A taxonomy of UK larp, guest post by Jessie Cattes.

Another Facebook memorialisation, this time just a pair of comments. Someone posed the first question, and while I was gearing up to answer – Jessie not only actually did so, but answered another linked question – and this’ll do nicely as something to point folk to if I ever have to.

“How would YOU summarise the main types of LARP in the UK for an overseas audience?

  • Fest (large scale, ongoing, probably spawns player events eg Empire)
  • Campaign (ongoing although potentially a set number, smaller player base examples many many but Forsaken, Insurrection, PR etc)
  • One off / bespoke (eg, God Rest Ye Merry, smaller invite only games)
  • Club (regular / weekly, often university associated, ongoing, sense of cheap and cheerful/entry level)

With a further break down into salon and combat. And by narrative genre / period

What is unique or notable about British larp?

  • strong university linked grassroots club infrastructure
  • innovative work around rules systems and world design as an engine to create narrative, both in the sense of campaign narrative and in the sense of cool stories to tell down the pub afterwards.
  • exceptional larp photography that makes our kit look better than it sometimes actually is
  • cyclical and sometimes faddish nature of what campaigns are running, eg The Year Everything Was Post Apocalypse Forever
  • frequent and often innovative and surprisingly often even above board use of trademarked settings and materials, such as StarGate, Firefly, WoD, Falling Down, Masquerades & Massacres, Winter in the Willows, Brighton Below…”

So now you know…

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