What does Nordic Larp mean? – 
Jaakko Stenros

What is a “Nordic Larp”? What does that expression mean? A few years ago these questions were academic or trivil. That was before the term acquired recognition and brand value.

Now there is something at stake. In this talk one of the editors of the Nordic Larp book explains what he thinks the term means, where it came from, who gets to define it, and what is so damn special about it anyway.

Read the full keynote transcript

Resources
Nordic Larp Wiki
Nordiclarp.org

Jaakko Stenros (M.Soc.Sc.) is a game researcher at the Game Research Lab at the University of Tampere, Finland. Currently he is working on a dissertation on the limits of games. Together with Markus Montola, Jaakkohas edited three books on larp, Playground Worlds (2008), Beyond Role and Play (2004) Nordic Larp (2010). They are also authors of Pervasive Games: Theory and Design (2009).

Site: Jaakko Stenros
Twitter: @lizardenigma

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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.

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)