Prosopopeia: Live Action Role Play in Stockholm

News from the Swedish Institute of Computer Science:

The Live Action Role Play event Prosopopeia was held the weekend of June 11th and 12th of June. The game designer Martin Eriksson and his team had created a suggestive story, with its origin in ancient mythology but staged in the age in which we live. The game investigated the between-places and non-places of our society, and pointed out how our actions and relations will have consequences for coming generations, and to ourselves - on The Other Side of death

Prosopopeia is:

a demonstrator in the "Enhanced live action roleplaying" work-package of the European research project iPerG and future events will be closely integrated with project results. In Prosopopeia the player becomes a willing channel for a ghost on a desperate mission to the land of the living. The ghosts and their channels use age-old magic, art, experimental technology and humane action to forge a path to the future while battling the spectres of their own past.

I like the premise of the project because I find it sooooo true:

Games on mobile platforms have so far been limited to relatively simple ports of older console games played to redeem the idle moments of modern life. This first stage of mobile gaming is only one possible gaming format using handheld devices. Experiments in the field of pervasive gaming hint at a deeper and more unique game format made possible by the unique traits of mobile devices. Player mobility, location-tracking, physical presence in reality and constant networked communication open new vistas for game design.

[And hey! btw fabien, it's an argument to say that pervasive gaming is one kind of mobile gaming ;)]

Beside, the gameplay seems quite interesting:

The "EVP machine", the modified reel-to-reel tape recorder, through which the players communicated with The Other Side, was completed. It was managed by the Game Master via a GSM link. The software "Thanatos" that transformed the voices of the Game Master group into “ghost voices”, worked in a complex environment of interactive sound technology including not only the voices but also a sampler with sound effects and music, with which the Game Master could improvise and guide the narrative. 

The "acclimatisation machine" which provided the players with background information through a meditative experience, was completed. It was made of 12 modified MP3 players, which could be synchronously remote controlled without any notice of the players. This was a generic and scalable technology that can be used in many future LARPs for embedding of sound or music on different locations or inside objects. 

All the scenes in Prosopopeia were intercepted. The Game Master could hear the dialogue of the players and was able to direct the game. Everything was recorded and will be used for documentation and evaluation. Many scenes were also surveyed with video cameras, both remote controlled W-LAN cameras, and IR sensitive night cameras. The different types of software for handling and storing of parallel video streams have been evaluated.

Why do I blog this? this project is carried out in the European iPerg project which is amazingly relevant and their website is full of resources. It's very interesting to follow their progress since their paving the way for future development in pervasive gaming.