Some stats on larps


#1

In response to a throwaway comment here on “how many larps run more than once?”, I did some number crunching using the LarpResume database of larps. This dataset is patchy - fairly complete for NZ, Intercon, and the major NE US cons, with smatterings of UK and elsewhere - but probably good enough to get an idea from among those communities. The results? Of 606 games listed (including some duplicates), 4 have never run (!); 299 have run once, 139 twice, 72 three times, 38 four times, 19 five times, 13 six times, 6 seven times, 4 eight times, 1 nine times, 4 ten times, and 7 more than ten times.

The full dataset is here.

I’ve also started coding games for nationality, countries they have run in, and whether they are published. I’ve extracted the NZ data to a seperate tab. FYI

  • There are 106 NZ games in the database. Which is a phenomenal output when you think about it - we’re writing a fairly significant number of games (should I add a “year first run” column?)
  • 58 of them have only run once.
  • the NZ game with the most overall runs is “Black Hart of Camelot”
  • the NZ games with the most runs in NZ are “But Nobody Loses and Eye!” and “Bad Dreams; Alien”
  • the NZ game which has been run the most overseas is “Black Hart of Camelot” (US, Canada and Australia)

Also, those seeking inspiration for what to run at future Chimeras and Hydras could do worse than looking at the list of the most popular games overall and running one of those (many are publicly available).


#2

Cool. Love how smooth that curve is.

I suspect there are massive number of runs of many larps that aren’t on larpresume, some like The Last Voyage of the Mary Celeste have probably been run untold times, possibly hundreds as they’ve been around for decades and are staples of US theatre-style larp.

I think there’s a Dunedin run of Camelot missing, I believe Daphne (norectangulars) ran it on March 5th 2011.


#3

[quote=“Ryan Paddy”]Cool. Love how smooth that curve is.

I suspect there are massive number of runs of many larps that aren’t on larpresume, some like The Last Voyage of the Mary Celeste have probably been run untold times, possibly hundreds as they’ve been around for decades and are staples of US theatre-style larp.[/quote]

Yes. Its fairly complete over the last few years, but probably missing info from some of the older Intercons.

There is an obvious solution here.


#4

No mention of Super Sparkle Action Princess GX (an NZ LARP). :unamused:


#5

It relies on a GM or player to add the details. Sometimes it’s hard to remember dates and details as well.


#6

[quote=“The Keeper”]No mention of Super Sparkle Action Princess GX (an NZ LARP). :unamused:[/quote]It’s had two local runs that are both in the resume db (and was on Idiot’s NZ list in the detailed spreadsheet.) If there were any other runs, no one’s told me about them.


#7

I’ve updated this. The 2015 dataset is here:

docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ … sp=sharing

It has great data on NZ games (because I enter it), good data on US New England games, some on the UK (focused on Consequences), and very patchy everywhere else.

The core conclusions still stand: around half of games only run once, and just over 70% only run once or twice. Around 10% have run five or more times. The most run game in the database is “Dance and the Dawn”, with 23 runs, but of course Final Voyage of the Mary Celeste (which has 20 listed runs) has an enormous number of runs not listed. “The Road Not Taken”, “Time Travel Review Board” and “Plan Eight From Outer Space” round out the top five. These games are all publicly available, but no-one has run the last three in NZ yet AFAIK. That might be worth looking into (no, I’m not doing it; none of them are my thing). All-up, only 20 games have been run 10 or more times.

The global larp community (well, the bits covered) seems to produce ~150 theatre-style games a year. Which is a heck of a lot.

For NZ, there are now 178 NZ games listed in the database.
[ul]
[li] 93 of them have only run once.[/li]
[li] the NZ game with the most overall runs is “Black Hart of Camelot” (11)[/li]
[li] the NZ game with the most runs in NZ is “Graduation Day”[/li]
[li] the NZ games which have been run the most overseas is “Black Hart of Camelot” (US, Canada and Australia) and “The Devil’s Brood” (US, South Africa, UK)[/li]
[li] the most run unpublished games are “The Scummit” and “Bad Dreams: Alien” (that’s a hint to the authors to do something about that)[/li][/ul]


#8

2016 update here. Usual disclaimers about the quality of the dataset apply:

The power-law distribution still holds. The most run game is still “The Dance and the Dawn”, at least on listed runs, but its worth noting that its had only half as long as “Mary Celeste” to accumulate that total (and in practice, most have been since its kickstarter release in 2012). The hot mover is “Drink Me”, which has racked up 15 runs in just two years, which suggests it must be doing something right (it will get its first NZ run at Kapcon in January).

There are now 200 NZ larps listed in the database. The most popular overall are “Betrothals and Betrayals” and “Black Hart of Camelot” with 11 runs each. The most run in NZ are “Graduation Day” and “Delicious Friends”, with 6 runs each, but they don’t have much of a lead - there’s a lot of games which have had 5 local runs. If you’re looking for a larp bucket list, working your way through them isn’t a bad start.

Less than 10% of larps are run outside their own country, but that number is only 5% for NZ, despite having a much higher publication rate.


#9

There is an obvious solution here.
[/quote]
I can confirm that game was run; I played in it. I’m also considering running it again down here since the player base is nearly completely different than it was six(!!) years ago and it’s a great intro to live-action combat.


#10

I have it listed as March 12, 2011, based on an old Diatribe post.

And yes, its a great game. There’s a reason its one of the top NZ games :slight_smile:

With larpresume if you think something is missing the best solution is to create a user and add it. And add your own larp history while you’re at it. If you play a lot of games, an external memory prosthetic is kindof useful that way.