Many of you know that I am a gamer. I like some board games, but I mostly do tabletop role play and LARP (Live Action Role Play). There are many, many different kinds of games out there, in a huge range from extremely silly to extremely serious. I generally tend to prefer the serious ones (which are more akin to improv acting than to “playing a game”), because they give me a chance to explore situations and emotions in a safe environment. Every time I play one, I learn a little bit more about my friends and about myself.
Writing always helps me to sort out my feelings. I started this document a few days after JaLL, when my thoughts were still pretty scattered, and I was feeling disassociated from the real world. At the time, I wasn’t really sure what kind of writing was going to come out. What I’ve ended up with is a 60+ page memorial outlining my experiences as both character and player. The reason for this is threefold:
- My memories won’t always be as vivid as they are right after the game, and I like knowing that I can go back and relive the experience by reading my own thoughts and feelings about it.
- I’ve loved reading the stories of other JaLL participants; of living some of the same scenes I experiences through their eyes, and of hearing about stories I had no idea were happening. I’m hoping my feller JaLLers will enjoy mine just as much.
- I have a lot of trouble describing JaLL to people who haven’t experienced it. More specifically, it is indescribable to people who haven’t experienced or even heard of Nordic style LARPing, and this will give me a chance to explain how and why “re-enacting the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s” was such a genuinely fulfilling experience.
In addition to telling my character’s story, I will also be explaining some of the game mechanics. In addition to explaining what a Black Box scene is and how we used feathers to represent certain aspects, there will be spoilers re: the Lottery of Death. Interspersed into the character’s first-person narrative, I will be adding the thoughts that I had as a player. Afterwards, I will go into the debrief and some of my feelings post-game.