Artistic, Political Edu-Larp and “Bleed”

Presentation at the “Spring Conference 2017” of the Japan Association of Simulation And Gaming (JASAG). May 28, 2017 (Sun), 13:00-14:30, at the Ryutsu Keizai University (in Japanese).

Conference Theme: Society System Gaming

The conference deals with gaming as a method to produce changes in social systems.

  • Time: May 27 (Sat) – 28 (Sun), 2017
  • Place: Ryutsu Keizai University, Shin-Matsudo Campus, Build. No. 1, 2nd-4th floor

Presentation: Artistic, Political Edu-Larp and “Bleed”

Experience Gaming for Awareness Raising

[in Japanese] “Performance ethnography” (N.K. Denzin) seeks to give people a voice by staging events, plays, and exhibitions together with those under study. Going beyond the usual modes of scholarly communication, its main tenet asks to “show, don’t tell.” Still, the audience of such events remains just that, gains experience only second-hand.

Contrastingly, larps provide first-hand experience. Building on performance ethnography and taking the limits of an “experimental anthropology” (K. Kangas) into account (that is, to be able to offer glimpses of another reality only), this presentation showcases a larp that was designed together with former hikikomori (people in long-term, social withdrawal) from Japan to make their lifeworlds experiencable to others. Despite governmental and regional support campaigns, hikikomori remains a media stereotype with much currency in Japan, especially considering an unsympathetic discourse about decreasing birth rates and an ongoing recession. The co-designed larp, “Village, Shelter, Comfort” (Anshin kara dasshutsu-gēmu, Escape from Comfort, in Japanese), seeks to go against the stereotype of laziness and engender “bleed” by raising awareness of the dilemmas some hikikomori are confronted with.

The larp is part of an ongoing research project on the learning effects of larping. The presentation also details a new evaluation method for such effects based on the analysis of debriefings after play runs of “Village, Shelter, Comfort.”

Keywords: Experience Game Design, LARP, Learning Effects, PAC-Analysis.