Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LARPs Can Change the World

In the midst of all this drama, I think it's important to point out some of the wonderful, positive benefits that LARPs can show us. So, as usual, we should take a look to the Norwegians, who have recently appointed a long time gamer and LARPer to the position of Minister of International Development. Here's the article.

Not only is this guy totally in the open about his hobby (which, admittedly is easier in Norway), but he's actually using strategies and tactics from various LARPs in his work as Minister. He claims that "LARP can change the world, because it lets people understand that humans under pressure may act differently than in the normal life, when you’re safe." Then he talks about a LARP project where they are trying to have Israelis and Palestinians in each others shoes, in hopes of building bridges.

It's pretty easy for people (including ourselves) to focus on the surface of what we do without looking at the deeper impact and value that LARPs provide. I, for one, cannot wait until the day when we can feel proud to say "I'm a LARPer" and actually have our hobby make a difference.

How about you? Are you proud and open about what you do, and have you ever used concepts from LARP, and not just skills acquired at LARP, in the professional world?


  1. I don't know that I've ever used LARP in my professional life, but all my students know that I play. A handful of them want to come, but I'm not allowing that (it'd be weird and unprofessional). So, there are inner-city kids who want to LARP.

  2. One of the managers where I work uses role-playing in his hiring process. When the person reaches a certain point (business development position) they bring that person in and have a mock sales pitch. The candidate calls and they act like the company in question, they write up and respond to emails, and then the candidate comes in and pitches them. Kinda neat.

    I've also seen this used in classrooms quite a bit. When I was in college, the second half of my American Government class was basically LARP. We had a book called "Camelot" that it was based on. We lived in a town and each class was a town meeting. We developed a character from the book and made suggestions/ordinance changes during the meeting. You had to give speeches and stuff. Good way to learn the process.

    Jenn T.

  3. I think role-playing has been used as therapy and stuff since before Gary Gygax wrote his first rules set :) So really, we're just continuing a tradition!

    I am trying to think of a way I've used the actual tactics of LARP in business, but I can't think of anything. Now, so far as time management, dealing with odd people, and organizational skills, I'd say I definitely picked up a lot there!

    For me, my boss said historical re-enactors were horrible freaks, so I got the vibe that a LARPer wouldn't really be welcome... :)

  4. I actually discussed my larping during my job interview. But then I'm working in pediatrics so maybe that's a bit different.

  5. A friend of mine recently finished a Masters in Conflict Resolution. Prior to finishing his term at grad-school, he presented at a conference in Cincinnati regarding the use of role playing games in conflict resolution, specifically focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's good to see that Norway is on the boat as well.