We spent two days in a writing retreat and were able to push 13 cases to a point where they are either ready to be proofread or getting close to that. So one third of the texts in now in a good condition! We’ll continue working on the texts in the evenings and reconvene to a retreat in a two weeks time.

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.

Knutpunkt 2010 will be held at Fiskeboda, two hours ride from Stockholm.

Key dates:

  • Knutpunkt signup closes: 15th of March
  • Program submission closes: 20th of March
  • Program signup opens: 1st of April
  • The Week in Stockholm: 17th-22nd April.
  • Knutpunkt 2010: 22nd-25th April.

But most importantly, the signup is now open. Prices range from 80 euros (students) to 160 euros (professionals), including food and lodging.

Föreningen Knutpunkt is a partner of Nordic Larp book, and the main organizers of the event are Anders Hultman and Anna Westerling, the very same wonderfully energetic duo that also produces our book. Their claims to fame are too numerous to list here, but suffices to say they also produced En stilla middag med familjen.

It will be a blast, so be there, or be totally out of the loop.

We are pleased to announce that Playground Worlds: Creating and Evaluating Experiences of Role-Playing Games, published last year in Solmukohta, is avalaible as a free download. It took us a little bit longer to get it online then we would have hoped for, but better late than never.

We are still insanely proud of the book. It has 25 articles divided into three sections: Journalism & Community, Art & Design, Research & Theory. No matter what level of interest you have in regards to larp, there is something in the book for you. This is what some reviewers have said about the book:

This book is a gem! A collection of diverse and quite useful articles on roleplaying, with a strong emphasis on live action play. (Jason Morningstar)

If the idea of scholarly discussion of larp comes as a surprise to you, this book may deliver quite a shock. There are some contributors that are full-time widely-published game theorists, who specialise in larp theory. They’re writing about envelope-pushing larp, but the analysis is often generalisable to more garden-variety larp. If you’re not familiar with the Nordic larp scene, expect to read some articles while thinking “what the hell?” Read with an open mind, and ideas that seem crazy or outlandish at first may grow on you. […]
A thought-provoking collection of works on roleplay, and innovative larp in particular. Well presented, dense with content, and definitely worth the purchase price to get it in hardcopy. (Ryan Paddy)

I’m dying to recommend some pieces in the book, but can’t really pick favourites. What do you find most intereting or useful?

Oh, and if you are one of those old farts who enjoys reading stuff on paper, the paperback version is still available for a very affordable price.

The International Journal of Role-Playing is soliciting submissions. The deadline is February the 1st. How about expanding and generalizing your research-oriented paper from one of the Knutpunkt books? Note that the journal accepts proposals regarding all forms of role-playing.

The International Journal of Role-Playing (IJRP) is now accepting submissions for the 2nd issue, due out in early summer 2010. Deadline for submissions is February 1st, 2010.

The International Journal of Role-Playing invites researchers, designers, developers, academics, artists and others involved in the growing field of research related to role-playing to submit articles. The IJRP is a peer-reviewed journal, and welcomes submissions from any sphere of interest, knowledge network, research field or de-development sector that directly or indirectly relates to role-playing interests.

Potential topics include but are certainly not limited to the following:
•    Role-playing games, e.g. frameworks, storytelling and graphics; art, design and creative industry
•    Role-playing culture, psychology, media, economics, and sociology
•    Role-playing technology, surveys, vocabulary, training and education
•    Other aspects of role-playing and related research and development

Read the rest of this entry »

The Americans are putting together their version of Knutepunkt (they even name-check it in the post below). I love this and wish I could be there.

LARP in America.

Our cultural differences in this country have produced challenges in the way that LARP can be positively perceived here.  How it works, the drive to create and compete, has caused not only a great diversity nation wide but also in how we view one another as members of different groups.

Yet recently, a movement has begun here.

To create a national unity – of identity, language, and definitions.

Inspired by such organizations as LARPA, spectacular and progressive events like Knudepunkt, and online communities from Shade’s LARP List, to Pagga, Rule 7 and many others, the LARP Alliance has worked toward a singular goal – to create awareness and programs to foster and grow LARP here in America.

In June 2010, the West Coast’s first LARP Convention will be held in Southern California. The LARP Alliance is extending the invitation to the leaders of American LARP communities and organizations to come together at this event and participate in America’s first National LARP Summit to begin laying the foundation for a unified front for LARP.

National LARP Summit
Wyrd Con One
June 11th – 13th, 2010
Costa Mesa/Orange Hilton
Costa Mesa, California

Our focus will be on the uniqueness and diversity of the art form as it exists here, but we also extend the invitation to leaders and
organizations worldwide to participate. In the tradition of Knudepunkt, we intend to hold this LARP Summit every year, creating a Summit Book yearly and easy access to the compiled body of knowledge we will build together.

Wyrd Con has had a strong response and expects game runners from as far away as England in attendance, and strong diversity in theme and styles will be represented. Current games include Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Steampunk and other themes. Live Combat and Theater Style games in equal portions. Alternate Reality Games will also be represented, as well as the  art of Cosplay.

For the Summit, we will have panels, discussions and classes that make up many aspects of our hobby, led by some of the top LARP Academicians and promoters in the country.The Summit programming will be updated on a regular basis, and we plan to use current technologies to bring the Summit home to the living rooms of LARPers across the country.

This is the time and place to talk, meet, and set forth the frame work for continued growth of our hobby in America, and abroad.

Rick McCoy
LARP Alliance, Inc.

I have to look into if it is possible to contribute to the book even if one does not attend. Also, I’m dying to find out who are branded the top American larp academics.

An announcement via the Czech KP-regulars. One English programme track is in plans.

Odraz Conference 2010

Creating for Players, Theory for Creators, Playing for Theorists.

The third year of the itinerant Odraz conference has come. We would like to invite you to Holiday Resort Štědronín, where Odraz 2010 is going to take place from 26 to 28 March. Unlike the previous years, the conference is starting Friday morning 26 March and you can arrive Thursday afternoon. The conference is ending Sunday afternoon.

Odraz 2010 is organized by a non-profit organization Tempus ludi, o.s., continuing in the tradition set by Court of Moravia, o.s. and Prague by Night, o.s.

The conference will allow the LARP organizers and participants from Czech Republic and abroad to meet there. It will be a possibility for exchanging experience and broadening the theoretical knowledge during the lectures, as well as to meet on informal occasions and contacting fellow enthusiasts. The programme will be enriched by several mini-LARPs and workshops aimed at the practical part of organizing LARPs. An enjoyable evening programme will also be arranged.

Read more!

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.

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.