LARPing for the sane

3682531348 f243066262 450x337 LARPing for the sane

Lesson 1: You don’t have to dress like this to LARP. (img by Bastian)

I’ve never LARPed, at least not in the sense of running around in the woods tossing beanbags at people and yelling “magic missile!”. But I’ve definitely played roles in the day to day. Chances are, you have, too. In real life, you’re a hard partying gamer, but when you go to a job interview, you’re a pressed and articulate person seeking the opportunity to leverage synergistic paradigms.

Or you happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the wrong (or right) time and hid behind your camera while interesting shit went down. And because you were hiding behind your camera and just happened to be wearing a vest full of pockets, people assumed you were press. Or you were wearing an unfortunately colored polo shirt at Best Buy and people started asking you for help.

Here’s a great perspective on LARPing in reality:

Of the best experiences I’ve had with live-action roleplaying, only two are from actual larps. The others are from larplike real-world situations in which I have found myself adopting a role, usually accidentally. Drawing on these experiences, I’m going to present here a concept I call real-world larping. To understand the concept of real-world larping, one has to accept for now that the essential point in live-action games is the experience, and not roleplaying as such. There’s a wonderful word in Finnish, eläytyminen, which roughly means immersion in a character, a situation or a work of art. For roleplaying experiences where I immerse myself in a character, eläydyn, I play tabletop. To experience living through nuclear holocaust, I play live action. In this latter case, the character is, for me, a mere provider of context for the overall experience. This means that live-action roleplaying may be likened to any situation where I adopt a role to provide context in an unfamiliar situation. At the core of such situations lie unfamiliar social contexts that force the assumption of such a role. If these situations are clearly defined departures from routine life, they may be highly larplike.

Next time you’re bored at home with nothing to do, don a persona (makeup not required!) and go pull a stunt.

Features, Play » No Comments

Receiver, the game

xW6969 SI 54411 450x712 Receiver, the game

receiver: /ɹəˈsivɚ/, noun, 9. (firearms) The part of a firearm containing the action. (img by Shooting Illustrated)

Wolfire Games, developer of the highly-anticipated (for an indie title) Overgrowth, put together a neat little game for the 7 day FPS challenge called Receiver ($5). This game is unique for a whole bunch of reasons not the least of which your in-game avatar is essentially a 1911. More to the point, it’s a real (imaginary) 1911, in that it is modeled off the actual gun, and lets you operate the pistol in the same ways that you could in real life.

I wonder if they made it picky about hollowpoints.

They get into some of the game theory behind Receiver in this video, and have made a trailer to go with it.  (more…)

Play » No Comments

Board games, huh?

8457309 02c73eb72a 450x276 Board games, huh?

This is what ended board games for me. (img by What What)

Games for me tend to be past tense: I’ve played a lot, but stuck with none. When I was a kid, I played kid games like Candyland and Sorry! and thought they were dumb. Then I discovered Monopoly in high school. There’s nothing like playing Monopoly with Odyssey of the Mind kids… it was a great intro to gamesmanship.

Later, I leaned toward games with simple equipment and rules, but very complex play. I played chess, cards, dominoes, and had a brief and ambitious fascination with Go.

More recently, I’m finding myself back in the land of tabletop games: they’re multiplayer, don’t take tons of time, and are something you can play very seriously or very casually. Settlers of Catan is probably the best example of this sort of game I know.

But what about new games? I go to game stores and poke around and am absolutely overwhelmed by the selection and my ignorance. But there’s help out there – a good article in Wired has pointed me to the YouTube series TableTop, where you get to watch people play various tabletop games for 30 minutes, which is just about the right amount of time to get the feel for it.

Here, check it out:

Or tell me what your favorite game is and why, and I’ll try it.

Play » 1 Comment

10 years of Civ II

civ2 450x366 10 years of Civ II

“This front line hasn’t moved in 1000 years…” (img by Lycerius)

This is truly amazing:

I’ve been playing the same game of Civ II for 10 years. Though long outdated, I grew fascinated with this particular game because by the time Civ III was released, I was already well into the distant future. I then thought that it might be interesting to see just how far into the future I could get and see what the ramifications would be. Naturally I play other games and have a life, but I often return to this game when I’m not doing anything and carry on. The results are as follows.

-The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation.

-There are 3 remaining super nations in the year 3991 A.D, each competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands.

-The ice caps have melted over 20 times (somehow) due primarily to the many nuclear wars. As a result, every inch of land in the world that isn’t a mountain is inundated swamp land, useless to farming. Most of which is irradiated anyway. (more…)

Features, Live, Play » 1 Comment

Patient Zero

unnamed Patient Zero

Expose your diseases to friends, family, even perfect strangers!

Patient zero is a hybrid cell phone/meatspace game where Android users (suck it Apple) compete to infect the largest number of people possible.

Patient Zero is a virtual pandemic simulator where you get to infect real players. Infections get transferred by players coming within proximity of each other in the real world. Players infected with your virus will carry it and infect more players. See how quickly your unique virus spreads!

I wonder if they have plans to take the data they gain and see if it can be used to model actual epidemics and other disease maps.

I don’t wonder about having a device that constantly tracks where I am and what I’m going. Google totally does that anyway.

Also, it’s free. Knock yourself out; see if you can kill millions!

Gear, Play » No Comments

LEGO Heavy Weapons!

You cannot possibly be too old to want to play with these LEGO.

From LEGO guns mastermind and 17 year-old YouTube sensation Jack Streat comes LEGO Heavy Weapons, a collection of complete building instructions for four truly impressive, 1:1-scale replicas of the world’s most iconic firearms.

LEGO Heavy Weapons will show you how to build brick-based models of:

  • A massive Desert Eagle handgun, with working blowback action
  • The compact but deadly AKS-74U assault rifle with folding stock
  • A bolt-action Lee Enfield sniper rifle (a.k.a. Jungle Carbine)
  • A pump action SPAS combat shotgun

Each set of instructions includes a complete parts listing, so you can find (or special order) any hard-to-find bricks. The book’s illustrated, step-by-step building instructions will be clear to anyone who’s ever played with LEGO bricks, and the biggest models will challenge and delight even the most serious builders.

You can pick up a copy of LEGO Heavy Weapons here ($15).

Gear, Guides, Make, Play » No Comments