Including children in larp

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There’s an interesting post in the larpers BFF Facebook group about Bunker 101, a Fallout-inspired larp from the Italian group Chaos League. While some of it is the usual post-game report, the core is about the way the larp incorporated children as participants. The larp included family units, so most of the time the parents were larping with their kids, but they did a few things to make that easy:

  • While adult players had pre-written characters, children’s characters were developed collaboratively via Skype, asking questions about what they did and didn’t want to do during the larp.
  • GMs specifically introducing their NPCs to children to establish relationships
  • The pre-game briefing specifically encouraged the adults to role-play with children rather than ignoring them.
  • An intro tour, where children were taken round the game space in character and introduced to at least one person in every area to develop relationships and get involved. As the tour went on, the children were incresingly given tasks to which got them to meet more people, involved them, and got them to make decisions. If you’ve played Fallout 3, you’ll recognise this technique from its introduction, and it seemed to work in person just as well as in a computer game.
  • A GM who was basicly there to work with the kids and make their game more interesting, and who could be aproached to find ways to involve them.

…all of which apparently worked out very well, at least for that player and their child.

They’re considering doing a Knutpunkt article or Nordic Larp Talk about their methods, but the above is enough to steal from. And I can see how it could be used quite effectively to include children in a larp like Rose and Dragon, where the focus isn’t primarily combat.