chapter  5
20 Pages

Live-Action Role-Playing Games

WithJ. Tuomas Harviainen, Rafael Bienia, Simon Brind, Michael Hitchens, Yaraslau I. Kot, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, David W. Simkins, Jaakko Stenros, Ian Sturrock

This chapter discusses the ways in which live-action role-playing (larp) differs from other forms of role-playing. Larps are physically performed forms of role-playing practiced in many places around the globe. Different larp communities often distinguish themselves from each other by their standards and practices related to interpersonal touch. The embodied aspect of larps often means that they are constrained by the physical locations where they are played. For example, it is difficult to play a larp that takes place in a large space in a small hotel conference room. An equally important trajectory involves larp focused on character interaction and relationships. The first popular verbal interactive events were a form of theater in which the audience played roles. Larps, as forms of physical expression, exist on the borderline of several expressive forms, owing their existence not just to tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs) and reenactment but also to children's pretend play, educational applications, and commercial interests.