October Gamefest

WHERE AND WHEN

Come join us for Gamefest on October 5, 2013 at 184 College Ave, New Brunswick, a short walk from the New Brunswick commuter rail station. The festivities will last from 10 am to 9 pm.

WHAT

We’ve got all day fun planned — a couple short pickup jeepform games in the morning, from 10 am to 2 pm, and then a wonderful larp from the Norwegian Larpfactory in the afternoon, from 3 pm to 9 pm.

COST

We’ll be passing a donation hat ($5 suggested) to help cover the cost of props for this and future ventures, and we’ll also take up a collection for some mid-game pizza (vegan pizza is also an option!) in the evening. Because hungry larpers are bad at larp, and happy fed larpers always rock it.

WHO

You, maybe? We love introducing larp and roleplay to new gamers — players of any level of experience are welcome. Some of the games do deal with serious topics, so 18+ only please.

We are looking for anyone who is open to roleplay about serious themes, and who is 18 or older.  These games are great for larpers wanting to try a Nordic style game, gamers who are new to larp, actors, reenactors, cosplayers, writers, and anyone interested in exploring character development.

THE STYLE

Nordic roleplaying games tend like the ones we are running are short, mechanics-light experiences during which you act out the character you are playing. They hail from the Nordic larp tradition.  Nordic larp has lots in common with improv theater due to its focus on collaborative storytelling and immersive experience. Rather than winning epic battles or foiling political conspiracies, players will portray flawed human characters from a world that is very similar to our own.

Our goal is for each player to enjoy a satisfying story within the game framework. This may mean portraying characters open to tragedy and suffering as well as open to happiness. One of the values of Nordic larp is “playing to lose,” that is, the idea that it is fun to play flawed characters who will fail despite their best efforts, even though you (the player) know that this is a path to failure. For this reason, we encourage you to play characters who make or have made bad decisions! (You can read more about Nordic larp on Lizzie’s blog, and on the Nordic Larp Wiki.)

THE GAMES

The Morning Shift (10 am – 2 pm)

We’re offering pick-ups of these two jeepform games, and one short Finnish larp:

Robin’s Friends by Anna Westerling

A star, a producer and a caretaker – three close friends going away for a short holiday together to have the best time. But they each character have their own baggage, and the week-end is pulled apart by quarrels.

Robin’s friends is a short scenario with a lot of emotions about the beauty of friendship and the difficulty to communicate, even if your intentions are good. It’s about what happens when your inability to see others suddenly leads to the realization that it’s too late. But if you had the chance to do it again, how would you change it?

3 players and 1 game master

Summer Lovin’ by Trine Lise Lindahl, Anna Westerling and Elin Nielsen

Three girls, three guys and the stories about who did what and with who during a big. summer music festival. We will get the story as told by the girls, as told by the guys and then finally played out as it really happened. It’s summer lovin’ and tell me more.

This scenario is not about finding your perfect partner, having amazing sex right away, and living happily ever after. It is a scenario about the uncomfortable hook up in the tent, the grass in the ass, and the poor communication which leads to it all being awkward. But also about the nice feeling of making out, the thrill, the hope of something more, the fun and the laughter.

What really happened during the festival? How did the dead gorgeous guy you hooked up with turn out to be your crappiest lay ever? Or how did you end up in the caravan with the girl you’ve wanted for several years, even though you shouldn’t have been there in the first place? At least according to your partner.

Sex is a the main theme of this scenario, but you will not get physical with the other players above holding hands. Then the scene will be told thought storytelling down to every nitty, gritty detail, both physically and emotionally.

6 players, 1 game master

The Tribunal by J. Tuomas Harviainen

In this short larp, players portray members of a military unit in a dystopian future where the war is constant, the draft is large, and everyone owes their unquestioning loyalty to the government. Someone has stolen food recently, and it’s a serious crime. Will the unit turn in the person they believe is responsible? A short game about the mechanics of oppression, inspired by work like George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

5-15 players, 1-2 game masters.

The Evening Shift (3 pm – 9 pm)

Class Party: Playing the Cards by Trine Lise Lindahl, Frida Sofie Jensen and Tyra Larsdatter Grasmo

Play the Cards is a larp about being a teenager, about fitting in, about knowing your place in the hierarchy. You’re in high school; you know who you are, what your social position is, and most importantly, who you want to be. This is the first real house party. No parents. It’s the important party where everyone shows up and anything might happen.

We use a deck of cards to indicate high school’s unspoken, but oh-so-public popularity rating. The Hearts are the popular girls led by their queen, The cool guys are The Spades, The Clubs are the alternatives, engaged in politics or culture, and then you have The Diamonds, the outsiders and nerds that no one likes, who stick together because they have no one else.

The gist of this larp is to give the players the opportunity to re-live both the good and bad feelings of their teen years, to see the situation from different perspectives, and most of all: to remember when feelings and the small events of everyday teen life were the most important things in the whole wide world.

The idea for this game came from a fifteen-year-old in the midst of the awkwardness and social dealings that dominate the high school experience. Because the game designers grew up in three different decades, we feel we’ve found some of the essence of teenage life. We want participants to play the teens of today, but they are welcome to bring with them the feelings from their own youth, whenever that was.

Note: This game is about teenagers, and as we all know, teenagers tend to make out with each other and birthday parties. In game, this is represented by feeling one another’s faces with fingertips. Characters who decide to escalate the intimacy will touch each others hands and arms below the elbow. We’ll teach the techniques and safety mechanisms before the game, of course, but if you are very uncomfortable with touch, this might not be the game for you.

We suggest that you peruse the character sheets before signing up.

29 players, plus 3 organizers.

The Aftermath

Those of us who don’t have to race back to NYC or Philadelphia will venture off to a convenient local watering hole afterwards.

THE ORGANIZERS

This game is brought to you by a diverse team of enthusiastic Highland Parkers: Emma Waldron, performance researcher, Aaron Trammell, media studies expert, and Lizzie Stark, author of Leaving Mundania.

Got questions? Email emma.leigh.waldron@gmail.com or lizzie.stark@gmail.com. Or post in the comments below.

GREAT, WHERE CAN I SIGN UP?

Well friend, we’re first-come, first-served, so reserve your place by filling out this finely crafted form:

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