Nordic Larp Primer

While assisting the inimitable Adam James in introducing nordic larp to UK, through his performance art network, I realized I didn’t have a good starting point for new folks to learn more. What I mean is, that the information is out there, but it’s scattered across a lot of different places. So I’m just going t collect the best places to start learning more about nordic larp:

NordicLarp.org

The hub of the wheel. A community project, this site is all about collecting information on nordic larp. It consists of several excellent parts:

Calendar

The best way to find out what larp is like, is to take part in a game. The calendar covers the biggest upcoming events in the hobby. There are several games and conventions each year and all are welcoming of new participants.

Wiki

The Wiki is a work in progress, trying to gather as much knowledge about the hobby in one place as well as providing a handy reference for definitions and works. If you need to look up a word or thing, go here.

Talks

The Nordic Larp Talks are short, accessible talks on various topics, held each spring. I recommend watching atleast these ones to start with, they’re short and sweet:

Johanna Koljonen – Introduction to nordic larp

A very good introduction to nordic larp, by an experienced journalist.

Johanna MacDonald – From performing arts to larp

This video explains how larp is fundamentally different from the performing arts.

Jana Pouchlá – Welcome to larp. Let’s play.

Some good points on being a new participant in larp.

Games

The games themselves are what brings us together, to really get started understanding the thing, you should try it out. But for reading up on it, these are the books to look for:

Larps from the Factory

So far, the best collection of short larp scripts are the collected works of the Oslo Larp Factory. It has a lot of different styles and subject matters, which provides excellent examples of larps and how they are written down. There’s also a set of videos that show various techniques used in larps that are very useful to conceptualize what might be used during games.

Nordic Larp book

For understanding the bigger, longer games this is the book to look for. It has beautiful pictures and texts from some of the most influential larps in the nordic tradition. It covers some of the greatest moments in the hobby.

Larpwriter Summer School 

The best place to learn about the craft of making larps is  the Larpwriter Summer School, a week of courses on designing games held in the summer in Lithuania. Some of the lectures are available as videos and slideshows on the website. They are aimed at newcomers to the hobby and thus quite accessible.

Knutpunkt / Knutepunkt / Knudepunkt / Solmukohta

The big international gathering of nordic larp, rotating each year between the nordic countries. It is the place to meet the very cleverest people of nordic larp, hear about the latest academic research on the topic as well as upcoming and recently played games and events.

Knutepunkt Books

The convention also includes the production of one or more books each year, that contain various articles on larp. From highly academic theoretical models of experiencing larp, to angry rants, they represent the cutting edge of each year’s thinking on larp.

Especially interesting for newcomers is The Foundation Stone of Nordic Larp, which is a collection of the articles you need to read in order to be part of the discourse on nordic larp. It can get a bit hairy at times, but this is the way into the academic side of it all.

Further reading

Some other things that I think portray important sides of the nordic larp tradition:

Something Wicked This Way Larps

A wonderful online article that picks out several interesting points in the larp landscape, what kinds of play takes place and the thoughts behind the play.

Leaving Mundania

Lizzie Stark is an american journalist who has documented her trip down the rabbit hole of larp, all the way to the nordic countries and further afield in her very well-written book. She also has a blog with a very newbie friendly angle, that cover a lot of topics on nordic larp.

Playground Magazine

A short run magazine on nordic larp, that managed to provide several interesting articles on larp and neighbouring phenomena.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, each of those links lead further into the depths. I’m sure I missed several other clever places to start learning, so please comment with your favourite introductory materials!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Nordic Larp Primer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s