Pelillisyys, gameful and playful learning, designing
J. Tuomas Harviainen is a chief librarian and larp designer, who after a master’s degree in theology moved on to studying information in games. He is currently writing his doctoral dissertation, on the subject of information behaviour in live-action role-playing environments, at the Department of Information Studies and Interactive Media, University of Tampere. Harviainen’s minilarps have been run in at least a dozen countries.
Larp design is a multi-formed beast. The variables are numerous, ranging from scale to local playing culture to player selection. One design issue that has thus far been sadly overlooked is the ephemeral nature of the product itself – most of what has been written about creating larps has been geared towards a designer-supervised single-run project, not repeatable scenarios. This article discusses variance in the latter type of larp, and then gives guidelines for creating them.