Another month on...

I got really good trip to Finland at the end of July. As well as Ropecon (write-up on my larp_musings blog) I also visited Tampere Uni to enroll. I'm now oficially a PhD student. In reality, I'm using August to focus on trying to get my current courses finished and out the way.

- arts course. tiny last assignment to go, and then a proper length assignment for the end of course assessment. Deadline is 13/9, but I've finished all the reading so may as well get on with it. The last section on leisure and the seaside touched nicely on game studies.
- material culture course. Managed to get the second assignment (group wiki project) done. One more to go (I'm ahead with the reading) and then the exam on 10/10.
- Creative writing course came back as high 2:2 grade pass. For one of the assignments, I loosely based a short story on my play experiences of Just a Little Loving, and for the end assessment I based it on the BRCA disorder (from the Curse jeepform).

I'm planning to stop when that is complete. That said, I am considering enrolling in a tiny 10 week digital photography / abode photoshop lightroom course they offer, partly for general interest and partly to retain my student status with them for another year.

Work is pretty good lately, except for the fact they won't reduce my hours. I want to go down for 3-4 days a week to focus on the PhD. I am job hunting (one interview so far) for other civil service roles locally, or a research assistant type role in a university (which I would relocate for). I'm not desperate to move on however.

>future plans

I'm going up to an ars magica convention in cheltenham next week. Includes at least one freeform larp, and one adaptation of my black dog psychodrama scenario to the ars magica setting.

I'm flying to Edinburgh at the end of the month. Catching the last weekend of the fringe, then going to an academic conference of larp on the monday-tuesday, including a demo larp for the academics run by nordic friends of mine.

After that, next trip is going as a guest to a czech freeform convention at the end of October/November, with a 2 day pre-week of tourism included.

>current projects
- finish humanities courses
- job applications
- grant applications
- PhD related work
- scenario writing for Fastaval (got a couple of ideas)
- scenario writing for Green Book 3 (good progress so far, including a first playtest done)
- write pitch for a docu project I'm involved in. More news if it progresses.

revisiting old material

During my interview prep, I was rereading my dissertation and my chapter in immersive gameplay, and started reflecting on my conclusions from both.

In my dissertation, I suggested an continum from self play at one end (playing yourself, altered) and archetype play (playing a pure archetype), with play occuring somewhere between the extremes on that axis. Self play corelates with bleed-in and archetype play with bleed-out. This also suggests the more you try to get one type of bleed, the less you get of the other.

I reflected on the jeep 'playing close to home' tradition with paper-thin characters (also true of my own psychodrama scenarios). Playing GR (for example) causes high bleed-out, but claims to be close to home. On reflection, I don't think it is close to home as it claims. It's 'role play' (in the sense of playing a social role) rather than character play, just as Stanford prison was. Players aren't really playing close to home, they are playing archetypal attacker/victim roles.

In my chapter I use somewhat different terms. A weak frame (psychological) results in situational immersion, a strong frame results in character immersion, a very strong frame results in repressed/taboo play. Also, A weak (social) circle results in bleed-in, a weak (psycholoigcal) frame results in bleed-out.

Looking at that together:
A high bleed-in state would imply:
- the circle is weak. (a pervasive larp where you play yourself in the real world is an example of this as a design choice).
- self play (characters are close to players).

A high bleed-out state would inply:
- the frame is weak and therefore also
- archetypal/situational play. Playing a social role.

larp update:

I got my Celesta character concept through. A bit disappointed with it, but I'll try to reserve judgement until I see the full brief. Even then, I guess it's a case of having faith in the organisers. I've started chatting to the player with the same character in game 3 and she feels the same (all characters are gender flexible).

I also have some concerns about how well they will implement religion (which is a huge part of BS:G). They have gods defined, but no myths to go with them. Handling religion has been a weak point in other nordic larps (in fairness, a lot of larps do it badly, but nordics have different issues with it). I'm also sensing the swedish narrativist organiser bias (yet there will be few swedes on my run, as the swedes will be at Prolog that weekend and play a different run).

KP article has progressed and hopefuly should done now. I've also had good progress with the psychodrama scenarios - if I manage to get the playtesting done time I should be able to send it for printing in time bring some to sell at Fastaval which is far more than I expected.


First assignment for the Dissertation is done and submitted (full research proposal, rather than the approved outline).

Next deadline is 1/7 - final version of research proposal with ethics review checklist, plus indicative literature review. I'm feeling confident about the lit. review, thanks to my choice of subject.

>Counselling course

Want to revisit the coursework before submitting at end of the month, but it's pretty much done already

>to-do list

Added item: write post-event feedback, downtime, and in-game letters for the Fantasy Regency larp I played last weekend.

Actual Quote

Spoken by a teacher at the danish roleplay school, (reported by a german spy)

"I have to go and shut down the main lights the kids are gonna play vampire live..."

Would you send your child to a school like this?

(no subject)

Quick post to say I'm back.

More to follow when I get the time.


This LJ is now friend-locked from this point on. Feel free to ask if you'd like to be added.

Larpers may also like to read my public larp theory LJ, Larp_musings

(no subject)

Well, that's work finished until after christmas.

Varied news:

- I've been invited to an 'informal chat/interview' in relation to the job I've applied for. Oddly I was invited to this today, before the deadline for applications even closed, so I guess that is a good sign.

- I discovered the current vacanacy for the work psychology job is based in Washington (that's the Washington near Newcastle / Durham). Not quite the end of the country I was looking to move to (that said, Durham is very nice).

- I went to the geekshop tonight and played the battlestar galatica boardgame for the first time. It's very good; the next generation of the 'co-op game with a traitor element' style of game from my current favourite shadows over camelot. I haven't seen the new series, but I'm told it captures the feel of it very well.

Results, continued

I've phoned up my uni today. They confirmed I've got the conversion diploma (no grade, since it's the old version) and they will send me the academic transcript I need to register with the BPS (the body that regulates the psychology profession in the UK). Since it's the old version, there should be no reason for the BPS not to give me GBR (graduate basis for registration).

I get the shiny certificate for the qualification in a few months. The bad news is I don't get to go to an award ceremony, since it's a conversion course for existing graduates. I was looking forward to that as life milestone ritual.

I am now allowed to put 'Dip Psych (Open)' after my name.