Larps v. Phone Larps

The indefatigable Fair Escape raises the question of whether phone larping — of the kind Mirror World Creations does — is, in fact, definitionally a larp at all. In some ways it’s not. And, in some ways, that’s a good thing.

Here’s why.

I’m a larpvangelist. Which is to say, I’m not only trying to create larps for the already-extant (and already-awesome!) larp community; I’m trying to create larps, or proto-larps, which people who have never larped before can play with relative ease. The phone larps are my most intensive foray into this territory: larps-not-larps that check some of the boxes of “traditional” larping while leaving other expectations unfulfilled. So yeah, let’s get on with it — how are phone larps like, and not like, more traditional larps? And why would you play one over the other?

Phone larps are meant for playing as yourself…mostly. Many traditional larps, one plays as a fictional persona; you’re a neurotic time traveler, a spying spirit medium or a heroic spaceship Captain. In a phone larp, by default, you play as yourself — a normal person sucked into a strange situation. For some that’s liberating. For others, that’s stifling. For the latter, we offer the option of playing as a fictional persona — either self-constructed, or taken from character sheets built to work with any phone larp. For the former — well, we’re glad to provide a way to participate in a story without requiring you to act a part.

Phone larps are solo…mostly. Most traditional larps are played with others: for very new larpers this can be, franky, terrifying. Old social fears come back in force: what if I look stupid in front of other folks? What if I screw up the larp for everyone? Phone larps can be played in pairs (yes, really, all but Fragile Recall have an “I’m playing with a friend” option) but they’re built so that people can play solo. And to ease the social fears further…

Phone larps bounce the player off a professional actor. For all those people still wondering but what if I sound like an idiot? if you play a phone larp, the only person who’ll know is a professional actor. Who is paid to, among other things, deal with players who sound like idiots. Or, more frequently, shy players, indecisive players, stumbling players, all sorts of inexperienced players. And as a further mercy for those inexperienced…

Phone larps are an hour or less…mostly. Okay, you got me, The Girl On The Phone usually hits 65 or 70 minutes and Outpost Omicron often goes the full 90. But other than that, our phone larps are an hour or less. Period. So it’s not a terrible time commitment, if you’re just looking to give it a try ;)


Speaking of just looking to give it a try…if you want a soulshaking solo experience, you can use code TRYRECALL to get 15% off Fragile Recall ‘till 30 June 2021. Or if you’d rather play in a pair, our other phone larps are also good to go…



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