In part one of their journals, the staff of Cosmic Joke (Treasure Trapped) has headed to Copenhagen to film a satirical larp set in an advertisement agency. The larp, Panopticorp, is run by Danish roleplaying association RollespilsFabrikken. Since their start in 2004, RollespilsFabrikken has become Denmark’s largest role-playing club, with a membership base of 1,000 players.
In this exclusive journal-style series, Cosmic Joke documents their behind-the-scenes adventures in larp filming:
As we write this, we’re sitting in the Rollespilsfabrikken HQ where we’ll be spending the night. That means we’re sleeping among hundreds of weapons, costumes, tabletop games, war game models, and much, much more. That’s IF we decide to sleep – at the moment there’s far too much to play with to even consider sleeping.
The fact that this place exists is mind-blowing and sums up what the rest of our day has been like.
Along with all of the tourist activities (which mostly consists of hunting down Carlsberg), we’ve spent the day getting to know the people who run Rollespilsfabrikken and Rollespilsakadmiet. What are they? Well, they’re a twin-company who run all manner of LARP events: from fantasy games to children’s birthday parties to office team-building days.
Now, a LARP company isn’t something particularly out of the ordinary anymore. Even back in Britain, where the hobby isn’t mainstream, they exist. What IS out of the ordinary (for us, anyway) is for a LARP company to exist that has an office, with people, that functions every day for profit. This office is also full of LARP literature, DVDs, photos, posters, and loads of Lego (but that’s just an extra). Around the corner from the office is a warehouse (where we’re now hiding out with a fine few Danish beers) full of LARP kit and tabletop games for the companies to use. We’ve traveled far and wide on our Treasure Trapped journey, but we’ve never seen anything like this before.
The fact that this company can function over here is a testament to what we’ve been learning on our Scandinavian travels. LARP is so much more widely accepted and advanced in mainland Europe; it can operate on an economically viable level, and there are games being played that are far removed from anything we’ve come across in the UK. We spent some time with our host this evening looking over photos and videos from past LARP games he’s been involved with, and the depth and complexity of some games is astonishing. We don’t want to give too much away, but games with big budgets, supported by the government, exploring sensitive and challenging social issues take place over here that completely challenge all stereotypes of LARP back home.
As the day comes to an end, we can only imagine what tomorrow and the rest of the weekend will bring. We’ve never experienced a LARP game in such a modern, ‘true to life’ setting, and based on everything we’ve heard and seen today, we’re ready to be challenged.
That being said, we’d best be signing off. Before we forget, though, we also took a little downtime today to try some tabletop gaming (for the first time since we started filming) and got back in touch with our caveman roots. Needless to say, we want to bring this game back with us!
Check back next week for our next entry! (viewable here)
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