What is LARP?

Larp stands for Live Action Role Play, a type of interactive experience where participants take on the role of a character using costuming, props, and other theatrical techniques. They then immerse themselves for a time in a world designed especially for them. Participants become the main characters in a story they write together. Larp is sometimes described as being like a movie, but instead of passively watching the action unfold, you are part of it.

Larp is similar to cosplay, but you’re not dressing up as someone else’s character. Instead you are creating your own character. It’s also a bit similar to historical re-enactment, but the goal of a larp isn’t to re-enact anything, rather to create something new, even when it is set in a realistic historical time period.

Larp is often described as a game, and it’s true that larp can be a game, but we believe something special happens when you subtract winning and losing from this type of gameplay. Where the action of a tabletop role-playing game is described, or the action of a videogame is the audio and video that game gives back to you, the action in larp is embodied.  What you do is what you do, what you say is what you say, and the game is driven through your interaction with others.

In a larp, players use their imaginations to enact/perform/play a role.  They entertain themselves, and each other.  Larp designers and organizers use their imaginations to afford players possibilities. Larp asks “what if?”  What kind of things could you create if the limit was your imagination?  What kind of stories could you tell?