Sexuality and romance
This is a larp that focuses on female relationships. This means both friendships and relationships of a romantic and sexual nature – and the tension between friendship and attraction.
In creating the characters and relationships, we do not view sexual orientation as strict categories – lesbian, bi or straight – but rather as a spectrum. The characters are young women who have had very few experiences of a sexual nature, and in circumstances where sexuality is barely ever discussed. Instead, what they have is curiosity; romantic daydreams; dreams or apprehensions of what the sexual part of marriage will be like. Therefore, most of them do not have any notions about what sexual orientation is. They know that sex is only supposed to be within a marriage, and that marriage is between a man and a woman. Apart from this, they know only their own feelings, thoughts and dreams.
This being said, the characters are spread out to all spaces on the spectrum of sexual orientation: some have strong same-sex attractions; some are only interested in men; some feel aversion to the thought of intimacy altogether; some are curious to experiment with either gender. Some characters might be people that today would have identified as genderqueer or trans, but due to the constricting gender roles of their time do not express this side of their identity.
While not everyone will play characters with same-sex attractions or curiosity to explore intimacy with women, these feelings and experiences are one of the important themes of the larp, and they will most likely be somewhat present in your experience of the larp. If encountering play on same-sex attractions makes you uncomfortable, this larp is not for you. However, you yourself do not have to play on having same-sex attractions.
Since this larp is focused on the subtleties of interaction, we will not be using any metatechniques to represent physical or sexual interactions. Instead, we play by the principles of “what you see is what you get”, and “less is more”.
This is not a larp about being intensely physical, but rather about looking, longing, hesitating. It is about emotions bubbling on the inside, while only barely showing on the outside (for the most part). It is about the trembling moment before lips meet.
If you choose to, and if your co-player consents, you can take things in a more intensely physical direction. But if you prefer to, you can just as well play a heartfelt story of love and friendship while barely touching.
Although not a central theme for the larp, social status will be a part of the game – for some characters it will be an important part of their experience, for others it will have little or no importance. Whereas most students at Arlington come from the same socioeconomic background, there are nevertheless differences in social status, just like at most other schools. Some have high status, some have low status, and most students are found somewhere in the middle (and therefore do not have to worry much about their status). Some students of low status might be subjected to subtle forms of teasing and bullying, and in the high-status groups there might be power struggles.
If you do not want to play on these themes, you do not have to worry. In the casting form you will get to choose which themes and traits you wish to play on, and can opt-out of themes that do not interest you. There might of course still be rivalry and light teasing between all characters, but you will not be cast in a vulnerable role unless it suits your preferences.
Everyday school life
The larp will take place during a fairly normal week at Arlington. There will be some small events to react to (like a new teacher, for one), but there is no big or dramatic event that will be the main focus of the entire larp. There will be lessons during the days, and in the afternoon there will be free time for socializing or extracurricular activities. Later in the evenings, the students are of course expected to remain in their rooms – but some find opportunities to sneak out now and then.
The lessons will be both practical and theoretical. They will be designed to create play – either by creating discussions and making the characters think and feel, or by giving opportunities for different kinds of interaction between characters. The intension is that the lessons will serve as inspiration, and guide you in directions that you can continue to explore in the afternoons and evenings.
Although the subjects taught at Arlington often require talent and practice, or theoretical knowledge, we will make use of meta-techniques and game design that will ensure that you do not have to worry about having inadequate skill or knowledge off-game.