Knutepunkt and Nordic Live Role-Playing: A crash course, Eirik Fatland

This article explaining nordic larp culture is certainly dated here and there (the list of Knutepunkt traditions is best ignored) – but it has a lot of good information that I haven’t seen anywhere else. If you’re from somewhere else in the world and are trying to figure out what’s what in the Nordic tradition, it will be immensely helpful. If  you’re from a Nordic country but not very familiar with the neighboring larp cultures, it’s a good read as well.

Appeared in Dissecting Larp in 2005.

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Leaving Mundania, Lizzie Stark

A non-fiction book that’s mainly about larp in the US, but that contains a few chapters on Nordic Knutpunkt style larp as well. Read more about the book here.

Published in 2012.

Note: I write “Nordic Knutpunkt style larp” for a reason. I’m not a fan of using the term “nordic larp” to describe artsy avant-garde games as opposed to fantasy games. Apart from how confusing this descriptor is for people who play non avant-galeaving-mundaniarde games from Nordic countries, there’s actually an even better reason to avoid it: A lot of the things that are pinpointed as specific for the Nordic style are just as prevalent in classic fantasy games from the Nordic countries as they are in avant-garde black box games.

I’m all for describing a game like Mad About the Boy as nordic larp – it’s saying that Krigshjärta and other “mainstream fantasy” campaigns aren’t that’s nonsense. This point should actually become quite clear to Nordic readers of Leaving Mundania, as the book does a great job of describing how North American mainstream larping is done. The short version: It’s not like nordic mainstream larp. At all.

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Freaks and Geeks S01E18: Discos and Dragons

daniel1“A television show about two unique groups of teenagers dealing with life in high school during the 80’s.” (from imdb)

In one of the last episodes of this too-soon canceled series, charismatic burn-out Daniel ends up playing Dungeons and Dragons with the titular “geeks” of the show.

First aired in 2000.

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Natthimmel, Sofia Nordin

natthimmelA YA novel by Swedish writer (and larper) Sofia Nordin about a young girl who discovers larp. It was shortlisted for the prestigious August Prize, but unfortunately hasn’t been translated into any other language as far as I know.

Published in 2009.

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The Mixing Desk of Larp

A model for analysis of larp created by Norwegian organisation Fantasiforbundet, to be used at The Larpwriter Summer School in 2012.

I was one of the teachers at the summer school, and used the mixing desk model there (and later in other contexts) as a tool to workshop new larp concepts. For this purpose in particular, and making larp theory accesible in general, it is awesome.

Here’s the model itself, and here you can find a bunch of ted style talks about different parts of the model.

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Role Models

esplen2I can’t really speak to whether this Hollywood comedy gets the portrayal of American fantasy larp right, but it absolutely nails the geek pride aspect of larping. Bonus points for the existence of at least one female geek with agency in the film.

For those who read Swedish, I wrote a pretty lengthy review of Role Models when it was new.

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High Resolution Larping: Enabling Subtlety at Totem and Beyond, Andie Nordgren

This article details the game mechanics in the larp Totem that was played in Denmark the summer of 2007 and discusses the possibilities of creating a larping language of smaller gestures. Among other things, it explains Ars Ordo, the less well known cousin of the game technique Ars Amandi (aka “the arm sex thing”).

Appeared in Playground Worlds in 2008.

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