I'm part way through this, and have just read "An Essay on Rapture". What is this doing in the book?
I don't object to the piece as such. As fake "found documents" go it's a mildly interesting read.
But it seems like an editorial lapse to have included it. It's bad enough getting past the articles that are about larp but are unreadably boring (I was very glad I wasn't reviewing the book, so I could skip some articles), without wading through a piece of fiction masqeurading as an essay that has only an implied "magical" relevance to larp.
Elge, if you're still reading this forum, this question is directed at you. I will appreciate a candid angry outburst in response, if you have another one in you.
I thought Gabriel Wilding's article on 6 Common Mistakes was very good.
John Kim's article on social status was quite interesting although I am not sure I agree with much of it. I might sit down and write up my thoughts on that later.
I liked the Campaign Director's A-Z as well. Nice and easy to read with some good simple tips.
The more 'academic' articles I skimmed over. I'm more of a practical-minded person and don't really dig 'theory' at the best of times. I have NO idea what 'This Book, Replayed' was about though. There were words there and they were strung in sentences, but beyond that it meant nothing.
The stuff on political larping was quite interesting for some of the ideas, but I thought all three articles were quite samey - the three games talked about seemed to have similar ideas and objectives - 'educating' about political viewpoints through a simulated reality. So I think just one article would have been fine for conveying those ideas.
I agree with Ryan's views on the whole 'Tower' section. Vaguely entertaining to read, but I'm not sure what the point was.
After that it all went very academic and abstract again so I got bored and just skimmed through to the end.
So, I'm guessing I'm probably not the target audience for this. But I definitely liked the more practical-minded articles - ie the ones with hints, tips and suggestions and would liked to have seen more of that.
I liked John Kim's article, I think he's right about the interplay of OOC and IC social status. One thing he didn't cover was larps where everyone is a PC and makes their own character (no NPCS). In those cases, I think the people who end up as IC leaders are still often OOC leaders, without any GM fiat to make it happen. It just happens organically. It usually takes some experience in people management to pull together an IC team and lead it, and people are more likely to follow someone who they respect OOC. His points about gender and social status were very interesting, I hadn't considered how having most IC leadership roles be male could lead to a closed loop of IC/OOC status reenforcement for male players.
I also enjoyed Johanna MacDonald's article There You Are, There You Ain’t. It's a bit high-concept and not necessarily of practical use for larp, but it's a nice personal story about a larp-related experience that makes one think. It made me consider to what extent our real lives are a performance, and to what extent our performances in life and in larp are shaped by the environment, not by our personal choices as we might prefer to think.
I agree with Tylorva, theres a lot of thought-provoking stuff on the practical side here - it was interesting to see how many of the "6 mistakes" I've been guilty of in the past. It'd be interesting to see what a game designed to avoid one would look like.
I'm glad to see that some of the articles found interested readers here, and i'm NOT about to launch any angry outbursts (not today, the sun is shining, birds chirping, all's well with the world).
The strained "House that Larp Built" metaphor seemed to be a necessity, since the articles were running in all kinds of directions and thus really needed some roof over their head.
As for the mysterious "Rapture" it was included for a couple of reasons: for those in the know, which wouldn't include any of this forum's readers, the flashbacks was to actual games, so it would be of interest for the nordic crowd. But more important, I thought this short story raised some intrguing questions about the origins of inspired writing, as I said in the preface - Where do our stories come from, and where do they go?
About the whole "Tower" section, I found it interesting to see that larp could be used as a starting point or launching ground for writings that in fact was about other things than larp. I see such a development as a proof that (if only for larpers) larping has reached a level where it can spawn non-larpish things. The same goes for some of the texts in "The Study" and also for "Participatory Education".
BTW on education: read in the 2009 and 2008 books about the school where the WHOLE curriculum is transmitted by larping.
These books - there are now about 8 or 9 of them depending on how you count - have always been rather many-faced and few are those who read all texts in all of them. Search the net and you will find them, there are lots of material which may be inspiring or provoking. There is no "target audience" (except larpers in general), the books are more or less intentionally aimed for a very varied group of readers.
And of course, I should have been a more stern editor, but I do agree with Mae West: you can't have too much of a good thing. Besides, you have no idea of what cutting I forced the writers to do .... phew! Authors....
I can see why you might want to be inclusive, as there's probably an audience for the more out-there stuff like the fiction. I like the philosophical stuff, for example, whereas many people probably wouldn't.
I just wish the fiction had been in an appendix with some signposting saying "the following stuff is not the usual Knutepunkt articles" so I could have just ignored it. Then you could have called it the folly, perhaps.