Psychology researcher, professor, and LARPer Dr. Sarah Lynne Bowman joins us for a fascinating discussion of LARP and the psychology of play and roleplaying! Sarah had an enormous amount of information to pass along to us about different styles of live-action roleplay, terminology and concepts in LARP and in the psychology of play, the seeming dichotomy between tabletop and live-action play, and so much more. It’s a bit less organized than many of our episodes, simply because we let Sarah take charge of much of the conversation, but we definitely think it turned out better for that! (And check below for a long list of links Sarah provided for us.)
We also answer a question from Patreon supporter Paige, who wanted to know how much time we spend each week on tabletop gaming; briefly discuss Overwatch; and mention Bottlequest, a Golden Cobra two-page LARP game we used in our recent Fellowship game as a one-shot bottle episode mechanic. Plus, a bit more information about fake beards and Fear the Con X!
For more information about Sarah, check out her website and her book, The Function of Role-Playing Games: How Participants Create Community, Solve Problems, and Explore Identity. You can also check out the Game to Grow episode we hosted, where Sarah was a guest; she’s been on and hosted a few other episodes as well.
Things mentioned in this episode, or passed on after recording by Sarah:
- Living Games Conference
- Nordic Conference (Knutepunkt)
- The Hirelings, a one-shot LARP
- Larps From The Factory
- “Papers” (a Nordic LARP)
- “Immersion into LARP: Theories of Embodied Narrative Experience” – an article by Dr. Bowman
- Shut Up & Sit Down’s painfully intense review of Dog Eat Dog
- Dystopia Rising (LARP community)
- LARPs: Legion: Siberian Story. Conscience; Magischola; Enlightenment in Blood (Vampire); End of the Line; Just a Little Lovin’; Kapo;
- TED Talk: The Power of Vulnerability
- The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)
Special thanks to Peter for editing this one while Grant was on vacation—especially given how long the episode went!