Man, I love speculating about all the shit that went down at a convention I couldn’t attend but everyone’s talking…

Man, I love speculating about all the shit that went down at a convention I couldn’t attend but everyone’s talking about. Was there ever a more navel-gazey hobby? Says the guy who writes this collection.

0 thoughts on “Man, I love speculating about all the shit that went down at a convention I couldn’t attend but everyone’s talking…”

  1. Robert Bohl I have no idea! I’m reading tea leaves here:

    * Safety tips for larp
    * How to debrief after larp
    * Oh my god I’m never facilitating a larp again

    Something tells me some shit went down.

  2. The conversation about the larps this week is waaaaay more intense than the conversations on the ground during Origins. Maybe I just wasn’t talking to the right people.

  3. My read, as someone who is in the larpy larp community but wasn’t there and has not talked to anyone who was there about anything specific, is that a couple of sacred cows got questioned.

    Which may mean something happened, but maybe just means a few games were mediocre or there was something that maybe could have happened, and now folks are questioning some things they’d taken as granted laws of the form.

    I base this hypothesis on the idea that while everyone is talking pretty intently, they’re also talking pretty openly and taking each other’s ideas and suggestions. When shit has gone down for real the tone is usually much more aggressive/defensive.

    Also, on the idea that a lot of larpy folks thought a lot of larpy thoughts at a couple of big larpy thought cons, and then rubber hit the road with non larpy and semi-larpy people at Origins. Some thoughts were tested, and now the results of those tests are being discussed.

    … shrug.

    Anyway, I could be wrong. There may have been larp murder everywhere.

  4. It’s okay though Ole Peder Giæver when we met at Dreamation I played table top with him and whenever he’d do something cool I’d just say “we do that in larp all the time.”

  5. Hey man, it’s not my problem if you folks can’t handle addition on the fly.

    (But that’s hilarious that Ole Peder Giæver​ remembers me drunk-posting! I guess one of us had to.)

    ((I like you just fine Ole!))

  6. Nothing much happened. A couple of larps had some unhappy players based on how safety was handled, something that is far from remarkable. Lots of conversations developed around how we could do it better.

  7. In all seriousness, it’s legit impressive how very closely every bit of the larp experience gets interrogated in a way I think tabletop does not.

    Like, I’d love to see long introspective think pieces about how to be gentle and inviting with tabletop players coming from dramatically different traditions. That is such a common place for con goers to not have fun (both the trad folks and the hipsters). And that’s just the tiniest example off the top of my head. But I just don’t remember much postmortem hand wringing about that, or anything else, related to safety, engagement, whatever.

    I’m not sure that it’s down to the medium but maybe, some.

  8. You guys do know that chicken gyros are legit, right?

    Just checking, because the lettuce is funny, but this shit talking chicken gyros is going to get me run out of my neighborhood.

  9. The larp safety conversation is not even the most important thing that happened in my opinion! The reason it’s blowing up here is because there’s a lot of fruitful ideas to explore.

    The most important thing is that I didn’t have a method for sorting out who wanted to take the most active roles in a larp, which resulted in that being divvy’d up by reading social cues (a “knife fight”). There’s not a lot of discussion because the obvious answer is have a method for that shit, since otherwise the people with the most social privilege tend to wind up with all the goodies.

  10. I’ve spent the better part of a decade developing a set of tools for people to negotiate the kind of rp experience they want to have, and I’m not closer to having a Unified Multitool than I ever was! or even a unified theory. I DO with people would negotiate, more. Trying to get gamers to just have frank, straitforward discussions is like pulling out teeth sometimes! I just want to yell USE YOUR WORDS OK

  11. It’s people.

    Though… and here is where I prove that I am swine and bad and all the things that my enemies say about me…

    I do think there is a thing where gamers, as a population and a generalization and #notallgamers , have a tendency to want to get things fixed down and arbitrary/systematized that might be slightly higher than the general populations.

    Like, when I used to teach mythology, I could usually tell gamers (table top or computer) pretty quickly because they needed myths to have a certain level of “fixedness.” Like, they really, really needed to know that God X, was the God of Y and Z.

    And while all the students needed that a bit (it’s a weird thing about the way we study mythology, I blame the Victorians), gamers really wanted it. Like they’d ask me “What is Nuada the god of” and I’d say “Well, these clusterings of tribes had him as a patron…” and then all the students would be like “No, I mean is he the god of like thunder and swords?” and I’d sigh.

    And then the gamers would say “Is his charisma higher than Lugh’s?” And I’d throw an eraser at them.

    There’s a similar thing in larp that I find, if more subtle, and in table top. Folks want there to be a “THE ANSWER” instead of a cluster of tools and ideas that you develop your own answers from. Like, folks want to be able to have a magical technique that will make all debriefs always work every time, and get frustrated when you tell them there is no such thing.

    Anyway. I’m swine. Carry on with your day.

  12. Chicken/egg, yeah?

    Do gamers seek out means by which to systematize the world? Or do people start gamifying the world upon exposure to RPGs? It seems to me like it depends on the person. There are probably other configurations as well.

    This is drifting far afield of what was a jokey premise but it’s been something I’ve thought about a very long time in my own gaming life.

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