As part of the last LARPBook podcast (Audio / Video) we chatted about the idea that a LARP could be created that could be played on a global basis. I thought it might be a good idea to put down some of those ideas here – just to see how the idea worked when read by others.
The idea is simple. A single LARP campaign but played out via multiple venues worldwide and on the Internet via social media. The story would follow an event that engulfed the world. My initial thought here would be to follow an unfolding global catastrophe as it happened. From there the world view would evolve and an ongoing game would be created.
Here’s how it may work.
The first live game would take a place on a set day. However thanks to time-zones and the international date line this won’t be simultaneous everywhere. The live games would start in the South Pacific (say New Zealand) and then follow the sun so the game would go to Australia, Asia, Europe and Africa and finally into the Americas. This means that results or information from the earlier games can feedback into later games. Not everything – as that is unrealistic; but perhaps enough to make the game feel random enough to be a living and real thing.
The Off-Live game would take place on the Internet. It would take place via Social Media. There would be Twitter hash tags; Facebook pages, Websites, YouTube Channels and websites. All of these things would need updating. A lot of this would be from people playing On Line only. This is the idea behind Off-Live. Not in a LARP but working with the results from a Larp, feeding information into a larp and just plain playing online with the plot. This is where characters can be established that will be played live at a later date. It is a form of Play By Mail that happens to run concurrently with live games.
Something this big would need to be Federated. That is a see a central control centre bringing it all together but I see regional and local groups building their own games in their own way. That’s the federated aspect. Local control but being part of a much larger whole.
That brings me onto the rules. The online game would need a set of guidelines to keep things fair and within reasonable guidelines. The live games though would only need to send in results. They need to send in plot and the status of characters. This means that local games can run under existing local rule-sets. This would help players transition into the new game. The only issue is would be if players moved between games – that is geographically travelled from one game group to another. Under a game like this that is reasonable. Strong methods and guidelines for this would need to be established.
After rules come organisation. We would need an organisation made up of experienced players and games organisers from around the world to make this work. It would need funding – and my best guess would be some form of crowd-funding and potential players paying a subscription to help get their games off the ground (which I also a form of crowd funding). However this is where creating an experienced team would help. There are a lot of practical considerations that need to be addressed for a game like this – and that’s why it would need an International team would be essential.
Finally I’m coming to story. Perhaps the most important part of such a game. I mentioned earlier that perhaps it should be a global catastrophe, and that is appealing. Thinking more abstractly the story would need to be global in scope (stressed again as that is essential). It would need to offer something to players from different cultures and larping cultures. Perhaps most importantly it would need to have the ability to grow and morph under a very large number of influences. My feeling is that the base idea needs to be very simple. Yet also thought out well enough to cope with change.
That’s the idea. It is a big one. I don’t believe it is impossible. It would need strong leadership.
What happens next? I am not sure. I like it and I know I would need a lot of help of to get this started, If there is feedback to this post – we can work from there.