Annika Waern

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Annika Waern
Annika Waern.png
OccupationUniversity Professor
HonoursDiGRA Scholar and HEVGA Fellow.

Annika Waern is a larp designer and organiser, and game studies academic, from Sweden. During 2004–2008, she was the coordinator of the EU project IPerG, known for its groundbreaking investigations into pervasive games. Her academic publications primarily focus on the design and study pervasive larp productions such as Momentum and Conspiracy for Good. As a designer, she has also been a contributor to productions exploring novel formats, such as the pervasive interactive performance Interference and the larp musical Cabaret. She has also designed several smaller scenarios, of which some have been featured at Prolog, Sandcon, and Stockholm Scenario festival.


Workshop co-organiser, "Larping (Live Action Role Playing) as an Embodied Design Research Method". Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2019, San Diego, USA.

Keynote Speaker, CHIPlay 2016. ‘Play, participation and empowerment: Design strategies and dilemmas'. Austin, Texas, USA.

Invited speaker, Activating play symposium. Presented topic: “Engaging with structure”. University of Eindhoven, September 2015, Eindhoven, Germany.

Inspirational talk and workshop.Your larp sucked! How to get meaningful feedback from players. Knudepunkt 2015, Ringe, Denmark, March.

Short Talks

Invited Speaker, Pyrkon Fan Festival 2017, Poznan, Poland

Nordic Larp talks, Oslo, Norway, April 2013. How can we know what actually happened in a larp.


Waern, A. and Axner, J. Shuffling the deck: The Knutpunkt 20918 book. ETC Press, February 2018.

Montola, M., Stenroos J. and Waern, A. Pervasive Games: Theory and design. Morgan Kaufmann, June 2009.


Selected writings on larp.

Waern, A., Rajkowska, P., Johansson, K. B., Back, J., Spence, J., & Løvlie, A. S. (2020, April). Sensitizing Scenarios: Sensitizing Designer Teams to Theory. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Waern, A. (2020) How to Gather Feedback from Players. In Larp Design: Creating Role-play Experiences.

Segura, Elena Márquez, Katherine Isbister, Jon Back, and Annika Waern. "Design, appropriation, and use of technology in larps." In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, p. 53. ACM, 2017.

Annika Waern and Jaakko Stenros (2015) Trust and intimate Interaction in Nordic larp. Embarrassing Interactions workshop, CHI’15, Seoul, Korea.

Back, J. and Waern, A. (2013) We are two strong women” – Designing Empowerment in a Pervasive Game. Proceedings of DIGRA 2013. Atlanta, Georgia.

Waern, Annika, Montola, Markus and Stenros, Jaakko. The Three-Sixty Illusion: Designing For Immersion in Pervasive Games. Proceedings of CHI’09: International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction. Boston, MA April 2009. Pages 1549–1558.

Montola,M., Stenros, J., and Waern, A. (2009). Philosophies and strategies of pervasive larp design. Book of Knudepunkt 2009. Pages 198–222.

Jonsson, Staffan and Waern, Annika. (2008) The art of game-mastering pervasive games. In proceedings of ACE’08: The international conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, Yokohama, Japan, December 2008. Pages 224–231.

Bichard, John Paul and Waern Annika. (2008) Pervasive Play, Immersion and Story: designing Interference. In proceedings of DIMEA '08: the 3rd international conference on Digital Interactive Media in Entertainment and Arts, Athens, Greece, September 2008. Pages 10–17.

Stenros, J., Montola, M. & Waern, A. (2007): Post Mortem Interaction. Social Play Modes in Momentum. In Donnis, J., Gade, M. & Thorup, L. (2007): Lifelike Copenhagen, Projektgruppen KP07. The book for Knudepunkt 2007. Pages 131–145.

Jonsson, S., Waern, A., Montola, M. & Stenros, J. (2007) Game Mastering a Pervasive Larp. Experiences from Momentum. In Magerkurth, Carsten & al. (2007): Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Pervasive Gaming Applications PerGames 2007, June 11.-12. Salzburg, Austria. Pages 31–39.

Stenros, J., Montola, M., Waern, A. & Jonsson, S. (2007): Play it for Real: Sustained Seamless Life/Game Merger in Momentum. In Baba, Akira (ed.) (2007): Proceedings of DiGRA 2007 Situated Play conference, September 24.-28, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. Pages 121–129.

Jonsson, Staffan and Montola, Markus and Waern, Annika and Ericsson, Martin (2006) Prosopopeia: Experiences from a Pervasive Larp. In: ACM SIGCHI International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, June 2006, Hollywood, California, USA.

Larp Design

"Angel Falls" (2021) - Bespoke scenario for Second Life for up to 12 players and two game masters. Co-designed with Celia Pearce and Jenn Frank. Featured at Slarpfest 2021 and Reconnect Online Performance Festival 2021.

"A thousand dreams" (2020) - Postal mail larp for up to 24 players. Staged September - December 2020.

"Return to Innocence" (2019) - Scenario for up to 30 players co-designed with Celia Pearce. Featured at Sandcon 2019.

"The Race" (2019) - Educational scenario for 4-8 players. Co-designed with Malcolm Campbell, and Mia Häggström. Available at

"The Gift" (2019) - Educational scenario for 4-8 players. Available at Featured at Nordic Edularp conference 2018.

"The Object" (2019) - Educational scenario for 4-9 players. Co-designed with Jon Back and Karin Johansson. Available at

"You Want it Darker" (2017) - Scenario for 4-8 players. Featured at Stockholm Scenario Festival 2017. Available at

Cabaret - a larp musical (Staged three times in Stockholm, 2013–2017)

"Revolver" (2014) - Featured at Prolog 2014.

"Codename Heroes" (2011-2012) - Pervasive interactive experience. Co-designed with Jon Back and co-organised with Understockholm.

Interference (2008) - Staged in Stockholm and Düsseldorf 2008.

External Links