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|Date||November 14–16, 2014and November 21–23, 2014|
|Duration||2 episodes, 4h + 31h|
|Location||Mountain village of Lusernetta, Turin, Italy|
|Participants||140 / 165 including the crew (70 players per run, 2 runs)|
|Participation fee||75-95-135€ Some characters had mandatory costume and prop rent 20-25-70€|
Black Friday was a contemporary highly realistic larp run two times in Italy in November 2014. It was a non-profit larp set nowadays in a Wyoming small mining town and it was organized by a collective of authors and larp organizations coming from different parts of Italy, traditions and styles. The distinctive trait d’union of all the people involved in the project was a Nordic-like style larp, still very niche in Italy.
Setting and Themes
Black Friday is a technology enhanced thriller set in the contemporary USA mixing a part of true facts, characters and organizations to fiction elements, as in Homeland or Utopia TV series, which were also inspirational material. It focuses on the deprivation of civil liberties and forces the characters to struggle with the great fears of the modern world and to decide between peace and violence, ethics and progress, individualism and common good, protection and freedom.
The larp had a clear “cinematographic cut”, or style, in order to suggest the kind of verbal and physical interaction required of characters, we called it “The Eye of the Camera” to sum up two things: the encouragement to share and play for the others and to be always in character, no matter what: as if, even when alone, a camera would constantly follow your every move. To the players surprise that was partly true, because the village was surveilled with a set of cameras and some characters were provided with go-pros used diegetically to record.
It's a complex, greedy, unfathomable world the one we live in, and the world we wanted to represent it's even darker and more contradictory. Black Friday is set the day after the Thanksgiving in an isolated company town and involves three groups of characters: Scientists, Law Enforcement and the Mining Company personnel, clerks and laborers. This larp focuses on what happens to common citizens when something potentially dangerous threatens the wealth of the US and possibly the planet. The dramatic events stretch out the thin line between rights and responsibilities and explore the implications of choosing a white lie or a terrifying truth; suggesting that nobody is really in control of his or any future in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”. The Black Friday is a dark page of American history that never happened, but could happen anytime soon.
The production had 140 participants split in 2 larps.
- Game 1 November 14-16
- Game 2 November 21-23
- Blank-firing Firearms
- Pre-written characters
- Playing to Lose
- Pre-larp Workshop
- Black Box variant used as a semi-diegetic small white room with video, audio, light and smell effects to play out visions, the characters were in a state of trance while walking in and out the room.
- We also devised our own kind of Don't Rule, based on the keyphrase <is that all>?
- Pictures from Game1, taken by Marcello Corno.
- Pictures from Games 1 and 2, taken by Luca Tenaglia.
- Pictures from Game2, taken by Alessandro Vizzarro.
- Diegetic Pictures from Game 2, taken by Valeria Buccini.
- Pictures from Game 2.