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.