What’s Nordic Larp?


Larp derives from the acronym Live Action Role Play.  Most larping involves fantasy, sci-fi, horror or some other genre and has an escapist agenda where people can pretend to be awesome wizards or whatever.

Nordic larp is very different.  As the name suggests, it developed in the Nordic countries, and it tackles serious themes.

There are larps about … the AIDS epidemic in the early 80s, the Cuban Missile Crisis, a world in which all the men have died, an Ursula le Guin-inspired planet with different gender concepts, advertising agencies, concentration camps … anything at all really.  Some larps are more like abstract performance art.  At Knutpunkt, the 2014 convention for Nordic larp, I played one-third of a small boy, taking turns to improvise dialogue and abstract movement.  I played a bisexual man exploring BDSM.  I explored an alternative ‘Wall Street’ in which currency is exchanged for tiny gestures.  And I played a blind creature evolving in a mysterious new world.

There’s a bit of a move on to re-name Nordic larp as Progressive larp.  Or Proglarp.  Or Prognorp.  But whatever it’s called, the world needs more of it.

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