Ecological Approach to the Performance of Larping


  • Marjukka Lampo



ecological, role-playing, role-playing games, information


This paper introduces an ecological approach to the performance of live action role-playing, commonly referred to as larping. Ecology and ecological, in this context, are not used to explain our relation to nature and its protection, but rather our relationship to our surrounding environment and other subjects dwelling in it. The approach was chosen because it provides the study with a comprehensive and an inclusive way of looking at performances.

Larps can be seen as performances from many points of view: it can mean displaying one’s skills in role-playing or in improvising; it can mean patterning one’s behavior to signify that of a fictional character; or it can mean keeping up a vision or expectations of a fictional character. In addition – and what is especially the focus of this paper – the performance of larping can be understood as completing or carrying out actions that constitute the activity called larping.

To explain the ecological approach, this paper will first provide the reader with an overview of larps as ecologies, and then dissect the performance of larping into four steps that are essentially connected to each other in the ecology: information pickup, extraction of possibilities, choice-making and embodiment. To summarize, a larp ecology is a comprehensive interdependent systems where all the players and other organic and non-organic components of the game support each other. In this ecology, the players pick up information, extract possibilities for actions from that information, make choices on which possibilities to carry out and embody those choices by applying their bodily repertoire to the performance.




How to Cite

Lampo, M. (2015). Ecological Approach to the Performance of Larping. International Journal of Role-Playing, (5), 35–46.