Since LARPBook opened I’ve mentioned the phenomena of Nordic LARP a few times. This means that sooner or later I have to try and explain what it is. So here it goes
Nordic LARP started out as the development of a live action role-playing tradition and style that is separate from the US developed table top RPGs that were the starting points for perhaps the majority of LARP groups in the 1980s. It has been been developed through the more avant-garde parts of the Norwegian Larping community. A lot of this has happened through the annual Knutepunkt conferences. I’ll include a link to the 2013 conference later.
As far as I can make out the main thrust of this tradition is to make LARP more real. To make sure that everything you see, feel, hear and touch are all in game. To remove elements that could take you out of the moment of being in the game and to make sure that the LARP is more about the development of the characters and story than anything else. There also seems to be a strong feminist movement in Nordic LARP. I’ve also seen mention and mechanics for items such as romantic involvement, love and sex.
I also get the feeling that since the more avant garde members of the LARP community have worked on Nordic LARP that a great many of the story designs are definitely of the more interesting type. This makes sense – you cannot establish a new identity whilst copying the D&D style of fantasy that acted as the springboard for so much of LARP. If you want a new feel and style – you actually have to do something new.
I also get the idea that as Nordic LARP gains a higher international profile it is becoming not just a national play style but an actual meta-genre in its own right. Something that describes a way a game is played regardless of what genre the story is based on. We’ll be seeing the words Nordic LARP popping up on a lot more web sites in the future as clubs and games try to get more attention and differentiate themselves.
These are my impressions – gained from Google+, Blogs, Wikis, and looking at the 2012 book ‘State of Play’. I’ve assembled some links – the idea is for you to not listen to me, but if you are interest to explore what Nordic LARP is.