Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Evolution

Fest events are the hub of LRP. Not everyone goes to them, but they help to provide links between large numbers of LRPers from different systems and to help information flow around the community.

With so many people with so many different opinions and interests communication is vital. We have several large systems in this country (Summer Fest, CP, LT, Empire, The Vale…) and each has a core of its own players who may not play anything else, or may play games only attended by other members of that system.

Ruined cottages on a hillside overlooking the sea, but you can't see the sea. It is there, but not in the photo.
Ruined Cottages on Lundy

There are a huge number of games in this country that I barely hear about. I used to play Skullduggery when I lived in Kent. I spoke to Dan Lagrue last night, and the games changed utterly since i was last there. So much they’re playing a different game. I hear and see images from a whole range of games that are right on the edge of the circle I interact with. They’re often things I’m not especially interested in and I mostly ignore them. Every now and then something catches my eye and if I'm free and it's within budget and other people are interested we try it. I suspect it’s similar for most LRPers.

Do we end up with a lot of similar mush? I don’t think so in the whole. We may stop one or two people from proceeding with plans, but we seem to be getting a wider and wider variety of games at the moment. I was reading about LRP in Croatia (http://www.crolarper.com) and they seem to be splitting in a similar way. LRP is evolving fast. Technology supports a much wider range of things. The LRP and AR boundaries are blurring. We have more money, a more developed idea of what's possible and more expertise that we seemed to have ten years ago when I started (I certainly have all of those things, but I've gone from being a student with limited LRP experience to this).

Whilst a lot of games emulate games that have gone before, the majority of people running games want to do better. They have ways to improve and they want to try it for themselves. Cross communication can constrict creativity (“We tried that and it didn’t work”) but with the right people running games it isn’t a major issue.A lot of people will hear that it’s been tried, consider why it didn’t work and build on that. ZapFest for us was something completely new. We had no idea if it would work. Jurassis LRP is the same. Eye LARP are running a Nutcracker inspired game (https://www.facebook.com/events/333838756796280/), which is a deviation from the normal well defined genres. We've got many more games with cinematic and trust based rules systems (again, my experience).

There is a game I wish I'd played. I often visit Lundy, an island 13 miles off Devon. There was a game that ran there that has reached almost mythical levels of awesome in my mind. I can't imagine how they pulled it off. It apparently even had underwater monsters pulling people off boats. I am aware that nothing I have run has reached that level, and that I don't know how to take what I am running to that level, but it is there as a target. One day I will be able to say that I ran something that good.