Edu-larps come in many shapes and colors, as they are of creative nature by design. Therefore our games and methods vary from short exercises to full day events, with longer feedback sessions and additional learning opportunities. Topics range from fantasy inspired worlds and “what if?”-scenarios all the way to modern day events. In an effort to emphasise the cooperative aspect of the project, all games were played and tested during special train-the-trainer meetings, benefitting from the different backgrounds and expertice of the project partners.
These short exercises, developed by LajvVerkstaden, are typically guided by an experienced host and can be played in less than 1 hour. The Goal is to get an easy intoduction into larping and how to set up your own larp.
A more serious toned larp about revolution and the concequences in an autocratic state.
School of Magic
Ever wondered, what it would be like to be teached by an evil wizard in a school full of mages? This exercise is especially designed for kids, but interesting for adults nonetheless.
Fish Bowl larp
This exercise goes into detail about the “how to” of designing and setting up a short larp experience.
more impressions of TTL1
Theatre of The Oppressed
Edu-larp: Minosia Labyrinth
At the inaugural training of the project „If I were in your shoes“, the partner organization Solar e.V. from Berlin presented the simulation game „Minosia Labyrinth“. The Minosia Labyrinth is an interactive and educational role-play and simulation game about migration in Europe, drawing on the principles of edu-larp.
Minosia Labyrinth is a game that takes place in Minosia, a fictional country in Europe where a considerable number of migrants arr ive due to different reasons. In the country there are about 10 official stations related with migration procedures, such as: Immigration Office, Asylum Centre, Language School, Border Police, etc. As in real life, a variety of migrants from diverse countries seek to move to Minosia, but integrating into the country— which means achieving a legal status, learning the language and finding a job— is filled with obstacles.
The game aims to raise awareness on the complexities of the migration process and the difficulties migrants and refugees face in Europe. During the game, players move within a kind of labyrinth of institutions and interactions with other players. In this way, they encounter various barriers, such as laws and regulations, deadlocked bureaucracy, language barriers, racism and discrimination, (de)privileges and prejudices.
The format of a simulation and role-playing game was chosen in order to make the stories and experiences relating to migration more real and tangible for the learners/players. As in the description of the overarching Erasmus Project, the game is a way for players to „step into the shoes“ of other groups— for example allowing people with migration backgrounds to try out the role of an immigration officer or journalist, on the other hand allowing people who have no experience with fleeing or migrating to step into the role of a refugee character. Each of the 28 participants received a different role to play and to understand. The game offers an entry to subsequently enter into a conversation about (institutionalized) racism, discrimination, privileges and stereotypes. Various educational methods and non-formal tools are integrated into the post-game debriefing.
Minosia Labyrinth has been developed as an educational toolkit for use in various (non-formal) educational sectors. The game is suitable for multipliers in various fields, such as non-profit organizations, schools, universities, teachers, social workers, youth workers, volunteers and professionals who work for and with migrants and refugees. The direct target groups are learners and trainees in (non-) formal adult and youth education from different fields, age and background. The game was born as a result of the collaboration of 4 partner organizations from The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Romania during a 3-year project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union. People with a migration and refugee background were some of the key contributors during game development, working both on the facilitation and game design, as well as telling the stories that became part of the narrative. At the international training event from „If I were in your shoes“, the English version was played, but multiple versions exist in the languages of the respective partner countries.
Click here for the Minosia Labyrinth Website
Edu-larp: Time Agents
Time Agents – Trollringen – Hug Him or Die
One of our big events in the program of TTL2 was the larp Time Agents, developed and adapted by LajvVerkstaden and LMU Munich. The original idea by the Swedish team revolved around time travel between historical events and would be easily adaptable for different themes/events/playgroups. So that’s exactly what we did. Adapting the play to our TTL2 main theme of “activism”, the teams split tasks and preparation of the three different sceneries inside the larp. In the final version players had to help activists from women rights protests, union strikers and the LGBTQAI+ movement as well as play as the oppressing side in each scenario to give contrast. We tried to capture the spirit of the settings by using basic contemporary costumes and props to encourage play. By design the larp tended towards lighthearted play without too much emphasis on historical correctness. Therefore, the actual larp was followed up by a session of reflection about our personal connections with activism and parallels to the events played out in the larp.
Trollringen designed by LajivVerskstaden is a larp in which players play characters of the forest based on northern or local mythology (e.g. trolls, faeries, nature spirits). The main plot is about three witches fighting about their influence on the real world. The player’s goal is to ease the witches and keep the balance of power in check, as well as to protect the forest from the clueless human forest ranger. Trollringen is based loosely on a book with the same title and focuses on topics of responsibility in nature and environmental positivity, while having a lot of fun. We had the luxury to actually play the larp outside in the venues garden during the evening hours, so it was all the more magical by itself!
“Hug Him or Die” is a small chamber larp we played during one evening of TTL2 and remixed during TTL3. As a chamber larp, it only needs one room to play and is rather short in general. But don’t be fooled! It packs a lot of emotional punch in this short time. The larp itself originates from an anthology of LGBTQAI+ themed larps gathered by RFSL (The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Rights) in cooperation with LajvVerkstaden, among others. The larp revolves around the struggles of a young homosexual boy to express his love to his best friend. Players impersonate the boy’s feelings like his excitement or fear and mostly talk about how (or not) to act on them, with the final decision on the line: Do you tell him your love when he wakes up?
The larp is written by Erland Nylund and you can find it here: http://www.erlandnylund.se/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Hug_him_and_die.pdf
Video series to educational approaches
For our third and final TTL we decided to create a little video series about the different activities and topics of our training.
Now, please listen in and enjoy!
Listen to Dr. Katrin Geneuss talking about remixing larps:
what it is and what aspects we need to consider.
Helena Hagegård summarizes the strengths of edu-larp .
Alessandro Giovannucci tells you more about the alteration of reality through larp design and the larp Chain Gang.
Metka Bahlen Okoli presents image Theatre from the methodology of Theatre of the Oppressed.
Another aspect of the whole project was to learn how to use our body as part of our expression. Cristina Maracambio will enlighten you on just how important a good session of warm up can be.
Carola Bambas introduced us to methods of exploring nature and raised our awareness for natural surroundings and artistic expression.
pictures from TTL3
Call and response: Che che kule
This is a children’s song in Swahili from the African country Ghana. In its original version, it is similar to “Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes”: there are movements that you do when you sing the song, such as touching head, shoulders, waist, knees and ankles. The song works according to the principle of ‘call and response’, it is usually sung in circles.
We modified the ritual a bit, still using it as a “call and response song”, but not limiting the movements to touching certain body parts. The leader chants a line in a certain manner and then everyone repeats it, trying to imitate the tone, the volume, the pace, etc. The exercise can be used for different purposes, for warming up the body and voice, interconnection, getting into different emotions states …
Someone takes on the role of improviser, the person who ‘sings on’, the others answer by repeating the words. The person who ‘sings on’ is completely free to interpret the song, as are the rest of us who repeat. So the rest of us can repeat or find our own expression in what was suggested. As one of the basic principles of the Theater of The Oppressed says, the expression of an individual cannot be ‘wrong’. Anyone in the circle can alternately take on the role of improviser.
From the clips available on the Internet, this is one of the ways that is close to how we performed the exercise in the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UccSgT3BXJA.
The text is as follows:
Che che kule
Che kofi sa
Kofi nsa langa
Kaka shi langa
Kum aden nde
Kum aden nde.
Larp: Chain Gang
by Francesca R. Cicetti, Alessandro Giovannucci
‘Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains’ – Jean Jacques Rousseau
Chain gang is a partially non-verbal chamber larp scenario that comes to life in a high-security penitentiary, where a group of inmates at hard labour is kept under control by the facility’s guards. All the inmates are guilty of a crime against the People, and have violated the President’s laws. All the guards have pledged their lives to the nation, the cause and the government. The game focuses on the use of movement, the concepts of freedom and slavery, the awareness of one’s own body and offers different and opposing experiences depending on the role one chooses to play. In the prison, the gang at hard labour works tirelessly to build a machine useful to the government it has always rebelled against. There is no other possibility. The austere and harsh gaze of the guards prevents any revolt. Prisoners no longer exist as individuals, but only as a group. Who they were before counts for nothing. So what is left for humans when one loses their freedom?
Players: up to 14
Duration: 2 h 30 (work-shop plus 4 chapters)
Genre: blackbox, distopic
Themes: objectification, judgement, freedom and life
Materials: construction bricks, gun and knife, scotch tape, printable materials altied, lights and sounds