I wasn't the Last Man on Earth, so I felt like I should start a new thread to talk about this game.
It was the first Nordic larp to be held in the US. It was played by women. I have about a million things to say about how interesting this larp was. I will probably post about a million things about it this week. I'll try to organize them all on this thread, and on Gaming as Women. Because fuck. People need to know about this. It was crazy mad fun and life changing. I'm not exaggerating. I think that this will change the way I game from here on out.
If you want some basic info about the game check out the official game page
, the libretto
, and my posts on Gaming as Women last week
Here's the summary of first thoughts I posted on G+
- The freezing nights in the cabin and the cold water in the shower really helped me immerse into that post-apocalyptic feel. It was awful, but perfect at the same time.
- The pre-game workshops were AMAZING. Everyone agreed this was a highlight for them. For me, the most intense things were the Guided Meditation, the Ars Amundi, and the first scenes we did in character with small groups of other characters before the game. In the Guided Meditation we were asked to lie on the floor in the dark. Then imagine a Wednesday afternoon in Real Life. Where were you? Who were you with? Then imagine all the men dying horribly around you, in the space of five minutes. What did you do? How did you feel? Now imagine one year later. Now three. Who are you, who are you with, what are you doing? Fucking insane how intense that was to imagine, how horrible, and how that put us right in our setting. The Ars Amundi was much more intimate and fun than I imagined. Ars Amundi is simulated sex and intimacy in a larp by touching only hands, arms, and the area between your shoulder blades. I thought going in that this would be silly. After doing it in with about 20 or so people, imagining how my character would do it, touching peoples finger bones, wrists, delicately pushing up sleeves... this really did feel fun, intimate, and safe. And then our first roleplaying scenes were short 5 min scenes we did in groups of about 10 to work out who our characters were. Those whose characters weren't in the scene jumped in to play NPC's, people's daughters, mothers, boyfriends, husbands, patients, colleagues, reporters. These were SO EFFECTIVE I want to use them in every game I play ever. We immediately felt connected to our characters, to who they were, to who they are, and what inner conflicts they had. Awesome awesome awesome.
- My character Linn was an ex-playboy model turned body collector. She was a bit of a leader, and a bit of a loner (she was the only character on her own, and there was also a pair of characters in the game, but everyone else had the "ideal" triad), and she had a gun. She was very human, very sociable, very fair minded and very strong. She was really complex. It was really interesting to hear after the larp what people's characters had thought of her. So many of her issues were so many of my issues. It was weird. Some of the most interesting things that came out of playing her were things that I didn't even think of before the larp. As I was playing that first day, everyone kept saying "so you're here alone, you're single, you don't have a family what are you going to do about that." After I heard it enough times it actually started to infuriate Linn/me. What's so wrong with being single? Aren't I strong enough to raise a child on my own? It made me nervous and anxious about trying to find a family to support Linn, and she became progressively vulnerable about it. It was sooooooooo much about being a single mother today, and that was intense. I also realized, even though Linn wanted to give birth, she was really career oriented, and so the more she talked to other women there the more she realized she would rather be a provider for the child after giving birth to it. This was extremely personal for me, because I've been struggling with that myself, and I learned from Linn that in real life that's something I'd be ok with doing.
- I loved the complexity of all of the characters and how everyone played them. These were difficult characters, with difficult and complex relationships, and the network that's baked in to the game I think was the strongest part mechanically of it. It worked on levels: our relationship to our character - our character's relationship with self - our character's relationship to their triad - our character's relationship to characters outside our triad - our character's relationships to other characters based on occupation, interests, demeanor, beliefs - our character's triad's relationships to other triads - our character's relationship to men - our character's relationship to the world - our character's relationship to motherhood... it just kept growing the longer you played.
- I was so impressed and interested by the people who had never larped or gamed before. The brought some really interesting mechanical issues up (I think there was a lot of confusing about how scenes worked, and the scope of the character sometimes) and also brought some hardcore intense and surprising roleplay. Very cool.
- I was also very surprised by how much the narrative was about women's relationships with men. Before the game we meditated on the loss of men, our first scene was describing the event and where we were and who was missing, men followed us in our scenes like ghosts always in the background, we were there to give birth an act one typically does with men, we had a scene where we told fond memories of the men in our lives, and finally a man returned in the last act to mess with our community. I kind of thought going in that there would be more of a focus on women, as compared to a focus on the absence of men, a small but important difference. Thinking more about this.
- I was also sad it ended early. I felt like there was a lot of interesting conflict we were about to work out. I was amongst the women who helped the last man escape, and we had literally just stopped him from trying to kill himself when the game ended. Boo. I wanted to wrap up my character arc, and allow other players to respond to the swift action we took.