Monday, November 28, 2005

On immersion (popular these days)

I mentioned Gabriel in the last post and I will give you a quick and dirty translation of a fun passage from a blog post by Gabriel, about his interpretation of Istanbul. (Please note, dear readers, that my translation is slightly simplified compared with the original.)

For roleplayer and larpers immersion is a dear theme. But it's not only obscure subcultures that engage in honest and tiring games of imagination. Right now a global immersion practice is going on all over the world.

I wake startled, by a drum solo right outside my window. Turn on my cell phone. It's four in the morning. I listen to the drums and soon someone starts singing loudly. It goes on for a couple of minutes. I am surprised that noone stop the lunatic, but soon I fall asleep again. In the morning I ask Zeynep what was going on. It's Ramadan, the month-long moslem fast that goes on from dawn to sun down. During the day people don't eat and that's the reason to why they have to be woken up before dawn to have something to eat to be able to stand the coming day. Ramadan is a way of getting closer to god (imagine the presence of god), but it's also a way to understand how poor and starving people are leading their lifes. Even the most hardcore immersionist have to be impressed by this level of ambition.

Back again. Once more.

I'm not a very trustworthy man

This is my third, now-I'm-finally-back-text on this blog this semester. I hope it's true this time. Most of my world has been about moving to Istanbul, understanding my new job and other things related. Of course I have also started a new blog, İstanbul, Europa (in Swedish) about this new world that surrounds me.

I haven't been thinking this little about roleplaying in a lot of years. It might even be good for me to have a period like that, who knows. But now I am getting kind of used to life here in Istanbul and all these thoughts about the noble art of roleplaying have started invade my brain again. They have been quite helped by people that I have been in contact with lately. The larping Turk Alper Acik is one. Martin Svahn of Frispel fame is one. Gabriel is a third.

How I came to talk about roleplaying and learned to stop worry

I have only met one Swede since I got here. He is another. I have never met Gabriel Widing before, only heard about, like I know the names of most Swedish people who have somewhat similar taste in larps as me. We had a quite interesting conversation when we met down in Taksim. Regarding larping his main point was that to be interesting, to give something more than other types roleplaying already do larps have to give unusual experiences that aren't intellectual, but physical. He want games that puts into your muscles and flesh the reminscences of an experience, instead of in your brain (like the famous Norwegian game Europa or the Swedish Mellan Himmel och Hav).

I see now that I could say a lot about this, I won't, but I hope that I can return to that later.

This little corner

I probably won't write very much here for the time being; I don't know any roleplayer
here. But I will try to write something every week, at least.

And all roleplayer playing in Swedish or English, if you come close to Istanbul and feel that special emptiness in your belly that always indicates lack of some good old Nordic roleplaying. Or something else. Well, make contact. I'll be here for a while.