On Games: Painting Life With Rules

Johanna Koljonen is a writer, Radio and TV host, critic, and a popular lecturer on larp and related topics. Her groundbreaking larp criticism, in essays like “Eye-Witness to the Illusion: The Impossibility of 360° Role-Playing” and “The Dragon Was the Least of it: Larp As Ephemera and Ruin” are widely quoted in the field. She is a co-founder of the TV, radio and web production company Rundfunk Media AB and has a BA in literature. She has hosted several popular radio shows such as “P3 Kultur – Nördorama med Johanna Koljonen” and “Jättestora frågor med Johanna Koljonen” on Swedish national radio and writes columns for Dagens Nyheter and Fokus. She is the scriptwriter of the Oblivion High series of graphic novels and the co-author of the book-length larp autopsy Dragonbane – The Legacy.

Site: johannakoljonen.com
Twitter: jocxy

Photo by: Jacob la Cour

Thank you for Nordic Larp Talks Copenhagen 2011

Last night a packed room at Huset in Copenhagen and vibrant a crowd on the live-stream watched  Nordic Larp Talks 2011.

Photo: Larson Kasper

We would like to give a final big hand of applause to our fantastic speakers. Your speeches were awesome and we salute you.

Also we are so grateful for the production team from Knudepunkt 2011; Nynne Søs Rasmussen, Anders Berner, Jens Niros, Juliane Mikkelsen, Kristoffer Thurøe, the people at Huset i Magstræde, SocialVideo Production for the live-streaming and all others who made this event possible! 

You can watch the stream in full in the player below for now, but in the following weeks will will post the individual speaks here at the Nordic Larp Talks site complete with links and references.

On Games: Painting Life With Rules (starts at 02:15)
Johanna Koljonen

Playing With Personal Development(starts at 12:00)
Bjarke Pedersen

Fabricating Madness(starts at 22:00)
Peter Schønnemann Andreasen

Role-Playing as a Teaching Method(starts at 34:55)
Sanne Harder

Horror and Tragedy in Nordic Role-Playing (starts at 45:55)
Markus Montola

Not Another Story About Boy Meets Girl(starts at 54:15)
Tor Ketil Edland

Can Playing Games Teach Us About War?(starts at 1:05:25)
Eirik Fatland

Documenting the Nordic Larp Scene(starts at 1:20:42)
Panel: Johanna Koljonen & Jaakko Stenros

Nordic Larp Talks Copenhagen, 16 Feb 19.00 at Huset

Welcome to Nordic Larp Talks Copenhagen 2011 – an evening of entertaining, thought-provoking and mind-boggling lectures about projects and ideas from the Nordic tradition of live action roleplaying games.

The evening is hosted by writer and radio & television host Johanna Koljonen.

Free admission.

19.00-20.30 at Huset i Magstræde, Rådhusstræde 13, Copenhagen
The bar is open after the event. 

The event will be streamed live as it happens, on this page:
http://nordiclarp.knudepunkt.org/

Facebook event: Nordic Larp Talks Copenhagen 2011

Press contact: Kristoffer Thurøe k@doodlers.dk +45 2980 8128

Program

Nordic Larp culture
Johanna Koljonen

Fabricating madness
Peter Schønnemann Andreasen

Learning through playing
Sanne Harder Flamant

Playing with personal development
Bjarke Pedersen

Why some games use our real life fears and emotions to create stories
Markus Montola

Not another story of boy meets girl
Tor Kjetil Edland

Can playing games teach us about war?
Eirik Fatland

Documenting the Nordic Larp Scene – the making of the Nordic Larp Book
Panel: Jaakko Stenros & Johanna Koljonen

Watch this space for updated information about the speakers.

Nordic Larp Talks 2011 is organized in cooperation with Rollespilsfabrikken and Bifrost, and supported by DUF and Københavns Kommune. It is a part of the programme the week before larp conference Knudepunkt.

About Nordic Larp Talks:

The first Nordic Larp Talks event took place in Stockholm in 2010, in connection with Nordic larp conference Knutpunkt. All the talks can be seen on this website:

Introduction to Nordic Larp

Transmitting a political vision through larp

The Quest for the Perfect Manifestation of a Dream

Portraying Love and Trying New Genders

Larp as Borderland Festivals

High Resolution Larping

Critical Strategies of Larp

Nordic Larp Book Talkshow

The Nordic Larp book presents 30 outstanding larps with stories told by designers, players and researchers. It is presented with over 250 photographs and also contains two essays about the history and rhetorics of Nordic larp, and it’s current relation to theatre, art and games. We held a talkshow about the book with critic Johanna Koljonen and book producer Anna Westerling during the release parties held simultaneously in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki.


 The live talkshow was broadcasted on the 22nd December 2010 during the release parties of the Nordic Larp book. Host was writer and critic Johanna ‘Joc’ Koljonen.

Guests:
Jaakko Stenros – Book editor, Finland
Markus Montola – Book editor, Finland
Erlend Eidsem Hansen – Chapter author, Norway
Bjarke Pedersen – Chapter author, Denmark
Anna Westerling – Book producer, Sweden

Buy your copy of the book at the webshop Fealivia.se

And don’t miss out on the Nordic Larp blog & Knudepunkt 2011

The show was produced by Petter Karlsson and SocialVideo Production

What some people have said about the book:

“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

“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

“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

We are doing a new round of Nordic Larp Talks in conjunction with the Knudepunkt 2011 conference. Read more about that here.

Nordic Larp Book Release LIVE!

The Nordic Larp book is finally out and release parties will be held in
Helsiniki, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen.

If you are not able to get to the parties – we invite you to a 30 minute livestreamed show, as a Nordic Larp Talks Special Event, that will give you a good intro to the book and a nifty party-feeling.

Visit the live-page: http://nordiclarp.knudepunkt.org/

The liveshow will air for about 30 minutes and your host for the evening is writer and critic Johanna ‘Joc’ Koljonen.

Wednesday December 22nd 
6:30pm – 7:00pm (UTC/GMT London) 
7:30pm – 8:00pm (CET Copenhagen/Oslo/Stockholm)
8:30pm – 9:00pm (EET Helsinki)

Get ready for Nordic Larp Talks #2, February 16th in Copenhagen

We are preparing another round of Nordic Larp Talks, in conjunction with Nordic larp conference Knudepunkt.

Nordic Larp Talks #2 takes place on Wednesday February 18th February 16th in Copenhagen, and Johanna Koljonen will be hosting the event.

Mark your calendar, it will be an evening of exciting and approachable talks about Nordic larp, perfect for taking your interested non-larper friends to.

We are planning to live stream the event like last time, so if you can’t make it to Copenhagen we still recommend you mark your calendar and tune your web browser to this page for the live broadcast of the entire event.

More details on the venue, time and other practical matters will come soon ™.

We are currently preparing to reach out to people we think should give Nordic Larp Talks. You can help!

What we are looking for:

Nordic Larp Talks are inspired by the TED talks format, where experts or people with extraordinary experiences talk about them in such a way that any interested and educated person can enjoy the topic. A Nordic Larp Talk should highlight a project or theme on the Nordic Larp scene to an audience of non-larpers.

Do you think you should give a talk, or do you know of a person or project that should be in a Nordic Larp Talk? Please get in touch with Andie Nordgren and Petter Karlsson

/The NLT #2 team: Andie Nordgren (production, web), Petter Karlsson (production, documentation), Johanna Koljonen (hosting), Nynne Søs Rasmussen (location)

Critical Strategies of Larp

Live action roleplaying games are the art of experience. Renowned game researchers Markus Montola and Jaakko Stenros go through a wide range of live action roleplaying games, explaining how the games can be understood as escaping, exposing, exploring or imposing a certain world view. 

Markus Montola (M.Soc.Sc.) has worked as a researcher both at University of Tampere and at Nokia Research Center, with role-playing and pervasive games as main research interests. Currently he is a doctoral candidate at the University of Tampere with a 3-year grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Together with Jaakko Stenros, Montola has edited two books on larp, Playground Worlds (2008) and Beyond Role and Play (2004). They are also authors of Pervasive Games: Theory and Design (2009). They are currently editing a coffee table book called Nordic Larp, forthcoming in 2010.

Jaakko Stenros (M.Soc.Sc.) is a game researcher at the Game Research Lab at the University of Tampere, Finland. Currently he studies larps and social games, and is working on a dissertation on games as an activity. Together with Markus Montola, Stenros has edited two books on larp, Playground Worlds (2008) and Beyond Role and Play (2004). They are also authors of Pervasive Games: Theory and Design (2009). They are currently editing a coffee table book called Nordic Larp, forthcoming in 2010.

Further reading

Anthologies on larp edited by Markus Montola and Jaakko Stenros, electronic editions:

Beyond Role and Play (2004)

Playground Worlds (2008)

High Resolution Larping

Bringing both love and violence into a game can take players to a high resolution game experience. Andie Nordgren talks about ways to give players power to express conflicts and intimacy inside the game fiction rather than simulating them through abstract rules, and shares some of the mechanics used in the tribal larp Totem.

Andie Nordgren produced the Interactive Emmy Award winning game The Truth About Marika and is currently working as a technical producer at CCP Games. She is one of the co-founders of the Geek Girl Meetup, a member of the change-through-participation think tank Interacting Arts, and was recently chosen one of ten people whose advice the next Swedish prime minister should heed by Internetworld magazine.

Further reading

High Resolution Larping: Enabling Subtlety at Totem and Beyond by Andie Nordgren in Playground Worlds.

Larp as Borderland Festivals

If you don’t party day and night, you get arrested! Massive art project Futuredrome built a Mad Max style city in an old quarry, and invited 1000 people to join the neverending party, live action roleplaying game, festival and movie-in-the-making. Mathias Gullbrandsson talks about lessons from the project and introduces Borderland – a new project in the same vein.

Mathias Gullbrandson is a film-maker and games producer with 13 years of experience in storytelling, game and service design, and innovation processes. He has produced or been highly involved in games like Futuredrome, Knappnålshuvudet, Hamlet and Virtual Galileo. Gullbrandson is co-founder and CEO of The Story Lab.

Portraying Love and Trying New Genders

The story of a small village marriage on a desert planet was the canvas for an exploration of how to portray gender, relationships and sexuality in roleplaying games. While fighting uses large and bold gestures, love is a glance across the room. Emma Wieslander explains how the game Mellan Himmel och Hav (Between Heaven and Sea) had the ambition to let people out of stereotypes they might not even be aware of.

Emma Wieslander works with development of organizational management and leadership in social economy and non-profit organizations. Much of these theories has evolved from her years as a chair person of Sverok, the Swedish organization for role-playing, LARP, computer-gaming etc. She was the conceptual designer of the multi art production Mellan himmel och Hav (Between heaven and sea) that combined roleplay with light art and modern art music at Swedens national theater. The game was highly political and deconstructed the idea of gender as we know it. She is currently working on a new political vision focusing on environment issues among other things.gen

Further reading

The 2004 Solmukohta anthology Beyond Role and Play has 3 articles concerning the game:

Positive Power Drama: A Theoretical and Practical Approach on Emotive Larping
by Emma Wieslander. Download article pdf

Rules of Engagement by Emma Wielander, in the 2004 Solmukohta anthology Beyond Role and Play. Download article pdf

Infinite Possibilities: Mellan Himmel och Hav From a Science Fiction Point of View by Karin Tidbeck, in the 2004 Solmukohta anthology Beyond Role and Play. Download arcticle pdf

You can also have a look at the pre game website:

Mellan Himmel och Hav webpage
Swedish http://www.ars-amandi.nu/mhoh/
Translated with Google Translate