I was very pleased to see that Lizzie Stark’s new book, “Leaving Mundania: Inside the World of Grownup Make-Believe” is now available. Lizzie’s book is an excellent explanation of live-action roleplaying (larping) and how it works.
But wait? Isn’t larping just a game? How can it help my business? I’m glad you asked.
All businesses need to provide leadership to their members, motivate employees, and negotiate with individuals and organizations. The problem is practicing those skills in an environment that doesn’t feel artificial. A well-designed, serious larp provides an engrossing, entertaining training experience. Players are able to get into the game and as a result deal with the problems that come up much as they would in real life. Whether a player gives up in frustration after encountering an obstacle or comes up with a creative out of the box solution, that tells you they’ll likely do the same thing on the job. Conversely, when someone shines in the game, but is a mediocre performer on the job, that alerts employers to untapped potential.
In sports, teams practice their skills over and over to deal with every conceivable scenario. Businesses rarely have that luxury. When I design a serious larp for a business, the experience of playing in the scenario enables employees to practice and hone skills before the critical situation in which they are needed. Employees also have the opportunity to experiment and make mistakes in an environment in which there are no financial consequences to the business. Finally employees who need additional skill training can be identified before they fail on the job.
If you want an academic treatment of larping, click here. Otherwise, I encourage you take a look at “Leaving Mundania,” and think about how you can use the games she describes to help your business (and have a good time!).