Mad About the Boy Sign-Up


The Plot

Mad About the Boy is a larp about survivors of a global disaster that killed more than half of humanity; an inexplicable disease killed everyone with a Y chromosome in mere minutes. The surviving women face not only the enormous task of rebuilding society, but also the possible extinction of humanity.

While the graphic novel Y the Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra inspired the world of the larp, the game does not use any characters or storylines from the graphic novel. Our story follows a group of women who have applied to an insemination program initiated three years after the disaster. As sperm has become a very precious resource, only a few women will be given this privilege.

Players will portray women applying to the insemination program in familial groups of three. For video about the game, check out this Nordic Larp Talk, by one of the creators, Tor Kjetil Edland.

The Style

This game is a particular sort of larp, a Nordic larp. Rather than winning epic battles, participants will portray flawed human characters living in a reality that is very similar to our own, save for the absence of men. The aim of this larp is for each participant to portray a satisfying story within the game framework. This may mean portraying characters open to tragedy and suffering as well as open to happiness.

Read a primer on Nordic larp here.

Think of it as an interactive theatrical production rather than as a game — you can “win” only by telling a satisfying complex story that supports the experience of your fellow-players.

This larp does not rely on secrecy; participants are encouraged to read the original game libretto if desired, keeping in mind that it will be updated to reflect the US setting.

In keeping with the Nordic larp tradition, the first part of the game, on Friday night, will consist of workshops designed to foster community among the players and help them develop and deepen their characters.

Gender

Earlier runs of Mad About the Boy in Norway featured both all-women casts and mixed-gender casts, all playing women. Our US run will be all-women, with trans women and genderqueer people welcome. We’ve chosen an all-women run of the game in consultation with the Norwegian authors of the larp, who noticed that the mixed-gender run ended up being about the experience of men playing women characters rather than living in a society in which only women are left.

The game is open to everyone who identifies as a woman in one form or another. And that the people who sign-up may self-select whether this applies to them.

The Sort of Players We Want

Women open to roleplay about serious themes, older than 18 only. This game is for larpers interested in emotional plotlines, as well as non-gamers interested in the game’s theme, or people who loved interactive theatrical productions like Sleep No More, but wanted to get more involved in the plot.

The game is written for 30-40 players.

Got questions about whether this game is for you? Email lizzie.stark@gmail.com. Or ask on the Facebook group.

Organizers

This game is presented by the wonderful First Person entertainment. And is organized by:

The Norwegian creators:

Tor Kjetil Edland
Trine Lise Lindahl
Margrete Raaum

And American producers:

A. A. George
Jeramy Merritt
Sarah Miles
Lizzie Stark

Logistical Details

Location:

Camp Cedarcrest
866 Mapledale Road
Orange, Connecticut 06477

Date:

Friday, October 5, 6pm – Sunday October 7, 6pm, 2012

Here’s how we’ll use the time: Friday evening after people arrive, and Saturday morning, we’ll do pre-game workshops to flesh out the characters and their relationships. Saturday late morning through Sunday around 2pm or so, we’ll play. Then we’ll take a couple hours to debrief and clean up the camp, with departure by 6pm.

Cost:

$95, inclusive of meals and lodging

Why does this cost more than other area larps?

Well, many local games operate on economies of scale, but Mad About the Boy is an intimate experience for 30-40 players. We still have the same costs of camp rental, insurance, etc. as other area games, but have to spread them out among fewer players. We also think it’s important for the characters to have communal meals, which adds to the ticket cost.

Think of it this way: the game costs about the same as two theater tickets, or less than you’d spend at a gaming convention between food, admission, and lodging.

SIGN UP

The Sign up for Mad About the Boy is closed.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2012 at 10:53 am.
Categories: Blog, Features, Larp.

21 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. I’m pleased to see larps handling gender so directly. Kudos.

    How do you handle the gender-continuum? “Y” hand-waved it away in the second volume, much to my disappointment. What’s your take? When this narrative refers to women and men, did the plague spare people who were female-identified, or XX (XO, XXX, non-Y? XXY), or who had a particular hormonal set? How did intersexed and genderqueer people fare?

  2. Nathan Hook

    X-posted to rpg.net for you.

  3. Lizzie Stark

    Thanks Nathan!

    And Amy — interesting question, and one we’re still working through. I’m in consultation with my co-organizers, and the game creators, on this question. We’ll get back to you soon.

  4. Cool!

    Let me know if you want to float ideas or find sources.

  5. Lizzie Stark

    Hi Amy, so all the people with Y chromosomes died.

    Does this answer your question sufficiently?

  6. Jen

    Let’s hope it works!

  7. Anne Brown

    I’m registered, but I’m not exactly sure if I’ll be able to get the time off of work. :( I’ll find out some time next week. Very excited for this larp, though! Anything to do with gender issues is fascinating to me! It’s been a personal dream of mine to run “Between Heaven and Sea,” the Nordic larp inspired by the Ursula K. LeGuin short stories about the people of O in Fisherman of the Inland Sea and The Birthday of the World. Maybe someday, when I’m not finishing my dissertation and starting a job as a professor!

  8. Zee Keister

    Lizzie, your answer to Amy’s question was very useful but I’m still pretty confused as to how this LARP addresses the wishy-washy-ness of the gender continuum, among other things.
    So the disease which “killed all the men in mere minutes” really just killed all the people with y chromosomes? So that means there are no trans women or XY cis women? Does this mean that XX cis men and trans men still populate this this “world where only women are left”? Some intersex folks but not others?

    [begin not-exactly-constructive rant]
    Forgive me, because I get offended really easily about things which are usually no big deal, but it seems really odd to me that even though you go to the trouble of explicitly including trans* women and genderqueer folks, the rest of your discussion of the LARP involves constantly conflating gender with biology.

    Here’s what I’m hearing as a trans* woman reading this: “Hey Zee! You should totally participate in this all-woman LARP because you’re totally a woman! It’s about this plague that killed all the men! Also, if this plague were real, you’d be dead, cause you’re totally a man!”
    [end rant]

    I apologize for that last non-constructive bit, but I can’t bring myself to delete it. I think it’s important to talk about these things, and I’m really interested in hearing what you have to say.

  9. Lizzie Stark

    Thanks for your question. I want to separate what’s going on in the world of the game, versus what’s going on out of the world of the game.

    Within the world of the game, yes, we had to make a call on how, exactly, the plague ripped through humanity. So yes, there are no trans women and no cis-women with XY chromosomes left. XX cis-men and XX trans men would still be around. One of the characters in the game is a trans man. If only characters with X chromosomes are left, certainly there is still room for a range of gender expression — characters could skew toward the manly manly man or femme end of the spectrum, including everything in between.

    In terms of our player base, we want all of the players attending the game to have some lived experience/sense of femininity, and the cultural construction around femininity to use as a starting point for playing XX characters. And we leave it up to the players to self-select whether that applies to them, though all characters have X chromosomes.

    I’m sensing from your comment that what you’re objecting to is the use of the word “men” in the first paragraph of this post to mean “people with a Y chromosome.” You’re right: certainly, not everyone with a Y chromosome is a man — it was convenient, if not entirely accurate, shorthand, and we apologize for the error.

  10. I’m one of the three Norwegian writers of the game. In our story the epidemic is very biological. Trans women who were born with a Y chromosone died with all the men while trans men without a Y chromosone survived. We discussed this issue while we were deciding on the back story for the game. To make the epidemic kill people based on gender and not on chromosones would in my view be immensely more problemetic. The role of trans men in the society after the disaster is also something that is part of the world description and represented specifically with one of the charactes.

    When we describe the game we will in many cases talk about the men who died and the women who survived. I understand that trans people can get fed up of with the categories of men and women being used in all types of circumstances without further specifications. But I think it communicates better to use ‘men’ and ‘women’ in headings and then we can specify exactely what we mean with those categories when we talk more about the characters and the setting of the game.

  11. I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to sign up and here it is!! Thanks Lizzie, also for the free chapter to your new book- very much look forward to reading a ton before Oct !!

    best,

    Liz

  12. Eric Vinken

    I wish you luck with your run of the fantastic scenario ‘Mad about the boy’. Me and 3 female friends organised a run last february in the Netherlands. It was quite succesfull.
    Although we skipped the pre-play workshops and metagame techniques, as we considered the Dutch larpcommunity wasn’t ready for that. Also we did not reveal the plot to the players in advance, so we named our run ‘& Eve’.
    Can’t imagine your run won’t be just as much fun as ours.

  13. Lizzie Stark

    Thanks! Would love to hear more about how your run went.

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