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generic theater style
Conflict resolution system
theater style
roughly 4 hours
Date run
Summer 1992
Number of participants
c. 20
Harry Teplitz, Steve Vincena, Michael Reed (Enigma)


GAME was conceived as something of a metalevel joke: a completely generic LARP. Characters did not have names, or rather, their names were literally descriptive titles, like Megalomaniacal Genius or Crooked Politician. Characters had Goals that required Items. Items came in three colors and two sizes, and were physically represented by painted chunks of styrofoam. Thus, a Goal might require 10 Small Blue Items, 5 Small Yellow Items, and 2 Large Red Items. Characters were organized into Groups; each Group had a Spy working for another Group.

Negotiating and trading could only get Characters so far in achieving their Goal, and ultimately the winning strategy was 'kill people and take their Items'.

GAME was held in the appropriately generic hallways, stairwells and several classrooms of the UCLA Math Sciences building.




While the Characters generally had a frustrating and/or fatal time, there was certainly a metalevel of enjoyment for the players in the silly concept, and in laying bare the idea of LARP.

During the design of a later LARP, one of the designers of GAME seriously opined that "all live games are GAME with window dressing." Unfortunately, this view was not shared by the players of the new game, which turned out disastrously.

The received wisdom is that if your LARP is GAME with window dressing, you are probably doing it wrong.

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