Nordic Larp – The Book, The Talks, The Convention

Nicor & Nerthus at the larp Moira. Photo: Karin TidbeckI know some of you are consistently surprised at the way I keep talking in public about live role-playing games or LARPs (like on my Sommar show, or my January Fokus column). That may be because I have insufficiently communicated the awesome that is larp of the Nordic school. Well, no more of that! Here, finally, is a new book which explains in glorious four-colour pictures and smart and entertaining essays exactly what the community of artists and producers to which I belong can do. Build animatronic dragons, kit out retro-futuristic spacecraft on Russian submarines, deconstruct Strindberg. That’s just how we roll.

The book is edited by Markus Montola and Jaakko Stenros from the University of Tampere. They are the world’s leading larp researchers (but, being Finnish, probably also embarrassed that I just said so). I’ve written chapters on the larps Carolus Rex, En stilla middag med familjen and, together with Tiinaliisa Multamäki, Dragonbane. Other games covered include Europa, which I talked about on Sommar, 1942 – Noen å stole på, which I wrote about in the above-mentioned column, and Delirium, which we covered in detail on P3 Kultur last summer. But of course, you will also want to learn about zombies, pirates, advertising agency larps, 40 000 Danish kids in monster costumes and an abstract game about cancer in a landscape of 1000 kg of flour. If you’ve ever larped, but stopped, or if you ever wondered why people would want to larp, you do not want to miss this book. And you may want to act fast: the first edition was only 1200 copies and it’s selling like hotcakes, apparently to a global audience, so yea!

The book’s blog is here. You can order it here for the ASTONISHINGLY CHEAP PRICE of 30€. (The price should be about ten times higher since the printing is BEAUTIFUL and the paper quality astounding, but the book got a lot of financial support).

If you can’t wait for your book to arrive before wanting to hear more, I suggest a peek at the Nordic Larp Talks, a recurring series of short lectures in English that I have the pleasure of hosting. There is a batch of them up already, the next session is tomorrow evening in Copenhagen, 7-9 PM CET. You are very welcome to attend – the event is free – or to watch the live stream on the live site. (There is a promo video up already). Big thanks to Björn Falkevik and Petter Karlsson at SocialVideo who make the streaming magic happen.

This session of the Nordic Larp Talks is hosted by the Knudepunkt convention and its game festival A Week in Copenhagen. The convention itself is full, as is the waiting list, but if you want a chance to meet larpers not just from the Nordic countries but places like Malta, Italy, Israel, Germany, Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic, pop by the Nordic Larp Talks tomorrow and stay for a beer in the bar at Huset i Magstræde, Rådhusstræde 13, afterwards!

Oh, and the image above? It’s by Karin Tidbeck, it’s in the book too, and yes, I’m the female. Just to show that I like fairy tale stories too, after a fashion.

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