Safety and Check-in Techniques during the Workshop
Larps are immersive experiences and players can feel very connected to their
and others’ characters and the situation at hand. Hence, while larping, safety and check-in mechanics or meta-techniques support players being in control of, and enjoying their experience. In our workshop, we will practice and use these techniques. E.g. a fist on top of one’s head will signal a break to talk outside the context of the larp world. This can used to discuss needs and desires of the players as players or as characters (e.g. a possible narrative turns a player would like their character to experience), which impact the larp situation once the “break” is over.
Limitations of the First-person Larping Experience
Throughout the workshop, we will actively acknowledge and reflect on the limitations of larp as a way to ‘walk in the shoes of others.’ Role-playing
an experience is significantly different from living it. E.g. people with visual impairments have developed functional strategies to act in their everyday life; yet, people who suddenly experience a loss of vision (intended like when blindfolded or not) do not have access to these strategies. Blindness is hence experienced very differently in these situations. While larping constitutes one of the stronger tools available for gaining insights into unfamiliar experiences and marginalized perspectives, those insights should not be confused with the first-hand experience of users and should not overshadow the need to include the voice of these users in the design process (Spiel et al., 2017).
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