Live Action Role Play
Before we began designing Live Action Role Play (Larp), in October 2015, a small group of students designed a murder mystery game for students in the school. The event featured two non-player characters, detectives called to the crime scene. The organizing committee arranged to have forensic evidence all around the building and the rest of the school was recruited to help find these clues. At different times during the game, the school would consider all of the evidence collected and establish a list of suspects and motives for why the crimes were committed. We did not realize at the time that this would lead to designing Larps.
In 2016, we offered our first school-wide, fantasy-themed Larp. This day was designed and organized by a dedicated group of students working over three months to create storylines, acquire props and materials for swordplay and spell-casting, and offer food for the players. The culminating one-day event was well-received by the school and helped to build community.
In 2016, our students produced a trailer to encourage participation in the school, build excitement, and familiarize the community with the idea of live action role play. This story featured two factions trapped on a mysterious island. There were magic-users and warriors, honourable characters, and others with sinister backgrounds. The plot lines unfolded over the course of the day. Some characters perished while others survived to play another day.
In the following school year, we tried a simple “medievel” tournament larp. We had non-player characters (NPCs), food, foam swords, and games for students to play.
In 2017, we took our understanding of larps to another level by creating a dystopian, futuristic world on a space station, Cloud 7. There were class politics involving workers, security, robots, and corporate management. In addition, there was a computer virus that co-opted the station’s AI system and threatened to shut down life support. Would the inhabitants of Cloud 7 put aside their differences and work together against a common enemy?