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LARPing; How Music Improved Immersion for The Players

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Immersion is the act of immersing yourself in something or having deep mental involvement. It’s what most LARP games strive to achieve for their players.

Photo by JJ Jordan on Pexels.com

Why Is Immersion Important?

During a research project, study authors, Associate Professor Tom Van Laer from the University of Sydney and Dr. Davide Orazi from Monash University followed three different LARP groups. This ethnographic study collected 52 pages of field notes, 2,496 photographs, four hours of GoPro videos, 29 interviews, seven diaries and 2,936 screen captures from four LARPs.

They said their research demonstrated three main reasons LARPing leaves a stronger impact than traditional media or tabletop roleplaying gaming.

Associate professor Van Laer explains the impact that LARPing has on its players.

“When you watch tv, vision and sound are basically the only two senses that play a role. In a LARP there’s touch, smell, and taste, so all your senses are there. It’s not just in your head, it’s everywhere, there’s no border from reality.

“LARPs also allow more freedom and agency than is possible with traditional media and tabletop games. Rather than the showrunner, game designer or dungeon master ‘writing the book,’ LARPs give consumers a lot of involvement in creating the story.

“And finally, you know you can stop a movie. If people get too scared, you stop it. You cannot stop the LARP because the social pressure to be there is the same as the social pressure of a meeting at work—you can’t just stop if you’re not liking it.”

LARPing immersion statistics

Associate Professor Van Laer isn’t the only person looking into the immersion of LARPing. This is a topic that’s been highly studied throughout the world. Switching styles has found some immersion statistics for you and your local LARPing community. Check them out!

It’s not just about the game and being immersed in the fantasy. It’s about being a part of the world. Immersion into a game involves solving problems through cognition, strategic thinking, abstract reasoning, and tactics (First Person Scholar).

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the LARPing craze has blown up throughout the world, including in China. The number of LARP studios across China is also rising, with nearly 12,000 shopfronts as of 2019 (CGTN).

Data shows LARP game’s market value in 2019 has doubled in only a year. The market value exceeded 10 billion yuan in 2019 (Meituan Research Institute).

A survey shows that nearly all of the LARPing respondents felt that background music and sound effects increased their overall sense of immersion (The Computer Games Journal).

Background Music to Help the Immersion

One aspect that adds to the overall immersion is music or sound effects to improve the ambience. Here are examples of several types of music immersion background music to use in your LARP game.

Darkest Dungeon Composed By Stuart Chatwood For Red Hook Studios

The Hellion Tavern By ASKII

Finding Pandora By The Vault of Ambience

Tranquil Atmospheric Ambience Enchanted Lands By The Guild of Ambience

The Yōkai CompendiumBy Realm of Dementia

H.P. Lovecraft Music By Cthulhu Mythos Music

Deep Within the Forest By Dreamhop Music

Dungeon Ambience By Arondight Studios

A King’s Remorse ByArondight Studios

Sunset In the Mountains By Blue Turtle

Let me know in the comments below which one is your favourite!

Categories
Interviews Reviews

Introducing Refuge LARP Calgary

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Live Action Role-playing is a wonderful way to enhance practical skills, social skills, and overall creativity. One example close to home is the Refuge LARP out of Calgary.

What is LARP?

LARP or live-action roleplaying is an immersive game with the storytelling of traditional role-playing games such as D&D, Pathfinder, Gamma World and D6.

Photo by Lisha Dunlap on Pexels.com

Like traditional roleplaying games where one creates a character within the specifications of the game rules, and plays out that character’s thoughts, actions, and phrases. However, in a LARP, it’s merely live action. This means that you act out the motivations, and actions, roleplaying what your character would do in any given situation. From combat to diplomacy to adventure to friendship, there are all kinds of situations to advance the characters’ storyline.

No matter where the thrill of adventure and imagination can be found. There’s a story for everyone in a LARP game.

Introducing Refuge LARP Calgary

“Being a Hero is what LARP is all about,” explains the organizers, “Take on a role as a daring fighter, a dashing rogue, a powerful scholar casting magic or a combination of the three!”

The LARP website explains, “Our story focuses on our players as high-fantasy heroes pitted against seemingly insurmountable odds. Many times, they are victorious, but other times, well, that remains to be seen.”

LARP or Live Action Role Playing Games are an immersive roleplaying game played in person instead on paper. Refuge LARP Calgary is one of the longest running campaigns in Alberta. Starting the LARP in 2011, they’ve gained quite a following for the immersive fantasy game.

The Story of the Game

The story that’s the background for all roleplaying within the game is based on the mythical land of Calandonia. About the size of Europe theoretically, it provides a huge level of exploration for the characters. This land is the main area for game play and the most prominent of the world’s realms. It’s the seat of power.

There’s an overarching storyline with many different facets. There are many ways to engage with the storyline. From simple encounters with a goblin in the woods to more intricate engagement with the arch mage and grand council. The political ties between them makes it even more interesting including arch mage, grand council, and the Dwarven Enclave to name only a few of the participating rulers.

Joining meta organizations or Organizations that your character may join provides another way to engage with the material. These include  The Home Guard 2.0: The Arcane Sanctum 2.0: The Silken Refuge: The Uruzaries:  and Hammer Outfitters:  to name a few.

Refuge LARP Calgary Prep Playlist

Don’t hesitate to check them out. If you want some inspiration, here’s a LARPing playlist to get you in the LARPing mood!!

Medieval Fantasy Background Music By Realm of Dementia

Epic & Powerful Fantasy Music By Mortifer V.

Dark Chocolate and Classical Music By Sundew Baggins

 

Medieval Fantasy Tavern By Daydreaming of Persephone

An Epic Ride By Blue Turtle

Magic Bookstore in The Woods (Iroh’s Bookstore) By The Vault Of Ambience

Tree Temple By Ambience Lab

Exoplanet Nature II By Michael Ghelfi Studios

Dark Atmospheric Music from The Shadowlands By Cryo Chamber

Up To the Mountains  By Unwind Station

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