises that tomorrow we will have more to work on. As before, we are flabbergasted by the strength of these texts. They run the gamut from insightful dissections of projects to pieces of cultural analysis and from deeply personal reflections on experiences to mad (or brilliant) recollection of brilliant (or mad) events.

      One of the things we have been obsessing about is the original names of games. We want to refer to all games by the names that were used when they were played in the original language. The problem is that in English in titles all relevant words are capitalized (The White Road, Once Upon a Time) whereas is Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish only the first word is capitalized (Silmäpuoli merirosvo, En stilla middag med familjen). But, of course, there are games where the rules are toyed with (such as inside:outside, PanoptiCorp, PehmoYdin, Föreningen Visionära Vetenskapsmäns Årliga Kongress). I don’t actually think that anyone notices or cares about this, but we are completely obsessed by it. (Markus has actually blogged about this name once before.) Anyhoo, it seems that in the main headers we will capitalize all words (since this is a book in English), but in body text we shall leave the names as they appear in original languages. Unless the game organizers toyed with capitalization.

      The problem we now face is Nemesis divina, a game that is referred to once. The problem is that upper and lower cases weren’t introduced until the Middle Ages — which means that we don’t know what is the correct form in Latin. (Spelling it completely without capitalization seems wrong, though perhaps historically accurate – and the same goes for all caps.) Since it is a Swedish game, we are leaning towards a lower case d, but somehow haven’t settled on it yet. Perhaps this is because we somehow associate Latin with English, I don’t know.

      Now it is time for port, ice cream and sauna. In some order. We shall continue tomorrow.

      We have decided to postpone the publication date of Nordic Larp beyond Knutpunkt 2010. While this has not been an easy decision to make, the reasoning is simple: We want to make the best book we possibly can, and we would need to rush too much to get it out of the printers in April. Even with our experiences from Beyond Role and Play, Playground Worlds and Pervasive Games, every phase of work has turned out to be more time consuming than we expected.

      The good thing, however, is that this is going to be a book worth waiting for. Speaking of the texts, half of the stuff we have is mind-blowing and all the rest is really good. On the visual side, we’ve rediscovered some hidden gems we are itching to share.

      We have some exciting announcement coming soon-ish, as well as previews of early spreads coming soon, but that’s all for now.

      Now that we have more time, we are looking for new writers to replace some that had to drop out due to time issues. Currently looking for someone to cover Trenne byar. Know anyone of the old guard who’d want to contribute?

      Photo from En stilla middag med familjen, by Johan Röklander.

      Writing retreats seem to be the best way to Get Stuff Done. So, me and Jaakko have retired to the larpesque landscapes of the ancestral homestead of the Stenros clan to edit bits and pieces of Nordic Larp.

      People who have tossed their papers to our end of the court can expect emails during today and tomorrow. Time to get some stuff into proofreadable condition.

      The Europa refugee center photographed by Britta Bergersen.

      We have made the selections for the book. It has taken longer than we anticipated, but finally we have come up with the list of 29 games.

      SistaKapitletThe final list includes a few rules-based games (Helsingin Camarilla, Krigslive), a few war games (Krigslive, 1942), a few historical games (Once Upon the Time, Antikristuksen yö), a few dramatist games (En stilla middag, Hamlet), a few 360-degree games (Dragonbane, Hamlet), a few pervasive games (FVV, Momentum), a few collective games (Enhetsfront, The White Road), a few political games (Europa, System Danmarc), a few turkuist games (The Executive Game, Ground Zero), a few ecstatic furnace games (Ground Zero, Carolus Rex), a few artsy games (Luminescence, inside:outside), a few revolutionary games (Panopticorp, Momentum), a few high resolution games (Totem, Mellan himmel och hav), a few occult games (Momentum, Sista kapitlet), a few fantasy village games (Dragonbane, Trenne byar), a few “therapy” games (Luminescence, Knappnålshufvudet), a few adventure larps (Zombie, Silmäpuoli merirosvo) — and also one adult larp (PehmoYdin) and one children’s larp (Rude Skov).

      We are shocked that though we have been able to include vampires, cowboys, pirates, patients, zombies, occult investigators, mobsters and wizards, there is not a single ninja game in sight!

      luminescence13The complete list of games:

      1942 – Noen å stole på Norway
      Antikristuksen yö Finland
      Carolus Rex Sweden
      Dragonbane International
      Enhetsfront Norway

      Europa Norway
      The Executive Game Finland
      Föreningen visionära vetenskapsmäns årliga kongress Sweden
      Ground Zero Finland
      Hamlet Sweden

      Helsingin Camarilla Finland
      inside:outside Norway
      Knappnålshufvudet Sweden
      Krigslive Denmark
      Luminescence Finland

      Mellan himmel och hav Sweden
      Once Upon a Time Norway
      Panopticorp Norway
      PehmoYdin Finland
      Prosopopeia Bardo 2: Momentum Sweden

      Copy of off02Rude Skov Denmark
      Silmäpuoli merirosvo Finland
      Det sista kapitlet Sweden
      En stilla middag med familjen Sweden
      System Danmarc Denmark

      Totem Denmark
      Trenne byar Sweden
      The White Road Denmark
      Zombie – Night of Terrors Denmark

      We had to reject six submissions due to the size of the book. That was difficult as the submissions and games covered were very intriguing. We hope that these games will be covered in some other publication later on.

      I’m happy to say that we now have a big pile of submissions — the book will turn out very nicely with this bunch. We are now processing the abstracts, contacting authors for additional information and looking for pictures here and there. It will take us a few weeks before we know our “final” list, due to the number of moving parts in this equation.

      All authors who have promised to look for more photos, now is the time to do so. We’ll get in trouble if we accept a game and no photos turn out, since accepting one game influences our decisions on the others: If we don’t get photos of, say, Ground Zero, we’d possibly want some other bomb shelter larp to replace it. And if we do get GZ, we are unlikely to squeeze in another bomb shelter game.

      So, keep looking at those piles, and deliver the stuff as soon as possible. We won’t promise you a slot before we see photos with our own eyes. You know who you are.

      Already in the process of putting the book together we have run into stuff we though was lost forever. The ad for Ground Zero replay (1998).

      Already in the process of putting the book together we have run into stuff we though was lost forever. The ad for Ground Zero replay (1998).

      What a difference a week makes! The situation now is this. We have 16 abstracts and 12 promises of abstracts. The list is starting to look quite good — except for Denmark, which is sorely underrepresented. The deadline is tomorrow.

      Received abstracts:
      The Executive Game
      Silmäpuoli merirosvo
      Föreningen visionära vetenskapsmäns årliga kongress
      Det Sista Kapitlet
      Mellan himmel och hav
      Trenne byar
      Carolus Rex
      Once Upon a Time
      System Danmarc

      Clothes test for mellan himmel och hav.

      Clothes test for mellan himmel och hav.

      Promised submissions:

      Helsingin Camarilla

      A game by The Harmaasudet
      Ground Zero
      En stilla middag med familjen
      Thirteen at the Table

      A Danish Children’s larp

      There is still time to put together an abstract. We need to know that there are a sufficient amount of protos from the game and we need to see a few of these as an example. The text of the abstract need not be long, an email is enough. It should contain a short list of what the article would cover (production, events, players, way it was produced, props, organization management, what?) and some context (for example what it relates to, how the players approached, did it have an impact, was it inspired by something, does it have a connection to theory/fine art/comics/film/urban exploration) and an angle (why this game is especially interesting).

      The point of the abstract is to show that there are photos, that the person who is interested in covering the game has thought the case through once and is committed.

      The deadline for abstract submissions to Nordic Larp was last Sunday. Today we have ten submissions and ten promises to write about games.


      1. Pehmoydin
      2. Föreningen visionära vetenskapsmäns årliga kongress
      3. Det Sista Kapitlet
      4. Knapnålshufvudet
      5. Mellan himmel och hav
      6. Panopticorp
      7. 1942
      8. Once Upon a Time
      9. Totem
      10. System Danmarc


      1. Luminescence
      2. Walkabout
      3. A history re-enactment larp by the Harmaasudet
      4. The Executive Game
      5. Helsingin Camarilla
      6. Ground Zero
      7. Momentum
      8. Carolus Rex
      9. Futuredrome
      10. Enhetsfronten

      The book will feature 25 games, so we are not there just yet. Of course, we’d prefer it if we had the luxury of making some choices as well. At the moment we lack some interesting wishlist games — likes of Trenne Byar, Europa, Dragonbane, En stilla middag — and we don’t have examples of a typical street larp, children’s larp, war larp, or a dogme larp.

      Of course, the impossibility of the equation is obvious, as not everything can be fit in. Also, the soft quota on Swedish larps will be pushed hard.

      We are extending the deadline until next Tuesday.

      If you think a game you organized or participated in should be on the list, now is the time to act. Also, if your proposal is not on the list above, we have lost it somewhere.

      Nordic live action role-playing games are a unique form of expression. Yet very little coherent and accessible documentation exists regarding these games. An annual article collection on Nordic role-playing has been published since 2003, but through these books have had an instrumental role in developing the tradition, actual games are documented rather poorly. It is time to change that.

      The Nordic Larp book project is a concentrated effort to document a
      representative sample of Nordic larps. The main body of the book is comprised of approximately 25 descriptions of relevant Nordic live action role-playing games. Each game will be presented with six full pages of photographs and approximately three pages of text.

      Dragonbane, 2006

      Dragonbane, 2006. Picture courtesy of Dragonbane project.

      The featured games will aim to be a representative sample of some of the most influential or archetypal larps staged in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in the last 15 years. These games will not represent the mass of each national larp scene, but the fruits of the international Nordic scene that has developed around the annual Knutepunkt (Solmukohta) congress. The selection will feature both small influential games and games with high production values.

      The book will be edited by Jaakko Stenros and Markus Montola who have previously edited two books on role-playing games (Playground Worlds, Beyond Role and Play) and co-written a book on pervasive games (Pervasive Games: Theory and Design). Stenros currently works as a game researcher at the University of Tampere, Montola is working on his doctoral dissertation on pervasive and role-playing games.  The book is produced by Anna Westerling and Anders Hultman (both have extensive experience in project management, for example from En stilla middag med familjen).

      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.