DEXCON Fun & Larp Link Love

Tons of stuff new in the larp world in the last couple weeks. Here’s my attempt to stay abreast of the developments.
First, though, a pitch for DEXCON, which runs July 4-July 8 at the Hyatt in Morristown, NJ. I’m running three freeform games (and maybe some pickups) this weekend. See my event schedule for details.
Most importantly, though, Wednesday 11pm- midnight I’m holding a reading/signing/costume contest. So wear your bad-mutha-shut-your-mouth costume for a chance to win bragging rights and a copy of Leaving Mundania!
And of course, you can snag a copy of Leaving Mundania over at the Modern Myths table throughout the weekend.
And now, on to the link love:

Link Love: Larp Couture

Interested in costuming and propping? Head over to Larp Couture and check out American (?) Caroline E. Willis’s lively writing on the topic, from information about codpieces to gender-related musings on harem pants to historical research on real smugglers, helpful for rolling up that rogue you’ve been meaning to.

Larp TV: Nordic Larp Talks

If you haven’t seen the Nordic Larp Talks, you should. Built around the TED Talk model of short, accessible speeches on innovation, this series of lectures on larp delves deep into the hobby from a philosophical and practical angle. The series began in 2010 and is now entering its third year.

I highly recommend visiting the Nordic Larp Talks site to watch other speeches which tackle issues like educational larp, playing horror, gender in larp and more.

To whet your appetite, here’s an introductory talk given by Swedish journalist Johanna Koljonen in 2011 in Copenhagen.

Link Love: An Awesome Story and drLARP

I was catching up on This American Life this week, and listened to the most amazing story of larp, private investigators, and crime ever told. It proves the old adage, “truth is stranger than fiction.” Listen to the free podcast, and be amazed:

The Incredible Case of the PI Moms

You might also check out Derek Rawlings’s (Vancouver-based?) blog, drLARP, devoted to “embiggening” the hobby. He’s got posts giving advice to players and storytellers on a variety of topics, from how to strategically use NPCs as an organizer, to how to have fun playing a low-level character.

 

Playground: It Lives!

Like a Mummy locked inside a cursed pyramid, or a Japanese schoolgirl who has experienced near-death happiness, the Scandinavian larp mag Playground (dedicated to the “new wave” in roleplay) has shambled (leapt?) to life again, courtesy of the great people of Denmark.

I know I’ll be looking forward to lovely new dead-tree issues, as well as snappy blog posts on the “now” of larp.

Thank you, Denmark, just…thank you.

Link Love: Larp Magazines

I wanted to start out the year with some good karma, by throwing out link love out to all the hard-working larp magazines out there.

From Abroad:

International Journal of Roleplaying — where the big kids of roleplaying theory come out to play. I wish their site had permalinks, though.

LARPzeit — a German (?) larp magazine with an international edition printed in English. Even includes some costume patterns.

Playground Magazine – an international magazine originally based out of Norway about the “new wave” of roleplaying. You can subscribe or purchase .pdf copies. A nicely-produced magazine with some pretty interesting articles. UPDATE: Apparently, Playground will not be closing as previously reported. Rather, as a commenter pointed out, it’s continuing under new Danish management.

Interacting Arts — OK, not really a magazine so much as a collective of larpers, based out of Sweden, I think. But they’ve got some interesting theory up.

Rolle|spil — I hope you read Danish, because if you don’t, you can’t read this.

 

Meanwhile, in the US…

While there are some (largely corporate-linked) US tabletop RPG magazines out there — Kobold Quarterly, The Crusader, Dragon, etc. — for the most part, I haven’t been able to find any active American larp magazines. Examiner.com’s larp vertical is the notable exception. In addition to the national column, Examiner.com has regional columnists in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Albany, and more.

Otherwise, the best I’ve got are the archives of some now-defunct ventures:

Metagame — this larp magazine ran from 1988-2000; it was the official magazine of the Society for Interactive Literature (SIL), a predecessor of LARPA. Full archives available.

LARP Magazine — ran from 2006-2007. It’s got practical tips on how to larp and a little coverage of the US scene. Full archives available.

The Larper — a magazine that ran for two issues in 2001. Appears to be associated with LARPA.

Dreaming Larp Magazine – a nicely-designed one-time magazine that documents a larp run at SUNY from 2002-2010.

Interregnum — a roleplaying magazine that covered some topics in larp, ran from 1995-2001 out of Cambridge, MA, before folding. Some articles and a sample back issue are available at the link.

Alarums and Excursions — I can’t tell what sort of content this California-based magazine has, since there’s none on the website, but it appears to be a tiny magazine that is still issuing subscriptions.

Maybe this is an opportunity for some enterprising US larper to cater to a new market.

 

Know of more larp mags? Hit me up in the comments.

Link Love: Kalashnicore

Rev up your Google Translate and head over to Kalashnicore, a blog written by Swedish larper and feminist Anna Karin.

Many of her posts respond to a list of challenges, from blogging about her biggest larp gaffe (which permanently put her off baby corn) to her best costume. Along the way she muses about game design, pop culture, and gender, including meditations on why the hobby has such a male face despite all the women involved and what to do about it.