Vows of Chastity

I shared both the Turku Manifesto’s Vow of Chastity and the Vow of Chastity of Dogma 99 (“a programe for the liberation of LARP”) with a friend of mine (a fellow LARPer from New England.) Here are the responses I got.

On the Turku Manifest’s Vow: “When I first read the Turku Manifesto, I honestly thought it was parody.”

On Dogma 99’s Vow: “Nordic LARPers are fucking nuts.”

It was tongue in cheek, but that’s quoted word for word. Take from it what you will.


About Fair Escape

I've been LARPing for years in all different styles, including both boffer and theater. I love classic LARP but I'm always happy to try something new. I have a sort of "gotta catch 'em all" attitude towards experiencing LARPs. I'm currently serve as a board member of NEIL, a member of proposal com for Intercon, the largest all LARP convention in the US, and as en editor for Game Wrap, a publication about the art and craft of LARP. I was also con chair of Festival of the LARPs 2017, and I'm on staff for NELCO, the first all LARP conference in the US. I'm
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2 Responses to Vows of Chastity

  1. Ivan Zalac says:

    I had different responses. I saw Turku vow of chastity as idealistic, while I read Dogma 99 and wondered what the heck are they talking about, as nothing made sense. However, I used to view those two from a perspective of larps I used to play at that time. Both now make a lot of sense to me, and I’ll try to explain why.

    Nordic larp is primarily about experience, not solving things. It’s not about solving puzzles, fighting monsters and saving a world. It’s about being an imperfect person, in an imperfect world. Let’s say that a larp is about prisoners – it would not be about challenging players to escape, it would be about portraying prison life (and probably abuse and social structures – nordic larps are often about difficult subjects).

    Those larps are not about discovering and solving the plot – prewritten plot (if it exists – some larps rely on emergent plot only) is designed to affect and change people in some way, and any issues solved (or explored) are typically characters’ internal issues.

    On top of it, most of those larps are typically one-shots with pre-written characters (to maximise interaction), and they commonly encourage lots of practices which are taboo in other forms of larp, such as Nordic larps’ use of metagaming. E.g., some players use “monologues” where they basically say what their character has in mind or is feeling now, and other players are encouraged to metagame on that molologue to trigger a strong response (this happens in some games only).

    That way of larping offers a deep personal experience. It is for this kind of larps that those manifestos are written, they might be rather meaningless when applied to a mainstream larp, but there’s a lot of logic behind them – if you approach them from a Nordic mindset…

    • Fair Escape says:

      The Dogma 99 one confused me at first as well… I was reading it expecting it to be pushing Narrativism as much as possible, but when I read through each one and their explanations, I realized it’s actually more about treating LARPs as art, and larpwrites as artists. It’s Serious Art, and if they want it to be treated as such, they feel as though they need to act as such. Me, I believe LARP is absolutely Art, but I don’t really care much if the rest of the world agrees. I’d rather worry about maximizing fun than how my hobby is perceived.

      The mindset you describe is probably more prevalent in Nordic LARPing, but it’s not alien to LARPing in the US- I think the way people often write LARPs here is in such a way that they can be approached with different attitudes. (Which I think is why some casting questionnaires include the question, “are you more of a Gamist, Narrativist, or Simulationist?” which is an oversimplification, but I digress.)

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