Solmukohta Special: Franco-Swiss way of larping

Les Francophones – Parfumeurs de Larp!

In January, at the German larp conference MittelPunkt, I attended Josephine Verneuil’s presentation on French larp. Almost half a year later, I was sitting in Helsinki, still hungry. Our neighbours promised us to experience ‘le jeu de rôle grandeur nature‘ (French for larp) with all our senses. Did they bring some cheese? Find out!

The title of the presentation was Franco-Swiss Sensory Overload and we were listening, watching, tasting and even smelling how larp is done in France and Switzerland.

The audience listened to a dense presentation covering more than ten larps. During the videos we tasted cheese, sweets, wine and other brewages. The sensory overload was taken serious by Josephine, Thomas B, Olivier Artaud, and several other colleagues who served one speciality after another.

The presentation covered the common Fantasy settings, but also contemporary medical larps in the style of Dr. House games for three players and a sophisticated game mechanics backed up by great props. I envied the location and costumes of a post WWI setting and imagined how cool it is to slide around in a skateboard hall shooting nerf guns during a Shadowrun larp.

What impressed me most was a mystical Fantasy larp using several ‘temples’ with special themes. Those were based on the elements fire, water, air, earth, death, and life. Every temple had an individual scent – made by a perfumer from France! We sniffed fragrances, which had been created professionally. The air fragrance was  … airy, light and pleasant, while death reminded me of earth and leather. I tried to imagine how it is to be in a scene which uses unique scents to support immersion. No doubt, before this presentation I had no idea what is going on in France since 1984 and there is much more to discover, even after the presentation.

If you want to know more about French larp, go to my ‘How to study role-playing games‘ page and follow the links to the annual larp conference GNiales, Thomas B.’s blog and other interesting pages.

This was the fourth blog entry in my series on larp@solmukohta 2012. Every Friday for the next five weeks, I will tell you what I have learnt at the Solmukohta 2012 larp conference.

Additionally, I will add a new gallery of larp photos I have taken in the last years to my blog section on Larp photography.

Thanks to you for reading and facebooking my posts! I do my best so that you have something interesting to read. More to come – show me your interest and support me by subscribing to this blog!



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