The Maturation of Larp: Uses in Education

larp education
Courtesy of London Art on Flickr.

For a long time larp has been something that was done primarily out of sight at boy scout camps, masquerading at a local bar, and occasionally stumbling into the public’s vision at a local park. However, that’s slowly but surely changing for a couple of different reasons. The first is simply that many people who were exposed to larp years ago have now matured into their careers and life stages and are bringing their love of larp into their life. The second reason is that larp is entering into the media more and more all the time. Everything from TV shows on MTV, Disney and movies like Role Models to big exposure from books like Leaving Mundania by Lizzie Stark.

Larp as a Tool

Now that larp is making baby steps into main stream culture there have crept up some very interesting ways to use larp as a tool, primarily for teaching. There have been several different projects that we’ve seen using larp to teach kids varying skills or pieces of knowledge. This is a really cool use of larp and we hope there are more that come up on the future. Check out these two different projects:

Hit Seekers

According to their Kickstarter page, Hit Seekers is a “Hit Seekers is an educational live action role-playing game that aims to help students in mathematics.” Essentially, students take on the roles of music label executives and then take on the responsibility of developing an artist and then making as much money as possible for the artist and the record label. The curriculum helps students focus on their math skills and includes “royalty percentages, income projections, budgeting, word problems, ratios and rates, and, as they promote the albums at different (fictional) clubs in geometric shapes, area and even trigonometry problems.” Stuff most students won’t think about until long after high school. Consider donating to them.

Larp Adventure Program

Larp Adventure Program: Faros Trailer. This program is set in a sci-fi, fantasy setting and is part of the that also puts on summer camps for kids centered around larping. This is more of a personal development tool than it is for education, but is still really interesting as the students are participating in a really well laid out atmosphere and game program.

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3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Martin July 11, 2012 Subscriber

    Nice to see LARP in education more and more places 🙂
    Over here, in Denmark, we have used it in many schools for some years now. One is even build up around the concept of only using LARP as a teaching method (Østerskov Efterskole

    Unfortunately the is not so many books on this specific subject yet, all though I found this this from the rollespils akademiet (roleplay academi).
    They are a company that works professionally with LARP, again in Denmark, but they have also been to Greenland and have a really long and good experience base to take from. Some of the books are for free on pdf and some cost a little.

    Otherwise I have also found the site, really informative and inspiring. Especially this five videos.

    Just as a last thing, know it had very little to do with this, but found the scenario “Delirium” very inspiring in the way it was set up and played out. See the doc about it here.

    Personally I think that making a LARP different and interesting, really helps the learning experience, especially if its build on a emotional experience.

  2. nperkins August 1, 2012 Subscriber

    I found the existence of these two educational Larps very interesting. I am excited about our current use of Larp called IN THEIR SHOES,a presentation of educational emmersive interactive experience. We are currently working on a ancient history environment for middle school students in Compton CA. Follow along on our Facebook page mentioned above as this project comes to life and please talk to us about what’s happening with any other like projects. The idea needs to grow and to do that we should certainly support each other.

  3. Josh Kastorf August 13, 2013 Subscriber

    Thank you so much for including LARP Adventure Program’s video in this blog! We just made a short documentary about the educational value of the program, I hope you’ll check it out:

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