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Larpy Argos

Post-progressive larping manifesto

We, the undersigned larp writers, witnessing and actively taking part in the development of larps, see how much they owe to progressive larping. Not rejecting the legacy of the Nordic larp scene, with its valuable methods and solutions, we also see its shortcomings.

This formula, once revolutionary for the quality of larps, seems to have expired. It showed larps to new lands to explore, and set them free: they no longer needed to be pure entertainment. But what it also did was cast a yoke of premises, rules and methodologies which today seem too heavy a burden, a hindrance, an unnecessary road sign or a false promise of quality. At the same time, we are well aware that the very definition of progress entails experimenting and making mistakes.

Our manifesto is not a recipe for a good larp. We believe there is no such recipe, and no larp form is paramount or binding. We reject universalism for the sake of utilitarianism – the form needs to serve the purpose of our creation. We demand that good larps be created, conceding there is no recipe for making one.

We oppose calling any elements of any methodologies obligatory. We want to debunk the belief that using a specific formula or work ethics should guarantee success. We do not expect larp writers to fulfill any predefined conditions; instead we call for a conscious choice of resources and a clear goal. We see “quality” of a larp as an outcome of players’ and larp writers’ satisfaction, but we would rather not define the notion itself.

Seven postulates

1. Sense of motivation

We are not looking for a justification for creating new games – our willingness is enough. Larps do not need to have a didactic, integrating, social, ludic, or any other function. Acknowledging the value of larps written with the abovementioned purposes in mind, we believe usefulness is not a prerequisite. A larp writer does not need a pretext to create a game. Larps do not need to be useful; what we do postulate, though, is that they be not aimless.

2. Sense of aim

We expect every larp to have an aim, intentionally taken on by the designer, which the game is to reach. Whether it is to entertain, be useful, convey a certain message, or the beauty of the form, it should be a conscious choice of the author. The degree to which the aim is realized is the measure of the creator’s workshop.

3. Sense of method

We appreciate the legacy of all the previous trends in larping, however, we do not believe in the existence of universal rules and ideal methods for creating larps. For us formalized solutions which support creating larps are just tools.

Using:

  • the experience of other larp writers;
  • methodologies for constructing the scenario, the characters or relations;
  • inspirations from other forms of artistic work;
  • specific tools and work style for organizing a larp event;
  • workshops, preparations and debriefings

may help in achieving a good quality larp, but is not a guarantee of success.

Using the above tools is not obligatory, and it does not make a larp valuable. We glorify no one solution. Innovativeness is not a value in itself.

4. Sense of form

We do not favor any larp form, but we do expect it will be chosen carefully to fit the author’s aim. Free-form, chamber larp, outdoor larp, urban game and others all have their limitations which may hinder realizing some ideas. The author needs to be aware of these limitations to create within their boundaries or to be able to bypass them successfully. We expect the authors to know the commonly established larp terminology but not a blind adherence to it when it becomes obsolete.

5. Sense of theme

We do not want praise for our larps just because they bring up a significant or controversial theme. We abstain from defining the “quality” of a larp, but we do point out that it is never determined just by the choice of theme.

6. Sense of being a participant

We expect the participant to be aware of the nature of the larp. The author is obliged to successfully communicate their game’s premises to all its recipients. The author chooses the scope of information to be communicated, yet it ought not to put the participants at risk that with full knowledge about the game they would not decide to take part in it.

7. Sense of being an author

We abstain from presenting any “right” attitude of the author, or their work ethics. We are interested in the final effect – a good larp

 

We, the undersigned:

  • Kamil Bartczak
  • Dominik Dembinski
  • Stefan Deutsch
  • Zofia Urszula Kaleta
  • David King
  • Agata Lubańska
  • Krzysztof Maj
  • Piotr Milewski
  • Annika Olejarz
  • Aleksandra Ososińska
  • Malwina Otto
  • Ida Pawłowicz
  • Francesco Pregliasco
  • Jupe Rantalainen
  • Marcin Słowikowski
  • Dorota Kalina Trojanowska
  • Bartosz Zioło

 

 

Nika

Antagonistka z przypadku, z wewnętrznym imperatywem działania pod prąd. Trenuje inteligentną krytykę żyjąc nie najwyższych lotów kulturą. Ma brzydki zwyczaj atakowania przechodniów newsami w WoWa i mechaniki kwantowej.

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