John Shockley points out he is old, and has been lrping for 32 years, outside the UK for the last two and a half….
He noted a point of commonality – the spaces in between. Common to UK-tradition and Nordic tradition, he thinks.
He has no answer. He wants a thinking.
The fundamental assumption – lrp is a series of individual moments of drama.
Our experience is a series of points of interaction, and in between them most lrpers will experience a lull and that can be a problem..
(And, I think – lulls are the inverse of immersion.) Both peaks and troughs elicit an emotional response – with moments of great drama: anger, hatred, passion – interspersed with more negative emotions: boredom for one.
MASSIVE HUGE CAVEAT: NOT ALL LULLS IN PLAY ARE UNWELCOME, UNWANTED OR UNPLEASANT. (You might want to rest, or eat, or process… Your character might change and you might want/need to consider how to make that impact your later play, to make it a more rounded person.)
Today’s focus is on the negative.
He wrote a bad survey to base the session on. (And learned a lot about creating a survey. From a lot of people who have very solid opinions on what makes a bad survey.)
225 responses. (He thanks us who did. Pleasure, John. 😉 )
99.1% related to the assumption. His respondents were 60/40 Nordic and UK, with some esoteric edge cases of sorts of lrp: ambiente, non-boffer kids lrp, milsim… Umpire-based Australian lrp. More than half of the respondents had done more lrps than they could remember.
85% disconnection. 60 or so % loneliness or anxiety. 45% sadness.
Look, I’m just going to get his slide deck….
His response to this – we’re failing as a hobby, and we don’t talk about it.
Whose responsibility is it? Player or organiser – his first thought: it’s the player, it’s their responsibility. His second – can organisers help.
46% say the organisers, bear some responsibility. Maybe there is something that needs organiser intervention.
So – what can organisers do?
- Signpost the gaps.
- Make the lrp accessible.
- Signpost lulls – we all know when lunch is, and we understand the purpose of it, which makes it less likely that they’ll suffer a dip in mood
- Provides obvious points of re-immersion.
(I had to leave at this point to take a work call. Sadness. I have to say, I am deeply suspicious of this. Not of the assumption: which is novel and beautifully observed. cf: devil’s bargain of lrp: agency vs. passive experience. I should blog on that.)