States of Play


(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

Full color

Publishing date: the 11th of April 2012

ISBN 978-952-67599-4-4
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.

Comments ( 5 )

  1. Pohjoismaisen roolipelaamisen seura - States of Play presentation
    [...] game features penguinsJulkaisutItran kaupunkiIkuisuuden laaksoUnelma Keltaisesta kuninkaastaStates of PlayThe Solmukohta Book 2012 Call for Article [...]
  2. States of Play, the New Larp Book « Worlds in a Handful of Dice
    [...] there’s a great deal that is nifty in these 180 pages. If you want the hardcopy, the Society for Nordic Roleplaying can probably help you there, but they also supply the free PDF. It doesn’t come with the DVD, [...]
  3. VALIS » States of play. Nordic larp around the world
    [...] download Posted on 13 settembre 2012 by lollo. This entry was posted in 2012, articoli and tagged larp. Bookmark the permalink. « Do Larp (Knudepunkt 2011) [...]
  4. The New Knutpunkt Books Are Out | Juhana Pettersson
    […] of the articles are from old Knutpunkt books, but not all. There’s two from the one I edited, States of Play: Simo Järvelä’s The Golden Rule of Larp, about larp ethics, and Larp and Aesthetic […]
  5. Nordic Larp and American power | Juhana Pettersson
    […] conception was soon called into question. In the book I edited for the 2012 Solmukohta conference, States of Play: Nordic Larp Around the World, I argued for Nordic Larp as a creative idea separate from the national scenes in Finland, Sweden, […]

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