2015 WyrdCon book

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The Wyrd Con Companion Book 2015 is out:

dropbox.com/s/xslwh0uxa5440 … l.pdf?dl=0

Articles I’ve enjoyed so far:
[ul]
[li] Decoding the Default: Secrets and Powers Larp (Nat Budin): a quick and dirty intro to ordinary theatre-style larp, which is often ignored in these discussions as it is the default in many communities. Its interesting in illustrating the slightly different thinking about these games in the US, such as the focus on narrative - not really something we explicitly focus on here IMHO.[/li]
[li] Writing Game Economies for Larp (Rob McDiarmid): Or, “How to turn your larp into World of Warcraft”. There’s a lot of assumptions behind this: the larp is mostly about combat; the mechanics are sufficiently granular that small differences in items make a difference in combat etc. But it is a good introduction to what you want to think about if you want a game to have a functioning economy.[/li]
[li] Crossgender Role-playing in Russian Larps (Olga Vorobyeva): Basicly how a way women found to participate in the face of a preference for hard historical laprs 9with hard historical gender-roles) is facing pushback from an increasingly bigoted society.[/li]
[li] Imagining the Future with Planetfall: Mobile Technology and Hard Science in Science Fiction Larping (Matthew Webb): Not just about using an Android phone to replace your character sheet and simulate knowledge skills by sticking QR codes on everything, but also about how to do a hard SF larp. Its insipirational reading.[/li][/ul]

I have not delve dinto the academic section yet, but the titles don’t thrill me.

I’m reading “Cultivating Responsible Masculinity in Gaming Communities”.

It’s full of excellent advice about caring for the people around you, which is relevant in larp communities but also in life in general. I’ve already followed some of the advice (about acknowledging mistakes, not downplaying others’ concerns and making genuine apologies) outside the larp community, and it was actually quite satisfying.

That article has also prompting me to reconsider some of the interactions I see in the local larp community. For example, do we have too many sexualised jokes that tend to be at women’s expense, making them feel uncomfortable? Those comments are often “just for laughs” and not intended in a harmful way, and may be made IC as an aspect of a macho or jokester character. However, it’s notable that they are usually made by men, and directed at women, and that some of the humour is derived from the embarrassment caused to the target. So it does seem to be part of a social trend that’s demeaning to women.