In 2010, before going to Knudepunkt, before going to Solmukohta, before starting this blog, and even before reading Leaving Mundania, I talked to the French audience of Les GNiales about my experience larping in the USA (mostly Vampire) and Switzerland (all kinds).

Two years later, here is an English translation of my first attempt at international larp promotion and analysis. Actually a live English translation was done for two visiting jeepers, now that I remember.

Some of the content will be anti-climactic for people who already watched my Swiss larp special , but the commentary on American stuff should be new to an English-speaking audience.

For an American perception of Nordic larp, I highly recommend Lizzie Stark’s Nordic Larp for Noobs. Now all we need are American and Nordic perceptions of French and Swiss larp and we’ll have come full circle.




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7 Responses to Larp in the USA , as seen through the eyes of a Frenchman larping in Switzerland

  1. Aaron says:

    Great presentation! It seems to be pretty accurate on the large scale for the U.S. as well, but of course, the larp scene here is in such flux that two years later, small changes are occurring.

    Thanks for doing the English version!

    • Thomas B. says:

      Thanks for the kinds words! Had there been a Live Game Labs equivalent in San Francisco in the early 2000s, I would have loved it and my image of US larp would have been transformed.

  2. Evan says:

    Thanks, Thomas!

    I saw that you were leaning heavily on American film documentation of larp which, as I argued in my 2011 KP article for “Think Larp,” is a somewhat unreliable source of raw material in the level of staging required to achieve it. Then again, it presents us with the image problem that we American larpers can continue to improve over time.

    I really appreciated the footage of the ninjas, though…

    • Thomas B. says:

      Thanks Evan, I actually relied first and foremost on the experience of American larpers I played Vampire larp with that also played boffer. Because this was only 2-3 people, I wanted to get more sources (and some visuals) and watched documentaries of varying quality. As you’ll see in last year’s article, I’m aware of shortcomings a larp journalism in general:

      And now I need to dive in “Think” again, I dropped out at some point 🙂

      Reading Leaving Mundania and talking to more US larpers at Solmukohta confirmed most of the things I don’t like about US larp, but also made me aware that I completely missed out on the Intercon / Live Game Labs one-shot scenes. So I stand by my generalities and stereotypes, but have found a minority that suits my tastes much better!

      For the full-length ninja experience and more French/Swiss larp movies, check out this 1-pager:

      • Thomas B. says:

        So I read your paper in Think Larp and really liked it, it is well constructed and I agree with most of its points. Did you the final form you wish for materialize / did the documentary your mention at the end meet your expectations?

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