LARP events at NYFA Game School
Come and attend the FREE LARP event at NYFA
What is a larp?
Larp stands of Live Action Role Playing, an ancient and global art form where participants play-pretend character roles (some of whom could be the real person in an unreal setting) and have the ability to make or change the narrative. It’s similar to immersive theater, alternate reality games (ARG), escape rooms, Megagames, tabletop RPGs, murder mystery dinners, and many other forms of performance art and entertainment. (Wikipedia entry on larp)
What is a larp design jam?
A two-day workshop for anyone to create, facilitate, or playtest a short larp in 24 hours using secret ingredients. It’s like a 48-hour film contest or hack-a-thon, but making and running a larp instead.
Who can attend?
Anyone who RSVPs at: firstname.lastname@example.org while spots are available. We can only take up to 20 designers and up to 50 playtesters. No experience necessary for either designers or playtesters; beginners and veterans are both very welcome!
How much does it cost?
Nothing, it’s free for everyone!
Can I come by myself or should I bring a team?
You are welcome to RSVP as yourself or with others; list all full names in the email. Designate each person as “designer” or “player”. If you all want to be on the same design team (up to five), indicate as such.
Will there be prizes?
No, but we will present options for the finished larp to a life beyond the jam; future runs or possibly publication.
What’s parking like?
There is plenty of street parking, but check posted signs.
How do teams work?
Each team of 3-5 attendees—who may know each other or could be strangers—must attend a mandatory 3-hour workshop on Saturday from noon to 3pm. There will be an explanation and examples of larping as well as extensive information on the design process. Each team will have a coach, a veteran larp designer, to help them. Coaches are not able to provide creative or production help, but support, encouragement, feedback, more information, etc.
What are the teams making?
At the end of the mandatory Saturday workshop, each team will receive three secret ingredients to include in their larp: a prop, a concept, and a character. Teams then have 24 hours to create, write, and provide all materials needed to run that larp on Sunday. Additional parameters, such as for how many participants and how long the larp has to run, will be provided at the workshop and based on how many RSVP to playtest. Expect a range of 5-12 players per larp, with each lasting roughly an hour maximum, including prep time for players. All work on the larp will be offsite and up to the team: a coffeeshop, someone’s home, etc. New York Film Academy cannot provide work space to create the larp.
What happens on Sunday?
Teams return to NYFA to run the larp they just made. Depending on the number of playtesters, there may be multiple runs of each larp, and it is possible to change and alter it between runs. There may also be opportunity for one team member to participate in another team’s larp each round. This exact structure will be announced at the workshop, as it is dependent on the number of playtester RSVPs. The extra time allows for playtesters to rotate and play all larps.
What do the playtesters do?
For playtesters, they only need to RSVP as “player” at email@example.com, and come only on Sunday. If possible, try to stay the whole time, from 12:30 – 5pm, to play all the larps and offer feedback on each. You are encouraged and welcome to bring others to playtest with you. We can’t say what you will be asked to participate in; the designers haven’t made it yet! We will strongly encourage safety and consent techniques and content transparency. Playtesters will not have to participate in anything they don’t want to. Please have an open mind when playtesting; teams will not have a lot of time to assemble the larp, and may be operating on caffeine, anxiety, and adrenaline. We will have forms for you to provide feedback to each team.
Who are the coaches?
Aaron Vanek serves on the Board of Directors of The Game Academy, a 501c3 educational nonprofit (thegameacademy.org). He is the former editor of Larp World Magazine, a co-creator of the Larp Census, and has designed interactive and game experiences for the Girl Scouts of America, the West Hollywood Book Fair, Sanrio, Inc., the UCLA Game Lab, the Paul Biane LIbrary in Rancho Cucamonga, the San Diego Public Library, and Green Dot Public Schools.
He created 17 edu-larps for schools and consulted for Texas State University’s nursing simulation program. He taught analog game design to middle school students at the International Children’s Academy for three years, and currently teaches analog game design and science through edu-larps he designed at the Creative Learning Place for homeschooled children as well as analog game design at the Angeles Workshop School.
Aaron is a regular speaker at game and fan conventions such as San Diego Comic Con, the Games for Change Festival, the Living Games Conference, and many more. He has published tabletop RPG scenarios through Chaosium, Inc., Pelgrane Press, and forthcoming from SixtyStone Press. He received a BA in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from UCLA and an MFA in Cinema Directing from Columbia College Chicago.
Jenni Powell is the Emmy Award-winning producer of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Welcome to Sanditon, lonelygirl15, Emma Approved and The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy. For two years she was Director of Content and Social Media for VidCon and was a producer at Felicia Day’s YouTube Premium Channel Geek & Sundry, where she produced the Geekie Award-Winning Talkin’ Comics Weekly. Most recently, she was Head of Production for NewMediaRockstars (rebranded to NewRockstars after her tenure) and is now tapping into her deep love of role-playing games, which she has been playing for over 20 years, by creating strategies for translating them from the game table to a consumable and entertaining visual medium. In her spare time, she is also a Faculty member of the New York Film Academy where she teaches Story Generation, New Media, Transmedia (table top games, role-playing games, web series, and more).
Kirsten Hageleit has been larping for 30 years, designing and running for the last twenty. She is most interested in how human beings compulsively create narrative, sometimes out of thin air; she is also convinced that while humans are flawed and inconvenient, we should use that for our own amusement whenever possible. Her work includes Limbo! (set in a tiki bar in Hell), The Game of Sunken Places (a meta-larp about game design), and the ENCORE! award-winning interactive theater piece One Last Thing Before You Go. She has also collaborated with her husband Aaron Vanek on a series of elaborate larps run in unlikely places, such as Intercon, Wyrd Con, Gen Con, and the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival® in Portland, OR. She swears a lot.