This past weekend was the second annual New England LARP Conference, or NELCO. It’s a fairly low-key conference, generally consisting of a Friday night and Saturday of two tracks of panels, a track of workshops, and a Build Your Own Game project in which attendees (especially those new to writing) write a short theater style LARP over the course of the weekend. The Sundays of NELCO have so far consisted of the maiden run of the new LARP produced by the BYOG project.
I thought last year’s NELCO was quite a success, so I expected this year to be bigger. To my surprise, it actually turned out to be about the same size, which means we still didn’t break even. But NEIL’s funds from running Intercon help cover the cost, and I think NELCO provides a very valuable service to the Intercon community by strengthening the community between events, providing inspiration and guidance for playing, running, and writing new LARPs (and editing old ones), and even producing a new LARP that’s generally fairly easy to run.
I was scheduled to be on three panels, though I sort of wound up on a fourth. (More on that later.) For a few slots, I dithered about which of the panels and workshops to attend- wish I could see them all!- but I avoided the mistake I made at the last PreCon, which was switching between the panels half way through in attempt to catch at least some of them all.
Here is the list of panels I ended up on or listening to:
Writing as a Team- Dividing the Work
Writing Political Plot
Designing Interesting Boffer Modules
Designing Non-Physical Mechanics
Writing Compelling Stories for Boffer Events
Giving Players What They Want
Writing and LARP-Writing
Romance in LARPs
Religion in LARPs
And lastly, on Sunday, I played in The Night Queen Princess Fluffykins Died, a silly LARP about a neighborhood of cats, entirely written over this one weekend by the BYOG group.
In between and after events, before going to bed, I hung around in our little con suite, sitting around a conference table, munching on animal crackers, and discussing LARP theory and LARP craft with a group of great people all excited enough about the topic to gather in a hotel with like-minded individuals.
…I love this community.
I’m working on posts sharing my thoughts on each of the panels and Princess Fluffykins. Those should be posted over the next week or so. If anyone else has any notes or thoughts to share on any of the panels they went to, or thoughts on the event itself, please share! I’m very curious to know what everyone’s impressions of NELCO 2013 are.