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A project to fund Living Games, a conference devoted to the academic and practical study of larp in all forms.
A project to fund Living Games, a conference devoted to the academic and practical study of larp in all forms.
137 backers pledged $20,932 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$20,932

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We’re excited to announce Living Games presented by Imagine Nation, a conference devoted to discussing all aspects of live action role-playing, also called larp. Living Games is a place where theory and practice meet, including keynotes, panels, workshops, roundtables, academia, and games. We hope to draw a wide range of attendees, including scholars, game designers, organizers, enthusiasts, and newcomers. 

Living Games will take place May 19-22, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Midtown in Austin, TX. Our conference theme is Sharing Insights, as our main goal is to connect people from different communities in order to create an exciting, robust dialogue. Along these lines, we have a strong commitment to diversity and wish to encourage people from a variety of backgrounds to attend. Our keynoters include presenters from around the U.S. and the world, such as Katherine Castiello Jones, Jason Morningstar, Claus Raasted, Gabriel de los Angeles, Eirik Fatland, Moyra Turkington, Dain Geist, Sarah BudaiKristin Hammock, Michael Pucci, Ashley Zdeb, Susan Weiner, Cecilia Dolk, J Li, and Avonelle Wing with several more to be announced.

This part is where you can help! Successful funding of this Kickstarter will help us deliver a high-quality, unique event. Here, you can buy tickets and receive some amazing rewards. We welcome participants from all backgrounds of larp or related fields to join us at the conference.  

If, for some reason, you cannot attend the conference, please consider donating to our project. Your assistance will help us bring together knowledge from around the world, fostering communication, collaboration, creativity, and new digital content for the global larp community as a whole.

What Sort of Rewards Does the Living Games Kickstarter Offer?  

Living Games offers some excellent perks, which work to support the conference and encourage participation in larp on a larger scale. The following perks are available only through contributing to this Kickstarter:

THE CAREGIVER ($5):  

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program
  • 5 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)
  • 500 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG

THE EXPLORER ($20):

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program 
  • Access to the Living Games Hub
  • 20 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP) 
  • 2,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG 
  • One (1) larp PDF from our list

THE JESTER ($50):  

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program 
  • Access to the Living Games Hub 
  • 50 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)
  • 5,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG
  • One (1) PDF bundle from our list of larps

THE ARTIST ($100):

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program  
  • Access to the Living Games Hub 
  • 100 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP) 
  • 10,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP) 
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG
  • One (1) one-hour Skype or Google Hangout consultation from one of our list of experts on the topic of play, game design, organizing, or scholarship

THE HERO ($150):  

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program
  • Access to the Living Games Hub
  • 150 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)
  • 15,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG
  • All seven (7) PDF bundles from our list of larps

THE SHAMAN ($189):  

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program
  • Access to the Living Games Hub 
  • 189 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP) 
  • 18,900 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP) 
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG
  • One ticket to the Living Games Conference, which includes five catered meals 

THE MAGICIAN ($219): 

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program
  • Access to the Living Games Hub
  • 219 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points 
  • 21,900 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG
  • One (1) PDF bundle from our list of larps
  • One ticket to the Living Games Conference, which includes five catered meals

THE HIEROPHANT ($250):  

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program  
  • Access to the Living Games Hub 
  • 250 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP) 
  • 25,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP) 
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG
  • All seven (7) PDF bundles from our list of larps 
  • One (1) one-hour Skype or Google Hangout consultation from one of our list of experts on the topic of play, game design, organizing, or scholarship

THE SAGE ($300): 

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program
  • Access to the Living Games Hub
  • 300 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)
  • 30,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)
  • All seven (7) PDF bundles from our list of larps
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG
  • One ticket to the Living Games Conference, which includes five catered meals

THE RULER ($400):  

  • A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program 
  • Access to the Living Games Hub  
  • 400 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP) 
  • 40,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP) 
  • 20% discount on all By Night PDFs on DriveThruRPG
  • All seven (7) PDF bundles from our list of larps  
  • One ticket to the Living Games Conference, which includes five catered meals 
  • One (1) one-hour Skype or Google Hangout consultation from one of our list of experts on the topic of play, game design, organizing, or scholarship

Alternately, name your price!

  • For additional bundles, add at least $25 for each
  • For additional tickets, add at least $219 for each 

First, we offer tickets to the conference, which include:

  • Five (5) catered meals with special attention to dietary restrictions
  • Access to all Living Games panels, workshops, roundtables, academic presentations, and keynotes during the day
  • Access to all Living Games social events, including a costume party on Saturday night
  • Access to larp events in the evenings. Larps are subject to availability on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • Access to an edu-larp mini conference at Texas State University during the day on Thursday, May 19. Tickets are subject to availability on a first-come, first-serve basis 

What about Backers Who Cannot Attend the Conference?

We know that not everyone can attend the conference due to time and financial constraints. Therefore, our additional perks aim to expand the boundaries of our community outside of the framework of the conference itself by increasing our digital output and sharing existing resources. In this way, you can stay connected throughout the process regardless of whether you plan to participate physically or virtually. These perks include:

  • Early access to videos and slides of presentations on our online resource, the Living Games Hub, before July 1
  • Early access to our Conference Proceeding on the Living Games Hub
  • PDFs of larp scripts, books, and scenarios from designers affiliated with the conference, including keynoters, organizers, and presenters
  • Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP) for every dollar spent on the Kickstarter (1:1 ratio). AP allows larpers in the DR network to purchase extra experience points, hire specialized teachers, and attain crucial items for surviving the zombie apocalypse. AP is offered either for national or branch events.
  • Planetfall Advancement Points (AP) for every dollar spent on the Kickstarter (100:1 ratio). AP allows Planetfall larpers to learn new skills and obtain special drops to the colony from the orbiting ship for survival on a hostile alien planet.  
  • 20% off coupons for all By Night Studios PDFs on DriveThruRPG

Consultations on Skype or Google Hangout from our esteemed experts on play, game design, event organizing, and scholarship:                        

  • Lizzie Stark: game designer, organizer, journalist (3 available) 
  • Kat Jones: game designer, organizer, scholar (3 available)  
  • Evan Torner: game designer, organizer, scholar (3 available) 
  • Sarah Lynne Bowman: designer, organizer, scholar (3 available) 
  • Nat Budin: designer, organizer, published writer (3 available)   
  • Emily Care Boss: game designer, organizer, scholar (2 available) 
  • Matt McElroy: designer, game publisher (2 available)          
  • Stephen Balzac: designer, edu-larp expert, scholar (2 available)    
  • Ashley Zdeb: designer, organizer (1 available) 
  • Cecilia Dolk: designer, organizer (1 available)

Note: Assistance and Advancement Points do not guarantee admission to a larp event. All usage of AP must be approved by game staff.

What Larp Bundles Are Available?

We are also offering individual larps and game bundles from presenters and organizers as rewards! Larps are not included in the Living Games Hub and are exclusive to Kickstarter backers only. Our bundles include:

The Alleged Entertainment Bundle: theatre-style larps in variety of genres by Nat Budin, Susan Weiner, Vito D'Agosta, and others

  • Resonance: an experimental amnesia larp about the apocalypse
  • Time Travel Review Board: a comedy horde larp about time travelers
  • The Last Seder: a science fiction parable with echoes of the Last Supper and Exodus -- previously unreleased!
    The Black and Green Games Bundle: freeform and tabletop games about romance, relationships, and other themes by Emily Care Boss
  • Breaking the Ice: two characters on their first three dates
  • Shooting the Moon: two suitors seek to win the heart of one beloved
  • Under My Skin: secret loves and passions among a group of friends
  • Sun & Moon: a creation myth game inspired by Breaking the Ice
  • Last Chance Noir: an freeform inspired by film noir and crime mysteries
  • Remodel: four women remodel one of their homes, reflecting on their lives

The Bully Pulpit Bundle: freeform larps by Jason Morningstar and Steve Segedy

  • The Climb: illegal mountaineering and hard choices above 7000 meters
  • Out of Dodge: gangsters on the run in the aftermath of a job gone very wrong
  • King is Dead: A pop music titan has passed, leaving the survivors to divide up the kingdom -- previously unreleased!

The Dystopia Rising Bundle #1: tabletop and immersive boffer larp about surviving the zombie post-apocalypse

  • Dystopia Rising Corebook: tabletop rules
  • Dystopia Rising Larp Survivor’s Guide 2.0: larp rules
  • Monoliths of Rust: expansion detailing Old York and the Mass
  • Pillars of Dead Light: expansion detailing Aysea and Vegasia
  • Echoes of Celluloid Dreams: expansion detailing the Church of the Telling Visions
  • Embers of the Irradiated West: expansion detailing Lone Star and the Pridelands

The Dystopia Rising Bundle #2: tabletop and immersive boffer larp about surviving the zombie post-apocalypse

  • Dystopia Rising Corebook: tabletop rules
  • Dystopia Rising Larp Survivor’s Guide 2.0: larp rules
  • Axis of Blood and Iron: expansion detailing trains and highways
  • Diaries of the Run Coast: expansion detailing the sea and coasts
  • Scraps of the Rust Empire: expansion detailing the remains of pre-Fall cultures -- new!  

The Larps from the Factory Bundle: all 23 freeform larps from the Norwegian Larp Factory, including the following

  • Before and After Silence: a non-verbal larp about silence and perception
  • Linda’s Birthday Party: a 6 year old’s birthday party enacted by adults
  • The Great Afterparty: a comedy about larpers attending a post-game party
  • The Hirelings: D&D adventurers attend job interviews and group therapy
  • Play the Cards: teenagers exploring their place in the social hierarchy

The White Wolf and Eschaton Bundle: theatre-style larps and indie games from two major publishers

  • Mind’s Eye Theatre: core Rulebook for the New World of Darkness larp system
  • Tempus Omni: time travel role-play from dinosaurs to spaceships
  • Project Paradigm: science fiction role-play where perceptions affect future reality

Backers choosing to receive a single larp can choose one game from the list, whereas higher level backers may choose one or more bundles that they wish to receive. For every additional bundle above the first, please add at least $25 each. After the successful completion of the Kickstarter, we will send you a follow-up email requesting information about your desired bundles.

If you would like to contribute your creative or academic material to Living Games as additional rewards, please contact us at info@livinggamesconference.com.

All PDFs fulfilled by DriveThruRPG
All PDFs fulfilled by DriveThruRPG

What Makes Living Games Special?

Our conference is unique in North America for several reasons. While some conventions emphasize a certain style of larp or geographic area, Living Games seeks to become a central meeting point for larpers from all communities in North America and internationally. Much of the development of larp has occurred in a vacuum, meaning small communities have created remarkable, but ephemeral experiences in their local scenes. We hope to bring these scenes together in order to create a more global community, learn from one another, collaborate on exciting new projects, and grow as larpers.

Additionally, we offer five (5) catered meals throughout the duration of the conference with special attention to the dietary restrictions of participants. Eating on site at the hotel means that participants can share meals in a common area with new people rather than leaving to find food elsewhere. This practice saves valuable conference time and encourages people from different larp communities to interact.

The hotel also features ten rooms of conference space, allowing for a wide variety of different events. During the day, the schedule will focus upon keynotes, presentations, workshops, and roundtables about larp and related topics. At night, participants are invited to attend a host of different games and social activities designed to provide unique experiences and a sense of shared community. Because our conference space is also a small hotel, attendees are encouraged to sleep on-site in order to create a more unified experience with some degree of privacy.

Shoshana Kessock at the inaugural Living Games
Shoshana Kessock at the inaugural Living Games

Notably, Living Games is the only academic conference focusing upon larp in the United States, meaning that we have events specifically devoted to scholarly discussion. Our first conference was organized by Shoshana Kessock at the NYU Game Center in the Tisch School of Arts. This year, Living Games is partnering with Texas State University to hold a Role-playing and Simulation in Education mini-conference right before the start of Living Games at the St. David’s School of Nursing simulation lab. Also, during Living Games proper, we will feature an academic track for scholars wishing to present papers in an official capacity. We will peer review papers for possible inclusion in our Conference Proceeding, which will count as an official publication. This process works to increase our body of knowledge and provide professional support for career academics.

However, Living Games is not only a place for academics. We wish to encourage people with a wide variety of interests to attend: from players to game designers to theorists to organizers. We hope to draw people from a large range of different perspectives to participate, including people from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds, genders, sexual identities, races, ethnicities, nationalities, and degrees of able-bodiedness. We firmly believe that encouraging diverse perspectives will benefit the larp community as it becomes increasingly multicultural and global in scope. Ultimately, our goal is to foster collaboration from attendees from all levels of experience and backgrounds, which can only enrich our larp community in the future.

We Appreciate Your Support!
Living Games hopes to contribute to making our global larp community grow even stronger in the years to come by providing a central location for larpers to share insights. Please help us plant the seeds for future collaboration, exploration, and insights in the world of larp by backing our project now!

Photo credits:

Cover by redct on Flickr .

Photo #2 by Rosalind Helfand

Photo #3 by Francis Photographic

Photo #4 by Living Games

Photo #5 by Living Games

Photo #6 by Living Games

Photo #6 by Sarah Lynne Bowman

Risks and challenges

As we are gathering games from several designers, we may face delays in terms of delivery of the PDFs. We also may see delays when setting up the Living Games Hub. However, since our rewards are mainly virtual, we expect a timely delivery of rewards. We have a devoted team of organizers who will assist in perk deliveries if need arises.

In addition, the conference itself is a big undertaking, but we have dozens of organizers and volunteers ready to help. While organizational snafus are likely to occur, we hope to be able to recover quickly and provide as streamlined an experience as possible.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THE CAREGIVER:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- 5 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 500 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    10 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE EXPLORER:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 20 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 2,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- One (1) larp PDF from our list

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    29 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE JESTER:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 50 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 5,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- One (1) PDF bundle from our list of larps

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE ARTIST:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 100 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 10,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- One (1) one-hour Skype or Google Hangout consultation from one of our list of experts on the topic of play, game design, organizing, or scholarship

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE HERO:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 150 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 15,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- All seven (7) PDF bundles from our list of larps

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $189 or more About $189

    THE SHAMAN:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 189 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 18,900 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- One ticket to the Living Games Conference, which includes five catered meals

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    32 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $219 or more About $219

    THE MAGICIAN:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 219 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 21,900 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- One (1) PDF bundle from our list of larps

    -- One ticket to the Living Games Conference, which includes five catered meals

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    19 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE HIEROPHANT:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 259 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 25,900 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- All seven (7) PDF bundles from our list of larps

    -- One (1) one-hour Skype or Google Hangout consultation from one of our list of experts on the topic of play, game design, organizing, or scholarship

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    THE SAGE:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 300 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 30,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- All seven (7) PDF bundles from our list of larps

    -- One ticket to the Living Games Conference, which includes five catered meals

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    THE RULER:

    -- A huge thank you on our website, newsletter, and conference program

    -- Access to the Living Games Hub

    -- 400 Dystopia Rising Assistance Points (AP)

    -- 40,000 Planetfall Advancement Points (AP)

    -- All seven (7) PDF bundles from our list of larps

    -- One ticket to the Living Games Conference, which includes five catered meals

    -- One (1) one-hour Skype or Google Hangout consultation from one of our list of experts on the topic of play, game design, organizing, or scholarship

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 7 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)