Most larps by The Geek Initiative are light on rules and driven by characters, events, and settings. The rules we do include focus heavily on safety (physical and emotional), consent and communication, inclusion, and immersion. Rules vary for each game: some LARPs, for example, deal directly with potentially triggering experiences and require more structure surrounding communication.
These principles are integral to participants having a safe and enjoyable experience at larps.
Questions or concerns? Email us: [email protected]
Every larper has the right to feel physically safe at LARP events. That means they should find the setting free of:
- Unwanted behavior
- Harmful real-world events and ideologies, unless they are directly part of the game’s subject matter
Whether run by our production team or in conjunction with another business or convention, our in-person games follow all laws and include required coverage.
Emotional Safety & Bleed
We place a priority on emotional safety, providing a framework for identifying and processing the emotional impact of immersive role play and confronting (or avoiding) potential triggers. We also provide guidance for managing bleed, or the transference of emotions from character to player and vice versa. We do this through workshopping before and after the game, as well as though a set of non-immersion-breaking tools.
We strive to make a welcoming environment for all participants. We do our best to select fully accessible venues, design larps with inclusive language, and include input from the greater larp community through transparent design practices to root out problematic language or concepts as we design.
Additionally, we frequently calculate tickets costs to subsidize a limited number of additional tickets to our games, making participation financially accessible for a larger group of players.
Consent & Communication
Consent and communication are important facets of safe larping, and our games have tools to carefully negotiate scenes and to communicate levels of comfort. LARP is often a tool we use to explore new and different facets of our true selves, and we value the sensitivity and safety required for players to experience the growth they wish to pursue.
Immersion is most achievable when LARPers feel safe and included, in a setting that allows for clear communication and consent. At our larps, immersion is not a rule (we want people to be comfortable pursuing what they wish, when they wish), but it is often a design goal. With that in mind, we do our best to encourage a safe and inclusive community and consent culture – because it’s kind – but also to support an environment conducive to immersion.
Out of game, we often refer to each other as “they” if unsure of pronouns. If you have other pronouns, please feel free to share them. We use this in game as well. It takes some time to adapt to this, but it’s the most inclusive and immersive way to play together and refer to each other.
Comfort and Accessibility
We want you to do what is most exciting and comfortable for you. If you’re looking for a larp you can do in your pajamas, this is it. If you want to dress up for something, you can do that, too. Feel free to start with something that makes you feel comfortable or empowered, and work on your reason for it from there. If you want help, just reach out and ask!
Prohibited Subject Matter
Our larps will not explore the topics of sexual assault and rape. As a community, we will do our best to warn others of potentially triggering content via our established safety methods, for example: graphic descriptions of physical violence and war, detailed discussion of bullying, etc.
No skin darkening or black face. Regardless of your skin tone, making your skin pale or grey-toned (according to your preferences and what you feel like you would look like as a supernatural, if you choose to play one) is welcomed, but no one is required to lighten their face to play this game or portray a supernatural being, nor does “lighter skin” represent improved age, power, or status in any way. We ask for some representation of your supernatural character; instead of changing your skin tone, you could paint darker veins, wear fangs, or use contacts with unnatural color. Please focus on what makes you comfortable and what is accessible to you.
Sensitivity in Portrayal
We require sensitivity in portrayal. Note that our larps are designed to empower players, but will explore themes of power, control, and powerlessness.. As a result, we’re creating characters together – characters who have experienced racism, homophobia, sexism, or a feeling of powerlessness or loss of control due to addiction, chronic pain, and other very real ailments. We ask for sensitivity and understanding in that many players are playing close to home here. We encourage players to consider exploring their own feelings of marginalization and powerlessness.
Those wishing to explore struggles other than their own must think hard about this decision, perform precise research, and proceed with extreme empathy. You will not need to justify anything you want to play, but playing another’s experience is extremely sensitive subject matter when it comes to marginalization. Participation means understanding and acknowledging this point.
Verbal and Symbolic Restrictions
Derogatory language and symbols of any kind are prohibited. You cannot ‘play an anti-Semitic character who wears a swastika.’ You will be immediately ejected and banned with no refund. Marginalized players wishing to play empowerment scenes may do so, but some scenes may require a content warning for other players. An example: two players have consented to playing out a competitive brother-sister relationship in which sexism was involved.
They decide that the woman vampire is more powerful than the male character, and the player wishes to play out her empowerment arc through the exploration of this in reaction to a sexist comment from her brother, changing the power dynamic in their family. In this case, all participants would receive a content warning about potential sexist language, and as a group we would determine limits on this language.
Always consider real life contemporary context.