Live action role-playing games: Control, communication, storytelling, and MMORPG similarities

  • Tychsen A
  • Hitchens M
  • Brolund T
 et al. 
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Live action role-playing games share a range of characteristics with massively multi-player online games (MMOGs). Because these games have existed for more than 20 years, players of these games have a substantial amount of experience in handling issues pertinent to MMOGs. Survey and review of live action role-playing games, whose participant count can be in the thousands, reveal that features such as size, theme, game master-to-player ratio, and others interact to form complex systems that require several different groups of control tools to manage. The way that these games are managed offers a variety of venues for further research into how these management techniques can be applied to MMOGs. S ome computer games model real-world activities, whereas other computer games attempt to model the processes of noncomputer games. For example, conflict-based board games and, of interest to this article, pen-and-paper (or tabletop) role-playing games (PnP RPGs) are directly reflected in their computerized counter-parts such as Neverwinter Nights (2002 Atari/Bioware), Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption (2000 Activision), and Dungeon Siege (2001 Microsoft). Given the debates that have occurred as to the nature and role of narratives in computer games, it appears useful to study an example of an interactive narrative that does not involve computers. PnP RPGs have been recognized as an important source of information for the study of interactive storytelling (Louchart & Aylett, 2003; Peinado & Gervás, 2004). PnP RPGs do not form a homogeneous group of games; however, they can be roughly described as an activity where one or more players take on roles within an

Author-supplied keywords

  • Game master
  • LARP
  • Live action role-playing games
  • Massively multiplayer online game
  • Narrative

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  • Anders Tychsen

  • Michael Hitchens

  • Thea Brolund

  • Manolya Kavakli

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