(The cover of the Solmukohta edition of States of Play.)
The annual Solmukohta roleplaying conference is the epicenter of the Nordic Larp design movement. The conference rotates between Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and every year there’s a book collecting articles pushing the envelope of what roleplaying and larp can be.
States of Play: Nordic Larp Around the World is that book for the 2012 Solmukohta, held in Finland.
The book is published for free on the net, and as three different physical editions: the Solmukohta edition, distributed to every Solmukohta 2012 attendant, the commercial edition, for sale after the event, and the author’s edition, for those who wrote articles to the book. Each version features a different cover.
You can download the book here as a free PDF.
States of Play
Nordic Larp Around the World
A collection of articles.
Edited by Juhana Pettersson
Graphic design by Tommi Kovala
Published by Pohjoismaisen roolipelaamisen seura
200 pages + a DVD
Publishing date: the 11th of April 2012
ISBN 978-952-67599-5-1 (PDF)
High on Hell by Elin Nilsen
Why do we go to games where the emotional content is overwhelmingly negative?
Valve: the Grand Adventure by Antti Kanner & Katri Lassila
Valve is a Helsinki-based city game where dream is the only reality.
The Joy of Kidnapping by Juhana Pettersson
It’s hard to find venues for experiencing the joy of kidnapping in modern society.
The Golden Rule of Larp by Simo Järvelä
Larp ethics are still in their infancy.
A Moment of Weakness by Yaraslau Kot
Sometimes the opinion of one person is enough to get a game cancelled.
Dublin2: the EU’s Asylum Policy in Miniature by JP Kaljonen & Johanna Raekallio
Dublin2 brought the reality of EU’s asylum policies into the center of Helsinki.
Weddings and Anti-Condom Activists by Trine Lise Lindahl
There’s larp in Palestine.
Larp and Aesthetic Responsibility by Tova Gerge
Some lessons from the discussion concerning the game Just a Little Lovin’ in Swedish media.
Folk Fantasy by Mike Pohjola
The larp Kirjokansi escapes the shadow of Tolkien.
Reliving Sarmatia by Michal Mochocki
Using the toolbox of Nordic Larp to create and reinforce national identity.
Valokaari by J. Tuomas Harviainen
Who decides if a larp is a success? The organizers, or in the case of the game Valokaari, the players?
Kiirastuli OY by Vili Nissinen
Sometimes Hell is other people in your office.
Playing “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Ari-Pekka Lappi
The book is a game, as we always suspected.
The Labyrinth of Possibilities by Gabriel Widing
How to make a game of living in reality.
We Created a Monster, Part I by Johanna MacDonald
The origins and further permutations of the Walkabout project.
We Created a Monster, Part II by Aarni Korpela
A two-person project, Walkabout’s creators offer different perspectives on the games.
Songs and Larp by Alexey Fedoseev & Daria Kurguzova
As we all know, singing is the most important part of any debrief session.
Pathos by Lorenzo Trenti
Documentation from an Italian alternate reality game.
Shadowrun by Thomas B.
Sometimes larps are inspired by Nerf guns.
Give Me Your Hands, I Will Be Your Eyes by Aaron Vanek
The experimental game Steeds, and how it worked in practice.
Mistakes I’ve Made by Claus Raasted
Claus has made many mistakes.
The Rogue Wave by Andrea Castellani
How to see larp as a topical wave instead of a narrative.
It’s About Time by Eleanor Saitta
Time and how it was constructed in the larp Just a Little Lovin’.
Letting the Stories Go by Emma Wieslander
More conceptual tools for larp design from the designer who brought you Ars Amandi.
Tears and Defeat by Nathan Hook
You can’t win against faeries or superficial Swedes.
What is Good Playing? by Niina Niskanen
There’s been a lot of talk about what’s a good larp design, but less about what’s a good player.
The Evaluation of Elusiveness by Aleksandra Mochocka
A report from the Polish Golden Axes roleplaying competition.
¡Lucha Libre! by Jenni Sahramaa
This larp has it all: Luchadores, freedom fighters and the best special moves of any game, ever.
Tahtotila by Suvi Korhonen & Tuukka Virtaperko
A report on the Finnish larp campaign Tahtotila, about an insane asylum detaching from reality.
Your Character is Not Your Own by Gustav Nilsson
Communal character creation works better than solitary endeavors.
The Blessing of Lineage by Lauri Lukka
Why play “single-generation” games when you can play a dynasty?
Beyond the Game Master by Emily Care Boss, Ivan Vaghi & Jason Morningstar
An enquiry into American game masterless roleplaying games.
We Hold These Rules to Be Self-Evident by Lizzie Stark
D&D is the American Dream.
About the book
Jukka Särkijärvi writes about the book here.
J. Tuomas Harviainen writes about the book here.