Saturday, August 26, 2006


The New Big Thing in Swedish larp is Prosopepeia: Momentum. (Homepages here and here) This is the second installment, I won't talk anything about the first in the trilogy, but this years Knutpunkt book contains a long article about it. Let's just say that they are both based on the same concept.

First, Prosopepeia: Momentum is a research project as well as a larp. There are people who do funded research on pervasive gaming, which also happen to be right in the focal point of the Swedish larp community.

There are several important facts that put Prosopopeia apart from earlier larps. Most of these things have been tried out, but never in anything close to this scale.
  1. One basic idea seem to be that nothing during the game should betray it as a game. Even in game the research organization SICS is involved in creating the game. The game exist in game.
  2. You play yourself and your own reality is a part of the game. The game goes on for one month! During this time you should live your normal life as well as taking part in the game. The game is constructed in such a way that you always have the possibility of stepping out the game to take care of your life.
  3. To solve number 2. above the role you play is shaped in a rather unusual fashion. During the month of the game you get occassionally obsessed by a deceased spirit, who tries to make you act according to its will. When you are not obsessed (always finally up to the player herself) you can act as yourself. But it's definitely the player who is obsessed by the spirit, so the players own life become directly a part of the game.
  4. One important part of the game is that play will not only occur between players, (what we in Swedish call skarplajv) but also between a single player and people in town, who are not players. The players are encouraged to play while obsessed with strangers, family member or the people you meet in the supermarket. But since the the game events also in all senses happen to the player also all actions made by the player when not obsessed are in a way game play
I think these points should be enough for some controversy. The controversy has sofar been surprisingly small here, probably due to that these questions have already been discussed here. To add to it all the project is extremely expensive and (isn't everything these days) funded by a European Union project.

If I heard of anything like this from outside of the Nordic countries I would have been very, very surprised. Is this a sane presupposition?


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