Culture and Society

How do you put together a live-action role-playing (LARP) game?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. In concept, a LARP (live-action role-playing) game is essentially a mix of a theater performance and a game. It must have a storyline, players to participate in the storyline, rules for the players to follow, a setting (both actual and imaginary) and a person or group of people in charge. Putting together a LARP game, then, is a team effort among creators and players, from its inception to its enactment. A lot of planning and work goes into creating a LARP session. Those in charge must write the major storyline in which all of the players will participate (in character, of course), organize a setting where the game will be played out, deal with site owners where the game will be played, prepare for the unforeseen and, of course, raise funds to cover costs.

    Once the creators have built it, however, it's up to the players to show up. Though any personality type willing to take part in such an immersive environment can join in the fun, players in LARPs nonetheless tend to be intelligent, creative people who enjoy genre fiction. They also tend to come from different social backgrounds. With enough people to play, it's let the games begin! To participate in a LARP session, players simply gather at a predetermined location, ready to assume the identity of a fictional character and participate cooperatively in the new game world. Each LARP game is meticulously designed and can include a complex and interactive storyline, unique characters and specific rules for players. All of the participants in the LARP session must truly commit to immersing themselves in this imaginary world, each one sticking to the rules and maintaining his or her character. To that end, each player in the game will walk, talk, dress and act like his or her character for the duration of the game session, completing tasks, solving mysteries and maybe even fighting battles with other characters.

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