History Of Live Action Role-playing Games
Live action role-playing games, known as LARPs, are games in which live players/actors assume roles as specific characters. Technically, many childhood games are simple LARPs (even though they are not traditionally classified as such), and so, in that sense. LARPs might have existed since the dawn of human society. However, the invention of tabletop role-playing games in America in the 1970s, such as "Dungeons and Dragons", led to the development of recognizable, organized LARPs, played mainly by teenagers and adults.
Live-action role playing appears to have been "invented" several times by different groups relying on local ideas and expertise; although, sometimes such groups were inspired by reports of LARPs elsewhere. Such a multifarious process has led to an extremely diverse range of LARP practices and histories. By the 1980s, LARPs had spread to many countries and organizations, and different styles of play had been developed. During the 1990s, Mind's Eye Theatre was the first published LARP system to achieve popular status. Also during the 1990s, the hobby began to attract critical and academic analysis. For example, the 2003 Knutepunkt conference published a paper entitled, As LARP Grows Up (subtitled Theory and Methods in LARP), to propose future directions for LARPs.
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