It’s Knutepunkt time in the Nordic countries, and that means it’s time once again for the Nordic Larp Talks. If you’re interested in game design or experience design, you really should spend the hour and thirty minutes it takes to watch the whole thing.
However, given some of the recent conversations that have been going on in the American game development community lately, I wanted to highlight a couple of the presentations in particular.
What Does Nordic Larp Mean?
Jaakko Stenros, game researcher at the Game Research Lab at the University of Tampere, Finland, was given the challenge of writing a definition of Nordic Larp that was 50 words or less. He talks about the problem of definitions, but why they still matter anyway. This is going to be of interest to anyone who’s been following the recent “formalism” debates within the American gamedev community.
Three Ways to Make Games More Inclusive
Lars Nerback of the Swedish edu-larp company LajvVerkstaden creates larps that are usually played by children or employees who, unlike in recreational larps, did not individually seek out the experience. As a result he has to create scenarios and narratives that welcome participants regardless of their ages, genders, ethnicities, orientations, religions, or disabilities. In this short presentation, he shares anecdotes and lessons learned that may be of use to the broader larpwright community.
If you’re interested in representation issues within game development, it’s also worth noting that more than half of the presenters at the Nordic Larp Talks are women, and that this is not unusual.
You might also be interested in this year’s Knutepunkt book, which has expanded versions of most of these talks, plus a lot of other information, and is available as a free pdf from the Knutepunkt site.