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Prolog

I just got home from Prolog, a Swedish larp convention, and there is so much bubbling in my brain that I need to write it down before I can go to sleep... Because Prolog was such a different experience than I expected it to be!


I've been to Knudepunkt/Knutpunkt twice now, a big international 'Nordic' larp convention. There you can fill the whole day with many interesting talks about larp design and how for example to design properly for deep emotional themes. There are some short larps and some workshops/talks that are also interesting for 'just' players and interested people, but mainly it's pretty academic and a pretty high standard. You mostly meet high status organizers and with my 15 years of larp experience, I feel pretty new.
I'd expected Prolog be somewhat along the same lines but smaller and with more duct tape, but boy was I wrong. People had 'warned' me before it was something else, but I just couldn't grasp the concept. Don't get me wrong, I really like and appreciate KP, that's not what this is about. I just want to sketch my idea a bit and the only thing I can compare it to is KP.



Prolog is so much more than just designers talking larps, it's a social platform where everbody talks larp(design). Not even mentioning how it's super well organized and smoothly run. The social part is a lot bigger than at KP and it's a lot more relaxed. I've met lots people that have done only 1 or maybe 2 larps and just came to socialize and get to know people. There were a lot of workshops and talks that had something to do with larps on a totally different level, like crafting and singing. There were social gatherings before and after bigger larp events where players can meet up and talk about whatever. And so many short larps! I think half of the program was larps. I didn't do any of those, because I didn't dare yet in Swedish, but oh my, next time! I've heard so many good stories now...


There are of course also talks about larp design, I've seen a few and they were very good. But most of the talking about larp design is just in the corridors, at the dinner table, over a cup of coffee when your just chilling. Everybody talks larp. If they ask you what kind of larps you like and went to, they are asking much more than just "vampires or elves?". And this was probably the most shocking and eye-opening in a good way. Talking about larp design and choices that can be made is just so damn normal here. It's like the Prolog version of 'no shit there I was'. They have words for thing I hardly realized were concepts and it's all just so normal.
I always had this feeling that organizing larps is a thing that is done by people that possess this special magic. They do this crazy super-secret magic blood ritual at full moon and then an obscure deity installs the plot in their brain. I don't have magic and am not invited to the ritual, so I can't be an organizer. Slowly this was starting to change in recent years, and I thought it was because I was learning the steps of the ritual. Coming back from this weekend and having talked to a lot of Swedes this past year, I realize my perspective was all wrong. It's nothing magic, it's just building with lego. You built your lego house as an organizer and then people play with the house. I still have no clue what a house of mine could someday be like, but somehow it suddenly struck me this weekend that it wouldn't be impossible. I don't need to have been born with any special magic ability, this is a thing you can learn. At least everybody here somehow did.


I feel this knowledge enriches my ability as a player so much too. Because now I get the words and the concepts so much better and therefor I know so much better how to respect them. Because as a player I want to make the vision of my organizer come true. I want to respect them, help them and make it better, so my experience will be the best it can be. And I feel like I never understood how I could do that, because I didn't know the magic. But I can totally play with lego. And I can figure out which lego I like best as a player and go to those events that tell me that is how they are building their houses.


This past year has given me so much insight, with this past weekend as like the final push to drive it all home, and I can't wait to see what else there is out there. I want to learn the effect of all the choices and concepts and after 15 years, again start to discover what I like from scratch.


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