Looking for more LARPs about the vulnerability of the AI experience

edited September 2018 in Story Games
At GenCon 2018, I happened to wind up in two different LARPs where half or more of the PCs were artificial intelligences who were directly under human control and could be mind-wiped at will. Here Is My Power button is an emotional experience where AI players design themselves from scratch to fulfill the needs of human players, but the human players have the power to reject and restart them. In Factory Reset, all the players are AI robots waiting for routine maintenance that involves having their memories erased. For some of them, this hasn't happened in a long time, and they've developed personalities and sentience and personal goals, but they're still being marched off to the erasure machine just like their more limited, more regularly maintained brethren.

Today I played in a third LARP, Better Living Through Robotics, where roughly half the players were AI robots in the service of the human players, and my character in particular had had her programming subverted by a human character, was completely under her control, and was afraid of being ordered to do terrible and harmful things, or being destroyed at a whim or in a rage.

All three of these games interested me because of the way they explore the helplessness and vulnerability of being totally in the power of a human player or human system, and subject to its rules and whims. I'm putting together the beginnings of a feature article exploring this particular kind of game, and how AIs are being used to explore the victimization of an underclass, or the feeling of helplessness.

Do you happen to know of any other LARPs that specifically involve AI players dealing with these kinds of issues? I'd be very interested in broadening the range of the story here to encompass more games, if there are other good examples out there.

Comments

  • I believe Creators' Fair (do I remember the title right?) by Francesco @Rugerfred Sedda may be close enough to what you're looking for.
  • edited September 2018
    It's also the theme of Inhuman Conditions, a game (in crowdfunding in these days) from the author of Secret Hitler.
  • Have also a look at Delete me on these same pages.
  • I believe Creators' Fair (do I remember the title right?) by Francesco @Rugerfred Sedda may be close enough to what you're looking for.
    The description of that does sound VERY much like what I'm looking for, thank you. But is there an English-language version online somewhere? I'm only seeing the descriptions on con pages, and some jpgs that may be supplementary stuff for the game, but that aren't loading for me.
    It's also the theme of Inhuman Conditions, a game (in crowdfunding in these days) from the author of Secret Hitler.
    Oh wow, they launched and I missed it! That's exciting. I know about the game — I'm one of the people who blurbed it for the Kickstarter! — but it doesn't really fit the bill here, since it's not really a story game, it's more of a short competitive card game, and it's not really about vulnerability — the AIs in that game are just as likely to kill the investigator as to be killed.
  • I believe Creators' Fair (do I remember the title right?) by Francesco @Rugerfred Sedda may be close enough to what you're looking for.
    The description of that does sound VERY much like what I'm looking for, thank you. But is there an English-language version online somewhere? I'm only seeing the descriptions on con pages, and some jpgs that may be supplementary stuff for the game, but that aren't loading for me.
    Well, I'm not even sure this is one of those larp scenarios you put a "larpscript" for on the Internet and strangers can then pick it up and run it... But what do I know? Try contacting @Rugerfred - I'm sure he'll be very happy to arrange something if that's remotely possible.
    I see the Story Games account linked to that nickname has never been used to post anything, so perhaps try any of the contact options found on www.rugerfred.com.
  • Anna Kreider's game Homunculus http://www.goldencobra.org/pdf/2017/Homunculus - AKreider.pdf
    Oooh, I hadn't seen that one before, and it's fascinating. Thanks!
  • I very strongly recommend Ex Nihilo, which I had the pleasure to play at Consequences UK last November. It was written at the excellent Peaky UK writing workshop about three years ago, and it's about exactly the topics you're looking for.

    Four of the players are scientists experimenting on newly-created AIs played by the other players. There's a system by which the AIs begin with a limited emotional range, and master new emotions (with various consequences) in play, leading to various possible ends.

    The researchers not only experiment on the AIs but can induce new emotions by doing so, and have a "reset" procedure to wipe the AIs memories when they don't like the results...

    The game is an entertaining but very intense character study in AIs caught between the conflicting goals of human overlords and their own natures, and humans caught between their professional goals and their connections to the developing minds of the AIs.

    Peaky publish their games cheaply; I don't know if Ex Nihilo is polished for print yet, but the lead writers were GMing the Consequences 2018 run and they're all friendly people, so drop them an email and you'll be able to find out.
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