The Final Nordic Larp Manifesto: The 95 Theses of Larp

The Final Nordic Larp Manifesto: The 95 Theses of Larp

In celebration of the 500th year since Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to a church door and started the Reformation, we wanted to collect 95 theses from people in the Nordic Larp and nail it to a totem.

We (Edin Šumar and Simon Svensson) did so. These were collected over a single day and represent 95 different opinions, rants or views of the participants of the Knutepunkt 2017 conference.

  1. Our band was great before we signed up with a major label.
  2. Larp should stop attempting to be art; it will only result in its destruction
  4. Players come first, not the larp. Players must take care of themselves over your immersion.
  6. Experience through your body.
  7. A bad experience can still be good. Wait!
  8. We should not reproduce the constructs of oppressive capitalist culture.
  9. Beauty always should be present.
  10. Dare to be personal and genuine.
  11. If you can not measure your larp, it does not exist.
  12. Do it yourself you lazy bugger!
  13. Make more lists!
  14. Pre-written stories shall be burned!
  16. You can’t take a picture of it. When you play it, it is already gone.
  17. If your story is “five dudes and a –” it is probably shit.
  18. Confusion begets learning.
  19. If there is no message you might as well watch a movie.
  20. Just shut up and trust your GM.
  21. To cry or not to cry – it really doesn’t matter.
  22. Believing that you are the best at “this” makes it true only if you listen to your peer’s review about the situation.
  24. There is no shame in feeling deeply before, during and after a larp.
  25. There is no such thing as reality, maybe?
  26. We believe in co-creation instead of no-creation
  27. Dare to follow your intuition both in playing and designing
  28. Play up the positive
  29. Do less.
  30. Thou shalt not internalize failure, but fail better in togetherness.
  33. Without a VISION, your larp will suck!
  35. Love thy organiser and thy coplayer as yourself
  36. Never only communicate on your webpage
  37. Debrief should be restricted and organized. Don’t let every player speak about their cool scenes for half an hour each.
  38. The essence of Nordic Larp is that there is NO essence.
  39. Do something, don’t just rant about what others do!
  40. Mechanics can’t only be functional, they must provide pleasure.
  42. LOVE what you are doing (unless you love to be miserable, in that case it’s okay to hate what you are doing)
  43. Designing play is designing temporary communities
  44. Immersion is media specific and we need to establish our own definitions! We are not theatre, we are not computer games BUT OF COURSE we are ART
  45. Kill your darlings before they kill you
  46. Fuck the process, trust your players!!
  47. No more weltschmerz. We take over USA!
  48. Nordic larp should be whatever we want it to be
  49. If all of your gay plots are about coming out, you need to get out more.
  50. Larp should continue to challenge and evolve, so that we can continue to evolve.
  51. Nordic larp is expanding but it can not be broken!
  52. Nordic larp has the potential to save the world. Make it happen!
  53. Don’tbe too scared to change the world.
  54. Larp does not have to change the world, but ideally it should impact on the players/participants.
  55. I believe larp can allow you to be any gender and any gender expression.
  56. Larp doesn’t ALWAYS have to be angsty and tragic you nordic fuckers!
  57. You can enjoy larp, you can drink, you can laugh, you can fuck, you can do anything you collectively want, but if you don’t try to change the way you see the world, your larp is shit.
  58. LARP is love. Make games around the bad stuff, but don’t subject the players to it outside the game. In game, fuck them up.
  59. Be real. Laugh or cry or go into “I’m just not feeling this and I’m off”, but do what you feel. Don’t change yourself to fit the game.
  60. It’s alright to choose your players however you want. Run a game for your best friends if you want. Have a double blind casting system if you want. You don’t need to justify it to anyone. It might be nice to be upfront about it though.
  61. More fluff and feelings! Softcore larping is the new immersion closet.
  62. Clearer vision statements on the LARP homepage.
  63. Give credit.
  64. Mud! Ice! Walking in the snow! Fuck transparency.
  65. From community, to community.
  66. Never stop questioning the way you do and think about things.
  67. For all mankind
  68. Feed your bleed!
  69. Make sure your crew is happy!
  70. Larp is life.
  72. Don’t larp with assholes. Not worth it.
  73. HAVE FUN!
  74. Larp is not unlike a conversation; it’s more fun when everyone gets to talk and less fun when someone is just shouting their point across the room for an hour.
  75. Larp should attempt to create bridges where there are walls and should do so by tears.
  76. The border between LARP (which is a really bad word) and tabletop RPGs should be erased.
  77. Larp should be playful.
  78. Stop talking and do shit!
  79. Stop ranting on Facebook
  80. LARP is art, LARP is philosophy, LARP is life.
  81. LARP should make you feel something.
  82. Shame is all you need.
  83. Larp will change the world, bring empathy and emotion.
  84. Larp can lead to personal growth and increase empathy, widen your emotional range, build identity and create a social platform.
  85. Larp should be a way of accessing worlds, phenomena & emotions we might not otherwise be able to access in order to understand them, and therefor the world and people around us, better.
  86. There’s nothing wrong with secrets & competitive play! End your fucking campaign occasionally.
  87. All secrets shall be out and all your feelings will be in the tears on your face.
  88. Create experiences that will last forever.
  89. Larp is not a closed circle, one must share knowledge and expand the circle until it includes all nations. In that way, larp as a method can be achieved.
  90. Larp is the closest we can get to experiencing many reincarnations with our memories still intact.
  91. Do -one- larp. Do it with -congruence-, follow the vision and never compromise.
  92. Keep the secrets
  93. Larp changes our actions, actions changes behaviours, behaviours changes communities, communities changes societies, societies change the world!
  94. The hard limit of larp design is the brain of the player. We must transcend the foolish limitations of human biology so our Art may be fully realized.
  95. We live in the Golden Age of Nordic Larp. Nordic larp is dead!

Mike Pohjola
Jamie MacDonald
Anna-Karin Linder
Shoshana Kessock
Bjarke Pedersen
Nina Runa Essendrop
Adrian Voje
Jeppe Bergmann Hamming
Maria Bergmann Hamming
Karete Jacobsen Meland
Gustav Nilsson
Troels Barkholt
Sofie Liv Støvelbæk
Markus Montola
Morten Kjærsgaard Tellefsen
Kristoffer Thurøe
Tor-Kjetil Edland
Lizzie Stark
Sanna Koulu
Siri Sandquist
Frida Karlsson-Lindgren
Rosalind Göthberg
Massi Hannula
David Thorhauge
Sarah Lynne Bowman
Peter Munthe-Kaas
Ronja Lofstad
Claus Raasted
Grethe Bulterud Strand
Anna Westerling
Gabriel Widing
Annika Waern
Kjell Hedgard Hugaas
Martin Ericsson
Elina Andersson
Karijn van der Heij
Anne Marie Stamnestrø
Mimmi Lundquist
Stine Mari Haugen
Signe Hertel
Martin Nielsen
Juhana Pettersson
Maria Pettersson
Janetta Nyberg
Johanna Koljonen
Hilda Levin
Kaia Aardal
Tobias Bindslet
Hanne Grassmo
Jaakko Stenros
Ingrid Størrø
Charlie Ashby
Monika Weissenfels
Martine Svanevik
Marie Hernes
Karin Edman
Drew Harpunea
Eleanor Saitta
Cat Tobin
Dominika Kovacova
Lovisa Tärnholm
Janusz Maxe
Juliane Mikkelsen
Iva Vavrova
Joonas Iivonen
Zacharias Holmberg
Dmitry Ivanov
Carl Nordblom
Stefan Lunneborg
Leila Teteau-Surel
Halfdan Justesen
Maiju Ruusunen
Lars Løveng Sunde
Mia Häggström
Muckas Gustavsson
Jøst L Hansen
Miriam Lundqvist
Nastassia Sinitsyna
Dajo vande Pute
Toril Mjelva Saatvedt
Håken Lid
Raphael Dunant
Lisa Nordemo
Hissu Hivärinen
Laura Boylan
Gunilla Hellén
Hannu Niemi
Jonaya Kemper
Clio Davis
Rasmus Lundholm
Michael Hemmingson
Karin Ryding
Eirik Fatland
Simon Svensson
Jørn Slemdal

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