I’ve just come back from another trip to New York City, where I played my last LARP of 2015. Ghost Light (also occasionally called Scale), a small, cyberpunk theater game, ran in a private apartment for seven LARPers, some long time LARPers, others new to the hobby. I played a gutter-punk who has gotten caught distributing pirated media and faces rather dire consequences in this setting.
We had a last minute drop an hour or so before the LARP began, but fortunately, someone who had played it before stepped in to fill in the vacant role and pulled off the character’s elegant and intimidating nature very well.
Ghost Light deals heavily with the low life, distorted economy, and rampant social injustice aspects of the cyberpunk genre (and to a lesser degree, the technological side of it), and uses them to explore themes of the value of art, recreation, and family, as well as sacrifice in the name of one’s beliefs. I always enjoy roleplaying through a difficult, personal decision in LARP, and I think every character in Ghost Light revolves around one or more impossible choices. I really liked my character, but I suspect I could have enjoyed any of the seven roles.
Interestingly, all seven characters in Ghost Light are gender neutral, and each player is welcome to choose their character’s gender. All of the character sheets are written as though the characters are all female, which is an unusual manner of handling gender neutrality in character sheets, but I thought it worked quite well — I never noticed any confusion during gameplay.
Ghost Light is running again at Intercon P — already full, of course. I’m really glad to see a darker, more serious LARP on the schedule for Sunday, which is usually full of lighter, sillier LARPs. There are good reasons for lighter LARPs on the last day of a convention (who gets sufficient sleep at these things?) but it’s always good to have variety.