Talk:Live action role-playing game

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LARP or larp?[edit]

Currently the upper-case acronym (LARP) is being used in the article. I propose to change to the more modern lower-case noun (larp), as 'larp' has become a word in it's own right and it makes more sense when using derivative terms such as "a larper". Any views? --Elbit 10:24, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, you're right, but I don't think the whole article should be moved, as the acronym "LARP" is of course still used widely as well. Though a mention in the lead paragraph of this would be a good idea, IMHO. --Conti| 13:45, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I disagree -- I've never seen the term used as anything except an acronym. Can you provide examples of where it's been used as a lowercase standalone word instead of as an acronym? --Jyaus 21:24, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Examples: Beyond role and play, and larp.com seems to use both. But I agree the acronym form is more common at present. -- Elbit 10:44, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
larp.com capitalizes the word on their homepage! Unless the lowercase form becomes more common I don't think we should be changing the article to use lowercase. --Jyaus 13:16, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
IMO, this is just lazy typing. --JiFish(Talk/Contrib) 14:03, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I disagree too. I've also never seen this used in lowercase. Besides, surely uppercase is more correct. It is an acronym after all. --JiFish(Talk/Contrib) 21:34, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I disagree as well. 71.120.201.39 (talk) 13:37, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
It's all a matter of where you live. In UK English, acronyms which are pronounced as a single word (like "LARP" and "NATO") can be written with lowercase, with the first letter capitalized in proper nouns (i.e. "larp" and "Nato.") Acronyms pronounced by saying the letters individually (like "TV" or "DVD") are more likely to be written in all capitals. In US English, acronyms are more often totally capitalized regardless of pronounciation, but lowercase is a valid alternative for words in very common usage (like "laser" and "scuba.") Check out the WP entry on acronyms for more info, but basically, writing it any way is correct. It's just more common to find it written one way or another depending on your dialect of English. It's probably best to keep this article where it is at "Live action role-playing game" with both LARP and Larp redirecting here. Rob T Firefly 06:44, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Larp is also spelt in lowercase in the nordic countries, where it is treated as a word. And that spelling is gaining favour in New Zealand. It's much like spelling RADAR as radar, it's an inevitable naturalisation process. --Ryan Paddy 19:40, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
I have to disagree agree with you - it's an acronym, & isn't sufficiently ensconced in language like the word "radar," who most people do NOT know was ever actually an acronym, first. FlaviaR (talk) 06:49, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's a matter of what's correct, it's a matter of how it's actually used. I think it could be demonstrated easily that both "LARP" and "larp" are in common usage in different parts of the world. The article largely uses LARP, and I think that's appropriate as it's still probably the most common usage. The article mentions larp in the terminology section, and I think that's a good place for it. If larp should overtake LARP in common usage, then I'd argue that the article should switch to using larp. Curiously, the odds of that happening are reduced by the Wikipedia article using LARP, because Wikipedia is influential. --Ryan Paddy (talk) 20:26, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Not only are "LARP" and "larp" in common use, but so is "LRP" (pronounced "larp" if used as a word rather than an acronym). Nzrouillard (talk) 16:23, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
LRP is also mentioned in the Terminology section. Ryan Paddy (talk) 06:52, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

origin of word[edit]

Question: When was the term "LARP" invented? I have the idea that events we'd today call LARPs existed for a long time before the acronym was coined, but I don't have any actual evidence.

I think it was popularized (but probably not invented) with the publication of White Wolf's "Minds Eye Theatre" in 1994. Before that, LRP and IL were more common. LRP is still the preffered acronym in the UK. --Elbit 11:18, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Trout are delicious. 71.120.201.39 (talk) 13:37, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
This may start sounding like an episode of Balderdash and Piffle. I'm fairly sure we we using the terms LARP and SATT (Sit at the Table) in Unversity of Nottingham RP society in 1990. Dave Barnett
Do you have a published reference for this? It would be good to find the earliest published reference to a use of the term "LARP" just so that we can mention it in passing in the article's History section. --Ryan Paddy 23:56, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

International focus[edit]

There is a lot of variety in LARP internationally. This article attempts to describe this international variety. Please do not remove parts of the article because they do not describe the LARPs that you have been involved in personally. Although this article is in English, it is not intended to be specific to describing LARP in the English-speaking world. --Ryan Paddy 22:17, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Over-specific regionality (Theatre-style)[edit]

I've removed mention of theatre-style larp having strongholds in certain parts of the USA. This information is too specific for the main larp article. I've also removed mention of specific larps or gaming conventions, this was again too specific for the main larp article. Please discuss here rather than engaging in an edit war - this has already been edited back and forth a couple of times. --Ryan Paddy 22:14, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

History[edit]

The history section currently jumps from some early larps to the current state of the hobby/industry. It seems like an intermediary paragraph is missing, covering the development and spread of larp. I've added a paragraph that begins to discuss the international spread, but it's light on information. Does anyone know any references for the spread of Mind's Eye Theatre larps in the 1990s? That was a major development. The start of larp-specific conventions (Intercon, Knutepunkt) might be considered another important development. Likewise the first really large larps are probably noteworthy: e.g. the multi-chapter fantasy larps in the US, the fest-sized fantasy larps in the UK with thousands of participants, and the international MET clubs (Camarilla & OWBN). --Ryan Paddy 23:17, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Also, I wonder whether mentioning specific early larps is very encyclopedic in tone. --Ryan Paddy 02:51, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Answer: Yes, I know about the development of the Camarilla, as I'm one of the original founders. I'm a bit of a wikipedia newbie, however, so I don't know how to contact you without putting my e-mail address out there for all to see. If you look up The Camarilla (fan club)" on Wikipedia, you will find the correct history and current status there. If you want more information, I guess we'll have to find a way to get in touch with each other. -- W. Racine, 1 May 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.205.22.166 (talk) 10:51, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi there. We talk about it on this page, or if you prefer you can post on my talk page, here: User_talk:Ryan_Paddy What we mostly need is a reliable source (that is a newspaper, magazine, or something - we could settle for something like a White Wolf web page if nothing else is available) that describes the origins of the Camarilla, especially when they started running larps. Also info on their current spread would be great. I gather you're an expert on the subject, but the way wikipedia works is that we can't rely on the expertese of editors but need "proof" in the form of reliable publications with the information. Especially when it comes to things like dates and statistics. Unfortunately there are no specific references on the Camarilla (fan club) article to borrow, just some external links. Ryan Paddy (talk) 22:10, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

The "History of live action role-playing games" page starts with several paragraphs about the roots of LARP in primal play behaviour, and its manifestations in early cultures. It might be a good idea to add a sentence saying the same thing here, so it does not look like LARP had no roots before tabletop gaming. At present, the two articles contradict each other, since this one says that LARP started in the 1970s. NikolaiSmith (talk) 02:15, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

By the way, I put a note in the "History of live action role-playing games" discussion page about the elaborate faux-village Marie Antoinette had built at Versailles for role-playing games with her court. I didn't edit the actual article because I lack the time to find a reliable on-line source, but I a have seen the actual buildings at Versailles and I am married to a historian, so I am quite confident that the sources are out there, if someone wants to track them down. NikolaiSmith (talk) 02:14, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I've noticed that this article mentions early LARP as starting in the 1970s, but there has been evidence of LARP or its origins much earlier. See LIFE magazine, March 3, 1941 p102. http://books.google.com/books?id=IUoEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA102&ots=BUUmmym6ug&pg=PA107#v=onepage&q=&f=false 17:41, 28 January 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.161.188.11 (talk)

That LIFE magazine is a cool source, and the game they're playing does seem to have larp aspects, mingled with miniature wargaming. But it's a WP:PRIMARY source. We need a secondary source saying "this is one of the origins of larp" or "this was an early larp" to say as much in the article. The article does currently say "In addition to tabletop role-playing, LARP was preceded and possibly influenced by the Society for Creative Anachronism, childhood games of pretend, play fighting, costume parties, roleplay simulations, Commedia dell’arte, improvisational theatre, psychodrama, military simulations, and historical reenactment groups.", and we have a source for that, so it's not really true that there is no mention of roots before tabletop gaming. The history article is quite loosely written and the same standards of sourcing haven't been applied to it, so it's not surprising if it's a bit more adventurous in how it uses its sources. Ryan Paddy (talk) 19:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure that would count as a primary source. It appears to have been written by an uncredited Life staff writer who presumably isn't a participant, so it's a secondary source. That said, claiming that this is a LARP or that it is part of the development of LARPs borders on original research. It is a fascinating story and it does appear to have some LARP-like aspects, but I'm not sure specifically mentioning it is any more enlightening than the existing Wikipedia article text Ryan points out. Absent someone doing that original research and publishing their conclusions, I don't think we should be including it. — Alan De Smet | Talk 00:23, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
You're right, using this Life article against a statement regarding the origins of larp would raise an issue of original research, more so than an issue with it being a primary source as it's technically a secondary source. Ryan Paddy (talk) 21:38, 8 February 2010 (UTC)


Avant-garde[edit]

I wonder if a better term for the Arthaus form would be avant-garde. Arthaus has no entry in English wikipedia, and Arthouse is specific to film. Avante-garde on the other hand is a generic term for artistic experimentalism in all media, and has an appropriate English wikipedia entry. The term Arthaus appears to have been was invented by Eirik Fatland in the article Knutepunkt and Nordic Live Role-Playing, A crash course in reference to a tradition of experimental larps in the Nordic countries. Googling uncovers a number of uses of the phrase "avant-garde larp" often in reference to the same larps that are sometimes described as arthaus, and I think this is a more appropriate term for use in the English wikipedia. --Ryan Paddy 21:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

No touch rule[edit]

There's mention of "no touch" rules in the article. I understand such a non-contact rule is used in all MET games. Could someone with access to a MET rulebook look this up and post a quote and citation here? --Ryan Paddy 03:35, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

From a section titled "The Basic Rules" which "are the most important rules of MET, the only ones that absolutely must be obeyed." It carries on this this is basically a legal defence from crazy and clueless people, although it doesn't use those words. Subsection header: "#1 - No Touching." The first sentence in the section is "This means none whatsoever, even with consent." It goes on to warn people to be cautious and forvids various dangerous things like running and jumping. I can pull additional information if it's helpful. Dansky, Richard E. (1996), "Appendix", Laws of the Night, White Wolf, Inc., p. 136, ISBN 1-5604-506-8 Check |isbn= value (help)  (Dansky is the first credit and is credited for "Development." The Authors credit is "All new material by Richard E. Dansky. Reprinted material from Antagonists by Jennifer Albright with Nicky Rea and Phil Brucato. Reprinted material from The Apocalypse by Geoffrey Fortier, William Spencer-Hale, Sam Chupp, Ian Lemke and Mike Tinney. Reprinted material from The Masquerade Players' Kit by Iam Lemke and Mike Tinney. Reprinted material from The Masquerade 2nd Edition by Geoffrey Fortier, Frank Branham, Mark Rein•Hagen, Iam Lemke and Mike Tinney. Reprinted material from Vampire: The Masquerade 2nd Edition by Mark Rein•Hagen, Graeme Davis, Tom Dowd, Lisa Stevens and Stewart Wieck.") — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:14, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I took a stab at integrating it into the article proper. Again, I can pull more details if necessary. Sadly, the 1996 rules are the last ones I have. — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:17, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
The other Basic Rules are: "No weapons as props" (including realistic fake ones), "No drugs or drinking", "ignore or adjust any of the rules", "It's only a game", and "Have fun". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alan De Smet (talkcontribs) 05:24, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Alan, great citations. --Ryan Paddy 22:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone have any other examples of no-touch rules in LARPS? Does Rules to Live By have a rule like that? Ryan Paddy (talk) 22:14, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Journal of Interactive Drama[edit]

A user has deleted the Journal of Interactive Drama mention, claiming that the journal is "bogus", "a front", and "a put on". Is there any evidence for this allegation? The editor of the journal has been an advocate of LARP for many years, publishing LARP scenarios (including one that I contributed to and emailed to him) online. I know some of the contributors to the journal, they are real LARP researchers. This is a serious allegation and would probably amount to a controversy that needs to be covered by the article, if there is any reference for it. If there is no reliable source then the allegation is original research and should not affect the Wikipedia article. --Ryan Paddy (talk) 22:00, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I may have been too hasty, here. All I know is I checked the archive of past issues @ the website (web archive version[both oldest / newest @ [webarchive.com.]])and @ each when I checked the archive, and it said there were no archives available @ that time. I hadn't thought of the possibility that the web-page author might not yet have gotten around to archiving past issues, by the current issue (or rather the current issue as of 6 months ago, as webarchive.com has nothing more recent) (hopefully you are following that I am using the word archive in reference to two different things in this response). Anyway, here are the links to support my argument (before I do, however: to make my position @ the time I deleted the section, I thought I was reading a supposedly acedemic journal that had no content after 2 years, which would be bogus. Fallacies occur on the www.):

http://web.archive.org/web/20070810060412/http://www.rpg.net/larp/journal/index.html Thaddeus Slamp (talk) 23:13, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Why look at www.archive.org instead of the actual website? The website is at http://www.rpg.net/larp/journal/index.html - go there and click "Issues Archive" and you'll see previous issues. There are only 4 issues, dating back to July 2006, because it's a relatively new journal. But it's a real journal. --Ryan Paddy (talk) 04:08, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Real journal, and a pretty good one, too. The scandanavians have a fairly academic outlook in their Knutepunkt convention. JID doesn't match that yet, but it hopefully will soon. The Bearded One (talk) 05:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
  • As I have stated on my user page the station I use for wikipedia usually is only able to access the majority of the web in its archived form. Appearantly 6months ago there were no archived issues of that journal. Even if that's changed, a journal existed on the web for about a year or so w/no archived issues. I will check as soon as I can. Thaddeus Slamp (talk) 05:49, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Good Article nomination[edit]

I believe that this article is now ready for nomination as a Good Article. The writing is of high quality, the topic is covered in appropriate bredth and depth with appropriate citations, it's wikified well, neutral, has appropriate images, and has been stable for some time. Any thoughts before I nominate? --Ryan Paddy (talk) 04:03, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I have looked over the criteria listed at Wikipedia:Reviewing good articles and I think that Live action role-playing games can pass such a review. I am too involved in the topic to be objective, of course. By all means, nominate away. The Bearded One (talk) 06:17, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay, nominated. --Ryan Paddy (talk) 09:38, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Good article review[edit]

This article needs significant work before it can be considered a good article. Much of the article completely lacks references. Some of the references are used in an unacceptable fashion. For example, the no-weapons and no-touching rules suggested by the Laws of the Night are extrapolated to imply broader trends. There is a citation needed tag that is in the article since last month. Please review the good article standards. Vassyana (talk) 12:59, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for the review. It sounds like all the issues you have relate to references, is that right? If you have further suggestions, could you please list them so we can make changes?

  • I agree that more references would be good. However, a lot of the material is uncontraversial - for example, do you think that the play overview needs references?
  • The Laws of the Night rules are the most popular single set of LARP rules published (this assertion is referenced in History section of the article), and they really have had an extreme influence. A great many larps in the "theatre style" tradition do have no-touch and no-weapon rules inspired by Vampire (Laws of the Night). Perhaps this needs to be explained more clearly?
  • The uncited statement has been removed. --Ryan Paddy (talk) 18:47, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
It needs referencing. I do not consider it obvious. After all, the 'fact' that the Earth was flat was considered 'obvious' for a time as well. 71.120.201.39 (talk) 13:37, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe obvious and noncontroversial material requires referencing. Though it would be preferable if it could be referenced, it is not necessary. You can cite that LotN is the most popular LARP ruleset. You can cite that LotN has no-touch and no-weapon rules. However, it is not appropriate to state that most LARPs follow those rules. LotN says itself that storytellers should ignore rules if they desire and house rules are exceedingly common. You should only report what the sources state. Extrapolating claims from the sources is explicitly forbidden. If you're looking for a detailed review of the article, I would suggest filing a request for peer review and/or posting a notice at the appropriate WikiProject(s). Vassyana (talk) 18:33, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Hey all - any help in adding and improving references in the article would be appreciated, so that it can be re-nominated. If you spot unreferenced statements that you know of a reference for, please add them. If there are any contraversial statements that references cannot be found for then those statements should be removed. --Ryan Paddy (talk) 22:00, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Society for Interactive Literature[edit]

I've removed the following from the History section because it has been unsourced for a long time. I have tried to find a source for this but failed. If we can find a source then it would be good to to re-add it, as it's the only piece of theatre-style history mentioned.

The first Theatre Style LARP group was the Society for Interactive Literature (SIL), founded in 1981 at Harvard University.[citation needed]

--Ryan Paddy (talk) 18:50, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Give me a couple of days (weeks?) and I'll find a source for that quote. I have back issues of Metagame Magazine which was the official publication of the SIL prior to and at the time of its split into SIL and ILF (around 1990-1991). The Bearded One (talk) 04:10, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

The reference just added by Costik in this edit seems like a good one for placing the formation of SIL in 1982: http://www.larpwriting.org/essays/article_ts/ts8.shtml. I think the formation of the society is more relevant than the first known "freeform" event though, seeing the society preceeds the game and SIL was presumably at least experimenting with live play before that event. I'd be inclined to change it from mentioning the first known event to mentioning SIL's formation in 1982, and put it at the end of the previous paragraph so that it hangs with the US stuff rather than sitting amongst the "international spread" paragraph. I'd use "theatre-style" rather than "freeform" too, as that seems to have been the US term used. Fire away with any objections to those proposed changes. Off the topic... Greg, Paranoia was one of the highlights of my teenage years. Respect! Ryan Paddy (talk) 11:25, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Have done what I said above, let me know any issues. Ryan Paddy (talk) 22:02, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Position of LARP in a wider context[edit]

I think there needs to be a top-level section that describes how larp as an activity fits in among the other activities it includes or resembles: strategic and tactical games, storytelling, performing arts, craft, sports, etc. Given that it's a young activity, readers may benefit from hearing it described in context and in comparison to more familiar activities. --Ryan Paddy (talk) 03:58, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Terminology section[edit]

Would someone please change that section to make sence? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.226.41.188 (talk) 20:59, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the vandalism from that section. I assume that's what you meant. Note that anyone can fix vandalism when they see it, just click the Edit link and fix the text or go to the History list and click Undo on the vandalism item and then Save. --Ryan Paddy (talk) 22:15, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
What if your mouse and keyboard are broken? What if you do not have an internet connection? What if your mother has blocked Wikipedia due to the large amount of pornography available on it? Not just anyone can fix vandalism on Wikipedia. :P 71.120.201.39 (talk) 13:37, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Then you won't be reading this. Ryan Paddy (talk) 22:40, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Rename to Live-action role-playing game[edit]

User:GreetingsEarthling thinks we should add a hyphen between live and action. User:Daedalus969 appears to agree. (That message is in reply to this message, which makes it clear.) I think we should consider what LARPers themselves use. On the "live action" sides is Alliance, NERO, NEIL, and LIONE. The venerable Shade's LARP List does as well, although it looks like he reposts announcements unedited, so both styles appear in announcements. On the "live-action" side is SOLAR. This is just a random sampling of groups I happened to think of off the top of my head, but it seems to support "live action" over "live-action." As such, I have a slight preference for the hyphenless version. — Alan De Smet | Talk 14:19, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

GreetingsEarthling did successfully rename List of live-action role-playing groups. So whatever decision we come to should probably apply there as well. — Alan De Smet | Talk 14:25, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I rarely see it used with a hyphen in "live-action". Ryan Paddy (talk) 18:53, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

That's pretty much my observation. Oddly, live-action is probably more clear. But if one usage dominates, the article should reflect that spelling. — Alan De Smet | Talk 23:32, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

First of all, thanks for starting this discussion, which I should have done in the first place. I probably approached this the wrong way the first time around, but allow me to correct course.

I'm glad we agree, Alan De Smet, that "live-action" is clearer, and I see your point about going with what is typically used. But doesn't it matter that the term has a much broader usage? It is primarily associated with film (that's how I stumbled into this, while doing a copy-edit on Kiki's Delivery Service), and so the discussion is necessarily affected by that broader context.

Take the following search: Google Books: "live-action" The citations are almost perfectly split between "live-action" and "live action", sometimes differing even within the same work!! (Michael Barrier, in The Animated Man, uses "live action" when it does not modify a term [e.g. "In the postwar years, live action — with its real scripts — was an increasingly large part of Disney's plans."] but uses "live-action" for cases where it is followed by a noun [e.g. "Disney called art directors — who design the physical settings of live-action films — "brick and mortar men."], which is a third option from what I advocated when I made my rash of changes.) The same goes for Wikipedia at large: Wikipedia Search: "live-action" (Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware there isn't any way to get an exact number of uses of one form vs. the other -- instead, you have to scan the results to get an idea of the number of times each is used.)

The first lesson here, as far as I'm concerned, is that either usage can be correct, and that it's not a settled question. The decider, again from where I'm sitting, is that one usage is pretty obviously clearer and free from ambiguity (e.g. "live action role-playing" could be an action role or a live action, while "live-action role-playing" resolves the question).

Does this help? GreetingsEarthling (talk) 02:14, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

That in different contexts "live-action" is more common isn't relevant. Some superficial research suggests that "live action role-play" is significantly more common. We're here to reflect what is actually being done, not to tell people how they should do it. — Alan De Smet | Talk 22:51, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for the delayed response. I'm not familiar with the Wikipedia policy that says we should mirror "what is actually being done" in cases such as this. Which policy states that? GreetingsEarthling (talk) 19:08, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
The relevant policy is WP:NAME. It specifies that article titles should be based on the "common name" given to the subject, which has the greatest recognisability and can be determined by "what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject." The common name of larp is "live action role-playing", it's usually termed that way in the available verifiable reliable sources, and that's what people will attempt to link to the article as (assuming they don't just link to larp) because that's the generally accepted usage. Grammatically it may be unusual (usually multi-word adjectival phrases are hypenated, e.g. "red-coloured dog"), but in this instance "live action role-playing" is the common name and policy is to use it because it's the most recognisable to readers. Ryan Paddy (talk) 00:26, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that link. You're right, obviously, that policy is pretty clear. I'm just displaying my inexperience. My only question now is, should all remaining references to LARP be in the same form as the title? Common sense is strongly for "yes", I suppose... GreetingsEarthling (talk) 20:46, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
For consistency yes, all references to live action role-playing should use the same punctuation. But first, you might want to double-check our assumption about the common usage by checking some reliable sources. I've no doubt you'll find some uses of "live-action", but if you find it predominates then let us know because that would change the situation. Larp rulebooks and books about larp would be a good place to start. Ryan Paddy (talk) 21:48, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Humans vs. Zombies[edit]

Should we bother listing Humans vs. Zombies as a particularly representative LARP? The article about HvZ doesn't seem to emphasize the LARP aspect, so emphasizing it may be overkill. — Alan De Smet | Talk 02:15, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree that it could be removed, it resembles an Assassin game more than a larp and we should probably only mention particularly notable larps in this article, or everyone will want to be listed (again). Ryan Paddy (talk) 19:10, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Citation penny jar[edit]

Have a citation? Leave a citation. Need a citation? Take a citation. — Alan De Smet | Talk 00:02, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Olmstead-Dean, Gordon (2008-10-20). "Threads of Damocles Leadership White Paper". Gordon Olmstead-Dean. Archived from the original on 2008-11-04. 
    • Self published, which is bad. Written by someone widely recognized in the US east-cost theatre-style scene, which is good. Might be hard to show that he's so noteworthy that his self-published work is a good citation, which is bad. Also, mostly an opinion piece, which is also bad. However, it's chock full of factual claims, which is good. So a mixed bag, but maybe some gems can be found in there. — Alan De Smet | Talk 00:02, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Interesting read. I'm not seeing anything of enough public interest to be citable for this article, it seems like rather an insider's guide. But the need to cite an article often isn't apparent until the moment it's needed. Ryan Paddy (talk) 11:30, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
    • What looked promising to me was "The Modular Structure and some Pros and Cons", in which the author makes direct claims about how LARPs were managed at different times. "During most of the 1990s it was put forward that LARP only worked as a Dictatorship." "The real origin of the concept [modular organization] is the 1988 LARP event The Arabian Nights." There are a few more games, years, and details mentioned. I'm not certain it's useful, but it might be. !— Alan De Smet | Talk
    • The "Theatre-style/freeform" section could do with some citations. The definition given is accurate as far as I know, but WP:RS and all that. I might pull out the Book of LARP again. Ryan Paddy (talk) 22:06, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Stark, Lizzie (2012). Leaving Mundania. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1569766057. 
    • Promising source added to the article in this edit, but it's not actually cited or mentioned, so I'm pulling. I am planning on acquiring eventually, and I'll see about pulling some details then. — Alan De Smet | Talk 03:15, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

The Live Ring Game[edit]

In the history we say that Dagohir is the first recorded larp, but that seems to be believably contradicted by this. It seems that the Live Ring Game, published in 1973, pre-dated both Dagohir and in fact the first publication of Dungeons and Dragons. And it looks as much like a larp as Dagohir. Can anyone find a reliable source documenting the original Live Ring Game? Gordon Olmstead-Dean mentions it here as originating a few years before 1978, but doesn't give a year or any other specifics. I'm considering adding the Ring Game as the first recorded larp, using both Olmstead-Dean and the rules document itself as sources, but I'd prefer a secondary source stating the date outright if one exists. Ryan Paddy (talk) 01:27, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

It may be worth listing both as candidates for first LARP, depending on the exact definition. Dagohir (according to its article) encourages staying in character. The Live Ring Game seems more like Olmstead-Dean describes: tag with a Tolkien theme. Based on playing the Wisconsin Ring Game, there is no in-character play; it's pure competitive gameplay. — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:18, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I think it's worth a mention too, just wondering if there are any more sources. Even if there wasn't much characterisation I think it fits the broad definition of larp we're using here, or at least qualifies as a precursor. It sounds like the Wisconson game was more "inspired by" it, so it'd be interesting to find a source describing actual play of the original. It's interesting that, like Dagohir, it doesn't seem inspired by tabletop roleplay but by fiction). Ryan Paddy (talk) 04:46, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

As seen in the movie "Role Models"?[edit]

Why did they feel the need to rename it to LAIR?

Tim Chuma (talk) 13:55, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

This article used to mention Role Models in the See Also. It was trimmed out during the Good Article review, and I think that was appropriate. Dunno about the "LAIR" thing, perhaps you could ask at Role Models. Haven't seen it, but it might be used as the name of the specific group, not the hobby. Ryan Paddy (talk) 16:59, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Far as I'm aware, Role Models is the biggest mainstream attention LARPs got and that film made almost $100 million- certainly it deserves a mention in the article? --208.38.59.163 (talk) 20:19, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

It's only worth mentioning if reliable secondary sources have made note of the film's importance to larp. Ryan Paddy (talk) 23:25, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of secondary sources:

  • Here's an interview with the director of Role Models where he explains that he tried some LARP as research for the movie and enjoyed it, and that they "made up" the name LAIRE.
  • Here's a review of Role Models which states that "It’s to the film’s credit that LARPing comes across as both completely ridiculous and as a valid, constructive social outlet".

Ryan Paddy (talk) 03:25, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I've worked a mention of Role Models into a new section on the cultural significance of larp. Ryan Paddy (talk) 20:24, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

News imitating wikipedia?[edit]

I was looking for references, and found this article. Is it my imagination, or is that a repackaged version of keys points from the Wikipedia larp article (exact wording in some cases), interspliced with interviews with local larpers? "Games can be played in public or private. They can last for hours or days." I'm not criticising, I think the Wikipedia article is probably one of the best sources existing for general information about larp as whole. But it's curious... we could now cite that news article, which appears to be using us as an unreferenced source... which would be circular and wrong. I'd heard that some journalists are doing this with Wikipedia, but it's interesting to find an example. Ryan Paddy (talk) 03:58, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

I see that WP:RS cautions against this problem: Some news organizations have used Wikipedia articles as the sole source for their work.[2] To avoid this indirect self-referencing, editors should ensure that material from news organizations is not the only existing source outside of Wikipedia. Generally, sources that predate the material's inclusion in Wikipedia are preferable. Ryan Paddy (talk) 23:30, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Found another possible example of this, in a psychiatry paper of all places. Ballon, Silver & Fidler (2007) in the Journal of Academic Psychiatry write:

The original role-playing games were often with dice, figures, or a board, with players sitting around a table. Another mode of play is live action role-playing, in which the players physically act out their characters’ actions. This type of game play is usually more focused on characterization and improvisational theatrics and less focused on combat and the fantastic, if only because of the physical limitations of the players themselves (20).

Some live action role-playing games avoid combat whenever possible, leaving only minimal or nonexistent combat systems. Many murder-mystery live action role-playing games lack any combat system, the focus being entirely on social interaction and investigation. Some games that discourage and penalize combat might use very simple rules, for instance, pointing a toy gun at someone and shouting, "Bang!" means that the target character is dead. In Headspace Theater, the scenarios are designed so that there is no physical "combat" or interaction, as this might result in a student feeling distraught. Again, in building and running any scenario, every player is asked about his or her personal comfort before assuming a role and is aware anyone can stop the play at any time if there are any concerns.

Emphasis mine. Might just be an obvious phrase to use, but it looks identical to the opening sentence of the Wikipedia article. The source might be useful to reference though, as the rest of the quote above doesn't seem to be cribbed from Wikipedia. The article says they consulted larp experts when designing a roleplay called "Headspace Theater" in which psychiatric symptoms are simulated, so it could be used as a primary source for that too. Ryan Paddy (talk) 04:04, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

That's pretty cool. I'm glad someone is keeping up to date on academic references to LARP.The Bearded One (talk) 16:22, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Cultural significance: good stuff[edit]

Ryan Paddy, you are a researching machine! The new cultural significance section is looking good! — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:23, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Cheers mate. Ryan Paddy (talk) 19:41, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I added a mention of the use of LARPS as research tools. Ryan Paddy queried whether a masters thesis constituted a reliable source. In the interest of full disclosure, I will begin by admitting that the author of the thesis in question is a professional colleague and personal friend. But masters theses are routinely cited in peer-reviewed journals in both the humanities and the sciences. In Canada, at least, a Master's thesis is published by the university under its official imprimatur, and is subject to the same rigorous peer-review process as any journal article. On the other hand, I admit that the version of the thesis available on-line is on it's author's personal website, not the McMaster University site. NikolaiSmith (talk) 02:36, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't have a major issue with it. The reliable source policy says that a PhD thesis is considered a reliable source, but doesn't mention whether a masters thesis is. I'm guessing it's on a case-by-case basis. I don't suppose the research has also been published in a journal? Then it would clearly be a reliable source. Also, it would be preferable to find an article that states that larp is used in social sciences, rather than an an example of larp being used in social sciences. The latter is somewhat original research, because we as editors are making the generalisation, rather than quoting the generalisation being made in a reliable source. Ryan Paddy (talk) 04:45, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Restructuring "Play overview" section[edit]

I think the structure of the "Play overview" section isn't as coherent as it could be, but I'm not sure how to improve it. I really like how Rules, Genres etc. now have a main section each, it's very clear to follow and makes it easier to compose text for each section. I think the whole article would work well as a series of main sections without subsections - many featured articles take that approach. However, I'm not sure yet how the "Play overview" introduction, the "Fiction and reality" and the "Types of participation" could best be refactored to be just main sections. Thoughts? "Types of participation" is probably a solid main section on its own, but I dunno about the rest... some of the content may work better if split into various other sections. Ryan Paddy (talk) 04:06, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Nice work...[edit]

I came to this article expecting it to be a mess, and was pleasantly surprised to see it's well resarched, written and illustrated. Nice work! J Milburn (talk) 01:50, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks - suggestions for progressing the article to Featured quality would be very welcome. Ryan Paddy (talk) 21:51, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

New structure[edit]

I've done some work to restructure the article. I realised that some of the content in the Styles section was more like a description of the purpose of larp (for reasons of entertainment, artistic expression, education and activism to name a few that we have references for - therapy might be another that we're currently missing), so I split those into a new section called Purpose. I think this gives some clarity for readers who are trying to figure out what larp is being used for out there. I've also merged the old "Types of Participation/Role" section into the Play Overview section, and split "Fiction and reality" into its own section. The upshot is that there are no longer any sub-sections in the article, which I'm happy about because this is how many Featured Articles are structured and it gives the article a straight-forward flat structure that I think is easier on the reader. Any thoughts on the order of the sections as they now exist? I'm wondering whether moving Purpose before "Play overview" might flow better. I think that it should be near the top because the "why" is important, but I'm not sure whether it should proceed the "what". I do think that the text of "Play overview" would transition nicely into that of "Fiction and reality", and the "Purpose" section may currently be getting in the way between them. Ryan Paddy (talk) 02:25, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

It'd also be good to have images for the History, Play overview, Purpose, and Cultural significance sections. Purpose could perhaps have an image of larp being used for education (the recreational use is already illustrated by the other pics in the article) and History could have a pic from one of the early larps mentioned. Play overview and Cultural significance could have just about anything. Ryan Paddy (talk) 21:07, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Controversy[edit]

This article lacks a controversy page, as many pages on specific RPGs do. By the way, I haven't found any information about the Aline Soares murder case, occurred in Ouro Preto, Brazil, in October 2001. Aldo L (talk) 14:36, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I think that any controversy content would go well in the "Cultural significance" section. On the scale of things larp isn't especially controversial so it wouldn't warrant more than a paragraph, which could follow the existing paragraph on how larp is perceived. We do already cover the the fear of over-identification with characters in regards to social acceptability, but there's probably also some room for covering moral panic and religious objections, and crimes that have been perceived to be associated with live roleplay, so long as they're covered in highly reliable sources (controversial subjects require especially high quality sources, not small local newspapers or whatever). Do you have some specific reliable sources about controversies surrounding larp? Ryan Paddy (talk) 21:13, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Conventions: LARP only or Conventions running LARPs?[edit]

I would like to add some conventions to the LARP Conventions list, but they are not LARP ONLY conventions. The conventions I propose to add have long-standing LARPs as part of a larger convention and/or have a LARP committee. I'm going to go ahead and add them, but if you feel it is inappropriate please let me know. --Vampyrecat (talk) 00:36, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a directory, so I wouldn't expect to see every notable convention in the world that includes larp events listed here. This article used to have a list of larp groups, but that was spun out into List of live action role-playing groups which is carefully maintained so that only notable groups are retained. These new additions seem less so, but it's hard to judge as I've never heard of them. Personally, my criteria are:
  • The convention is mostly about larp.
  • The convention is significant to the larp community.
Intercon is significant because of its long history as an integral aspect of the theatre-style US larp scene, Knutepunkt is significant because it's an influential convention in Northern Europe and internationally, and whether Wyrd Con meets is significance is questionable because it's so new, but for its young age it's had a fair amount of impact. I can't see anything significant about the two new additions, especially in relation to the subject of larp. Ryan Paddy (talk) 05:09, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Picture: A theatre-style LARP in a decorated room[edit]

I just stumbled over this article and suddenly something looked really familiar. The picture in the section "Styles" is not taken in a "decorated room". I have actually been in this room before. It is taken at the museum COSI in Columbus, Ohio. The theme of the room displayed on the picture is the ocean, submarines in particular. Within the cage there is a pool of water and a little submarine, that kids can climb into.

Type in "submarine cosi columbus" on google and this is what you will find:

Picture 1 Picture 2

So you might want to change the description or use the picture in a different way.

PS: Sorry I couldn't log in. I am signed up with the German Wiki. Greetings — Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.33.33.47 (talk) 22:41, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Indeed it is. And if you click the image you'll see that detailed. That the location is COSI isn't really relevant to this article. Summarizing the situation to provide context would just be verbose and off-topic. So, "decorated room." It is a decorated room, it just happens to be decorated with a real mini-sub and little plaques explaining the science. :-) — Alan De Smet | Talk 20:16, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

"LARP is a popular activity in North America"[edit]

The last paragraph of this section says "larp is a popular activity in North America," and cites a Wizards of the Coast marketing study (14) as evidence. This is a 14-year-old marketing study relying on what I see as questionable data collection techniques. It's based entirely on surveys about rpgs mailed to random people. It seems to me that someone who is interested in RPGs and the sorts of products made by companies like Wizards of the Coast would be much more interested in responding to such a survey because the company may take notice of their preferences and produce products more in line with their tastes, while someone with no interest in that sort of thing would be more likely to just ignore it. Thus the "interest" numbers would be inflated. The study also doesn't share any of the data its conclusions are based on (proprietary). This description also conflicts with that below, which says (paraphrasing) that larping is a small niche activity in America, with no festivals as in other countries, that tends to be looked down on by society at large. Saying 3 percent of the market segment has tried is equating its popularity with something like Call of Duty, and clearly it isn't that big. Recommend rewriting or deleting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.97.31.201 (talk) 03:23, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

It's cited and the core claim (3%) seems reasonably reliable. However, that 3% maps to "popular" might be a judgment call. I'm against deletion, but it might benefit from rewriting to limit itself to the citation (that Wizards of the Coast research suggests that about 3% of Americans have played a LARP). — Alan De Smet | Talk 05:39, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think "popular" belongs in the article. Unless I'm missing it, the source given doesn't support that claim, to conclude that it's "popular" without the source saying that is WP:OR. Alan, maybe I missed it, but the only 3% figure I saw was talking about tabletop rpgs, not LARPing. In fact it doesn't appear to say anything about North America at all. I'm going to remove the section per WP:BURDEN, pending some source that could support it (I'll search Google and Highbeam and elsewhere for something). - SudoGhost 11:03, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
North America appears to be a dubious generalization; the article talks repeatedly about it being a survey of the US. The 3% figure is derived, and perhaps not what we should be saying. But we can say that WotC found that 6% of people have played a tabletop role-playing game ("Size: 6% play or have played TRPGs (~ 5.5 million people)") and that 49% of those people have played a LARP. ("We asked questions of people who play TRPGs to get a better and more detailed picture of that category. ... When asked to describe a variety of past game experiences, the market provided the following data: ... Live Action: 49%")" — Alan De Smet | Talk 17:03, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
To say that 49% of people have done LARPing at some point makes it popular is WP:OR, and "popular" just seems too subjective and too much like puffery to be useful or informative. More importantly, this was not a broad survey of a cross-section of the population; it was specifically WotC's "distributors, retailers and consumers". To say that 49% of North Americans have LARPed is an extraordinary claim, and not what the source says; it says that some vague and undefined set of targeted individuals responded in a particular way; it doesn't say they enjoyed LARPing, or did it regularly. - SudoGhost 21:33, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
My apologies if I lead you to the conclusion I was defending "popular", or if I was claiming the 49% of the population had LARPed. That was not my intention, I may have been unclear. I was explaining where 3% appears to have come from: 6% of the US popular has played a tabletop game, of that subset 49% had done "Live Action"; 49% x 6% = about 3%. (I can't be sure about this, as I don't think I authored the sentence in question (It'll be embarrassing if I did!)) I'd actually be more comfortable spelling those individual claims out and not jumping to the 3% conclusion. As for the it being "distributors, retailers, and consumers," that section of the source is a bit confusing, but I believe "Section 1: The Segmentation Study" clarifies. The initial survey screen was intended to "accurately represents the US population as a whole" and that the final data "...is a fair and accurate representation of the hobby game consumer profile and that it does statistically correlate with the population as a whole in the US for the target age bracket." As you note, this doesn't say that enjoyed LARPing, LARPed more than once, or anything, just that they tried it. But it appears to be serious research and does tell us something about LARP penetration in the United States. — Alan De Smet | Talk 03:14, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for that confusion. I don't object to supported data in the article, whatever its actually saying, I just don't like the idea of using that source to support a claim that its popular, because I don't see that in the source. - SudoGhost 03:36, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree the first part of the paragraph could do with improvement in terms of how closely it reflects the citations, it would benefit from some newer sources if they're available, we should avoid peacock language, and it's reasonable to have a discussion about the reliability of the WotC source. I don't agree it should be deleted, the article should discuss the degree of popularity and spread of the activity discussed as much as sources and common sense allow.
Is there a reason the last sentence of the paragraph was removed as well, which said "Large games with thousands of participants are run by for-profit companies, various LARP books are published and an increasingly professional industry sells costume, armour, and foam weapons intended primarily for LARP"? That was separately sourced from Tychsen 2006, an academic journal article that says "Today, LARPing is a widespread hobby, especially within the United States and Europe, and caters to at least 100,000 players worldwide ... Professional, full-time LARP sites also exist ... a small industry has grown-up supplying latex weapons, costumes, theater props, and special effects, and numerous special effects and make-up artists work in the LARP environment for training purposes." The text was very similar to the source, and source is reliable.
Whether or not to describe larp as "popular" in a given region is an interesting question. How popular is popular? For example, this site lists outdoor soccer as the fourth-most popular team sport in the US, in terms of participation in 2007, with about 14 million people having ever participated. By comparison, around 3 million people who have larped isn't exactly tiny. Obviously that's not a comparison we can make unless we have an RS making it, but my point is that it's reasonable to call larp popular in the US, as compared to other group activities like team sports. The Tychsen 2006 source also supports this, saying "Today, LARPing is a widespread hobby, especially within the United States and Europe..." So it's not necessary to search far for a source supporting larp as a popular activity in US, it's covered in the other source that was deleted. Nowhere in this article does it say larp is not popular in the US, it just says that certain kinds of large event aren't in evidence in the US, and that fantasy larp gets some ridicule. Those points aren't about popularity (i.e. participation) they are about game culture and public image.
Do we have a source saying that in addition to the US and Europe larp is popular in Russia, Canada and Australasia? No. I know it's true, but I don't have a source for it at this time. On the other hand, larp is not popular in Asia, South America, Africa (except South Africa) or the Middle East (except Israel). Again, my understanding of this comes from observation, not individual reliable sources, but I don't consider it to be controversial. This is one of those frustrating moments where Wikipedia is in danger of becoming less informative because certain fields of knowledge are less systematically documented than others, and information about larp is one of them. Perhaps, like Tychsen, we might be better to describe larp as "widespread" in the parts of the world where it is. However, that's what "popular" usually means anyway in relation to a participatory group activity like larp. Ryan Paddy (talk) 03:30, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
To draw another comparison, ice hockey is described as "very popular" in the US. According to the US Census Bureau, about 3 million people participated in ice hockey in the US in 2009. So the participation numbers of larp according to the WotC source and ice hockey are very similar. Is ice hockey popular in the US, perhaps even VERY popular as its article states? If so then we can say the same about larp without it being peacock language. Ryan Paddy (talk) 03:56, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Although I may be comparing "played larp ever" to "played ice hockey this year" which isn't the best comparison Ryan Paddy (talk) 08:06, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

History of LARP in Germany[edit]

The quoted source by Myriel Balzer is wrong in dating the first german events in 1994. Draccon 1 was in August 1992. Unfortunately I don't have a published source at hand. There are however some Internet sources to back up the date.

--RalfHuels (talk) 09:35, 24 April 2014 (UTC)