Larp + LCD projector = ???

edited May 2007 in Story Games
In the last half an hour, I have become the owner of an aging LCD projector. Specifically, it's a InFocus LitePro 580, if that matters. It is kinda dim, though, so the room it is in will likely need to be otherwise dark for it to be visible. (Or could I use the dimness to my advantage, like projecting an image on the wall which is invisible with the lights on, but then I turn out the lights at the right moment and reveal the image?)

I immediately started thinking about how I could use this thing in a LARP. I've been itching to write and run another one shot LARP for a little while, and this could potentially be a really cool prop. (I work in a college Media Center, so I could feasibly create some video or Powerpoint to project using the thing, depending.) I'm thinking in terms of LARP right now, because I can't think of obvious uses for a tabletop game (though this is an awesome use of an LCD projector for old school dungeon crawls).


At the moment, what occurs to me is to make a dystopian, 1984 game, and have various government oppression images projected onto a wall. You know, like Big Brother's face, slogans in Doublespeak, images of rebellion being crushed, etc.

Or something weird and creepy, like eyes watching you. Maybe a game in the vein of Videodrome and other technology paranoia movies (um, eXistenz, Avalon, Blade Runner, The Matrix, etc.).

I was at one point considering running Arturo G's Game Chef Game The Red Death as a LARP, and I think one of the rooms could use the projector projecting mood appropriate images. I can probably set up to have something similar playing on two TVs and one or two computers, give or take. So maybe several rooms could have images being displayed throughout. (The additional TVs and such could be used for any game, not just the Red Death.)



So, does anyone have any awesome ideas for how to use an LCD projector to enhance a LARP or tabletop game?

Comments

  • If you wanted to induce a sense of bizarre unreality, you could also hook up a webcam and get some projector feedback going.
  • Posted By: Albert AIf you wanted to induce a sense of bizarre unreality, you could also hook up a webcam and get someprojector feedbackgoing.
    That's really, really cool. Now I just need to borrow someone's video camera. And come up with a cool plot where such a special effect would be appropriate.


    Drug user who can externalize their drug experience? A warp in space and time, like some Star Trek time travel episode? Holodeck AI goes insane?
  • Posted By: Albert AIf you wanted to induce a sense of bizarre unreality, you could also hook up a webcam and get someprojector feedbackgoing.
    Also, just using the more abstract video there to project would be cool for something. One video is nothing but pulsing spirals of green light. That's great for any sort of "energy vortex" or disembodied intelligent beings the plot may require.
  • You could also tell the players that the projector is not there and whatever pictures it casts do not exists for the characters. But players are free to incorporate whatever they pretend not to see (and thus can't focus onto) into their play. That could either be a very subtle tool for pushing the general mood of the game and players emotions towards something - or an utter failure that kills player concentration.

    Also, the educational videos from tv-Series Lost or from the computer game Fallout come to mind.
  • This would take some hacking, but: the game designer John Cooper had a party trick he did one time where he pointed a video camera at the room the party was in, put the video output on a ten-minute delay, then threw it onto the TV in the very same room.

    You could take that in all kinds of story directions, from comedy of manners to Philip K. Dick.
  • Well, if you want to get hardcore about it, incorporate it into the mechanics. Show a moon, going through various phases, and give people different powers depending on the phase. That sort of thing.

    Graham
  • edited May 2007
    I know of a convention game a few years back in which one was used in a very straightforward way - the big bad guy used to to give a power point presentation explaining how and why everyone else was doomed.
  • Posted By: Graham WWell, if you want to get hardcore about it, incorporate it into the mechanics. Show a moon, going through various phases, and give people different powers depending on the phase. That sort of thing.
    Sweetness. That is a really cool idea, that I need to figure out how to incorporate into the game.


    If the projector has no input, it projects a solid royal blue. So I think it would be cool to have colors connect to the powers, emotions, abilities, etc. that characters had (a la Arturo game linked to before), and then have the color blue be a "critical failure" state for everyone. Or maybe just a "pause the game while we work out the technical difficulties" signal, which might be more reasonable.
  • Posted By: misubaThis would take some hacking, but: the game designer John Cooper had a party trick he did one time where he pointed a video camera at the room the party was in, put the video output on a ten-minute delay, then threw it onto the TV in the very same room.

    You could take that in all kinds of story directions, from comedy of manners to Philip K. Dick.
    That would be cool, if I could figure out how to do it. It justs asks for some sort of time travel plot, of some kind.
  • edited May 2007
    Posted By: Mike SandsI know of a convention game a few years back in which one was used in a very straightforward way - the big bad guy used to to give a power point presentation explaining how and why everyone else was doomed.
    I wish I'd been there! That sounds hilarious.

    I once ran a d20 Modern game where all the PCs were hired as troubleshooters for a big megacorporation. I came up with a orientation PowerPoint and made them sit through it. I think I was the only one having blast, though. I used every animation trick in the book to make it a satire.
  • The players are military opponents, stranded by combat, away from the action... but dependant on each other for immediate survival.

    The projector shows, far in the distance, the progress and outcome of the battle.
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