NELCO 2014 Continued: Introduction to Foreign LARP

One of the panels I attended at the last NELCO (the New England LARP Conference), was a presentation run by Erik Trinkl, titled “Introduction to Foreign LARP.” It was a really interesting look into LARP in Europe (primarily in Germany.)

You can read the powerpoint here: Introduction to Foreign LARP.

Some of the facts I found most surprising and/or interesting:

  • Denmark has the highest number of LARPers per capita.
  • There are LARP stores in Europe — not online, the brick-and-mortar sort.
  • Nearly half of all German LARPs use some variation on DKWDDK, which stands for Du Kannst Was Du Darstellen Kannst — you can do what you can show.
  • I had heard of Knutepunkt, but I had never heard of MittelPunkt, a LARP conference in Germany.
  • There are unaffiliated campaigns that allow people to use the same character — i.e. players can take one character from one campaign to the next, not unlike how players can take one character from one NERO chapter to the next.

Someday, I’ll make it to a major European LARP… …Or Bicolline.

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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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14 Responses to NELCO 2014 Continued: Introduction to Foreign LARP

  1. aaronvanek says:

    If you look at the order by % of population results of the Larp Census, you’ll see that fact about Denmark verified. The next four countries are Iceland, Sweden, Finland, and Norway–the Nordic larp countries.

    I was just at two of the larp stores before and after Knudepunkt. One was a regular gaming store with larp stuff, the other was an all-larp store, part of a chain of three stores within close proximity to one another: a larp store, a comics store, a gaming store. It’s called Faraos Cigarer: http://www.faraos.dk

    I believe that most European larps are DKWDDK, or WYSWIG. It seemed unusual to them that here in America we have damage calls, skill cards, representational mechanics, nametags, loot cards and character packets (manila folders) to carry around.

    There are many European larp cons, or cons with a heavy larp presence. Check out Fastaval (Denmark) and Ropecon (Finland). And there are many more coming up. The last Knudepunkt had almost 600 attendees (biggest larp con in the world, to my knowledge), and, most impressively, these attendees came from 32 different countries.

    I had to skip Intercon this year to be able to afford Knudepunkt, and spent all year saving up for it. The conference itself is relatively cheap (about $250, but that includes food and sleeping arrangements, which are dorm style), it’s the airfare and bar tab that gets you. 😉

    This year for KP they had a special deal for people who couldn’t normally afford it, and a select few had that fee waived (but they had to pay to get there).

    I cannot stress the importance of American larpers getting out and experiencing another country’s larp. I’m frustrated that so many larpers here are unaware of or willfully ignore what’s going on overseas. Yet they are making their material very accessible; it’s almost all in English. But maybe with the high profile larps like College of Wizardry, Inside Hamlet, and Monitor Celestra, American larpers will take notice and try something new yet very familiar.

    Lastly, there are many international larp groups on Facebook if you want to start talking to other larpers before visiting.
    Nordic and North American Larp Exchange
    Internatipnal Cooperation Larp Group
    Globetrotting Larpers
    LARP Haven has some international presence, but it’s drowned out by U.S. boffers

    • Fair Escape says:

      I remember seeing the Denmark fact in the LARP census data — I guess that was one of the more interesting and less surprising facts. 🙂

      That’s cool that KP has special deals for people who can’t afford it. I can’t say I’ve ever had the experience of meeting someone or reading anything by someone unaware or willfully ignorant of European LARP.

      I’m a member of a few of those groups, but I will check out the others, thanks!

    • gaylord500 says:

      Any good resources to connect for non-Facebook folks (other than going to these conventions).

      • aaronvanek says:

        There’s a lot of Larps on Google+, look for the LARP group there.
        There are many websites on larping, here are just a few. I am sure Adina has many more:

        http://nordiclarp.org
        http://analoggamestudies.org
        http://ijrp.subcultures.nl
        http://leavingmundania.com
        http://www.gamingaswomen.com
        http://www.larping.org
        http://larpcore.com

      • Fair Escape says:

        Honestly, I haven’t yet found any substitutes for Facebook, though G+ does have some active LARP groups. The Intercon livejournal community is dying (http://interconlarp.livejournal.com), but I do sometimes connect with individuals through it by following personal ljs.

        I actually don’t find any of the sort of links Aaron shared to be useful for connecting, per se — you can often connect with the individual authors of blog posts and articles by commenting, but not with a community. Intercon has tried to host a forum, but found people just used Facebook anyway. (I do recommend getting on forums hosted by the individual LARPs you play, like Shadows, if you don’t already.)

        • aaronvanek says:

          While no substitute for Facebook or G+, you can connect through the links I gave, it’s just a bit more difficult.

          Larpcore and Larping.org have maps of larps. You can look for them to connect to larpers in your area.

          Many of the articles in the other links have authors asking for comments or leave their email so you can connect that way. Very supportive communities have sprung up from the comments section of websites (TNC’s Horde, for example).

          I also don’t know what you, gaylord500, mean by “connect”. If you aren’t on Facebook or going to conventions, the options to connect to other larpers is Google+, attending larps, and reading/posting on blogs. That’s all I can think of. Good luck!

    • Alon Levy says:

      I’d argue it the other way: the Nordic LARPers I interacted with seemed genuinely puzzled that I’d played freeform games in the US. They kept asking me how it was playing a game without mechanics, and I tried explaining that things like A Single Silver Coin exist, to no avail.

  2. Pingback: Video Submissions for NELCO | Fair Escape

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