It starts. Four lightning talks.
I’ll try keep up… Even more than usual, this is going to be a half-assed attempt at liveblogging – and these words are mine, not theirs. Except occasionally, by accident. I’ve tried to keep the sense, and lose the first person cos I’m simply not confident any of this is verbatim.
Carina/Mohamed – The gifts of tough love: learning in intercultural interactions.
“Let’s start…” With a story about woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are a Danish messenger of life – messenger of Spring, and a Palestinian messenger of death – woodpeckers peck holes in watertanks. Mohamed talks about how we are the product of different lives, and Danish trains are different because the train drivers don’t stop to buy bread. Differences between me and you come from our experiences – and then shows a model for working between groups that I’m afraid I didn’t catch, but it involved moderators and mediators and its outcome from cross-cultural learning. we have different meanings and different perspectives, good intentions are the best way of dealing with difficult situations, clashes are inevitable and seek your common ground, rather than trying to convince othes you are right.
So this Knutpunkt – look for your woodpigeons.
Jeff – How the pratical can be wonderful.
Think practicality. Often taken for granted, just questions like how much toilet paper to buy. Sometimes all we get is a round of applause for doing all the boring stuff. We can feel the appreciation, but the respect is for the creative process, not the paper-pushers that let the creatives shine. (I’m sure Matt has said “Without a plot team, we’d not have a great event – without red caps, we’d not have an event at all.”) Us paper pushers need to think like Facebook and Netflix, and think of our paper-pushing as a creative process too, to use our creative brains to explore new waves of reaching new audiences so we can get our creatives work to wider audiences. My company has brought larp to thousands of people, i nations who desperately need a creative escape – and this is the power of larp. Turn your games to the world, into and let these beautiful stories – if they don’t know we exist, they’ll never have the experiences we can give them. Be successful, and get our larps outside out circle of friends – be inclusive to the world – make strangers feel welcome in our games. Success is not a dirty world – some game runner was able to relate their product to the outside world, to make what creatives do to accessible to the world. Us white collar warriors – this is out job. we are the ones that larp needs to help it thrive and grow.
Karete – The flexible brain
A (single) psychologists perspective in larp. Larping in some sense involves play: creative and spontaneous interactions. Why do we play? How do we know how to play? Do we learn how? When psychologists think a bit of research is unethical – they do it on rats. And the evidence suggests it *is* innate, essential for survival. Apparently the rats who are best at play, are best at mating. This to remember. Flexibility. Adaptable to different demands, open to experiences, resilient. We larp our brains more flexible.
In addition, we explore social interactions, we practise conflict resolution, we navigate social spaces. If we are allowed to explore different social worlds, we can practise and broaden our social skills. Meeting new people. Making more friends. Learning new cultures.
When we larp, we embody our characters. Because we larp with our own bodies, our emotional experiences are real. The separation between character and player is important – the character is an alibi for your exploration. Your reptile brain doesn’t know the difference, of course. If you are scared of heights, so are your characters, but you might use your character’s actions to tweak your reptile brain, particularly your empathy.
“The greatest benefit we owe to the artist, whether painter, poet, or novelist is the extension of our sympathies.”
George Eliot, 1856
Hilda – Nordic larp as postdramatic theatre
Postdramatic threate tries to break free from the dominance of realism and the pre-written text, and inspire more active involvement in theatre. It’s a response to film being better at reflecting reality than theater was.
They are participatory, creating active experiences (eg. Punchdrunk – sleep no more) they might be multi-sensory (eg. Einstein on the beach 1976) and deconstruct narratives, allowing the audience to make up their own minds. In post-dramatic theatre, the actor might break character to to talk to the audience, to use metaplay and perfomativity, to question the story rather than just recounting it.
We are a separate medium, and can learn and use their vocabulary to explore our own work, and perhaps gain legitimacy.
Post-dramatic theatre may learn from us how to *genuinely* provide co-creative and participatory play, and develop more kinds of immersive design. We’re way better at developing participatory engagement and metaplay techniques.
(I wrote a bit about this kind of thing here and in the Peckforten Papers. Not as well.)
Nina – Heroes of togetherness, or: safety condensed
Safe from. Safe to. Safe from harassment. Safe to be included.
Safety is not cool. It’s not fun. It’s a responsibility. It’s loads of work. It’s a grasp of “Where have I been unsafe?” But it leads to togetherness. And with togetherness we can do anything. Words are delusional and utiopian. We want to belong, to experience great things. As long as our community is not safe, we miss voices of those who feel too unsafe to speak. Harassment makes people feel like a worthless pieces of meat. It violates safe space. It’s an attempt to miuse power. We can choose not to. Feeling left out feels horrible. It makes every step unsafe. Making people feel left out is a choice. We can choose not to. Without safety there is not true togetherness. Protect others by respecting their boundaries and using one’s privilege to connect. We can be kindly, and empathic. Let’s form a league of extraordinary togetherness.