Players in LARP are amazing; they see a world, react to it and make it their own. There are some LARPs however whose player base take this to the next level. With their players creating art, stories and even continuing to make the world live and breath after the game with tools like Twitter. In this article, we’ll be going through 3 ways players can take a LARP setting and make it their own. I’ll be using the Futures End LARP as a baseline as it has quite a strong base of passionate players behind it.
There are some amazing and beautiful pieces of art that have been inspired by LARP events. You can simply spend several minutes on a LARP Facebook page, like Futures End, and find a myriad of different artwork styles from players. These pieces of artwork being of characters, NPCs or events as a whole. Just like the other examples in this article creating artwork of a LARP world is a great way for players to rekindle keen between events. Not only this but such artwork can also help inspire others to join the system and the hobby as a whole.
Stories, of their own characters and others, are what keep the game going between events for so many people. Having a way to explore a character through stories can help sum up how a character will act in different situations during the game. Stories are also a means for new players of the game to help them discover the game world, by ever reading the stories of others or writing their own.
There are of course problems with player characters writing stories of a game world. The primary of these is that, in systems with defined game worlds, players can create stories interlinking with world elements. This being such as plot the game team is running. The second of these being when player characters involve other player characters in stories. This can lead to a player’s character being in an undesired situation in the story. Taking these into account it’s important to tackle these problems before they arise. Having the game team talk to the players on what both sides think would make great stories that link with the game world and leave everyone happy.
Social media is an interesting one and something that is arising more and more with modern day LARPs. Using the example of Futures End, after their first event, a vast majority of players took to Twitter to continue living their characters. Just like the above, this kept the game going after the event. Such a platform allows players in character to; talk, ask questions and discuss the event.
Similar to stories the use of social media after game time can be a double-edged sword. This comes from the lack of control from the game team, in turn creating a divide between them and the players. The answer to this can really come hand in hand with how to treat stories. It comes down to discussing what makes a cool and interesting game for players and setting guidelines accordingly. It then comes down to trust, both trust from the game team and the player base.