Kola is a polish larp conference with 4 years long history. This year it was organized by larpers from Warsaw, who got support of the faculty of liberal arts. The conference audience was mainly polish but there were also delegations from Italy, Ukraine, Russia and Czech Republic.
The conference was organized in the building of faculty of liberal arts. It meant very nice building in the center of Warsaw. While the rooms for papers presentation was fine and worked well, there was just a little space for the talks to other in some kind of chill out area. One room, which was also used for other purposes wasn’t really sufficient.
As for the program. Most of the program points were presented in Polish with approximately 8 English papers and some English discussions. For me there were just a few important points to carry.
First was the presentation from the Russian guys about the electronics they use in different types of games. The most important part was that they are willing to produce it and ship it and for reasonable prices.
Second was the information about the larp On The Road. It is a road trip larp, which was played by 7 players last summer. The players create their own characters and then join some of the crews and just travel somewhere. It was very interesting concept to me.
Third was the discussion about coining the term for the design centric larps, which are organized more and more in the area of the Central and South Europe. The proposed name was progressive larp, which had quite some opposition, but I still kind of like it.
From the perspective of programming projects I was again talking about larp database as much as I could and it seems that at least the Italian mutation might finally gain some traction. We started some cooperation with the Spindle project, which is a tool for organizing games. And we realized with one of the Italian guys, that we are both working on the similar projects of bringing remotely controlled music in the mobile phones.
Interesting international larps in the next year
On The Road – There should be another run played next year sometime during the august. The time wasn’t yet fully specified. It is a sandbox larp about different people being together on the road with limited resources and under different simple personalities.
Mir (http://www.argos.edu.pl/mir) – International blockbuster built on the traditions of Geas organized by the team around Kamil Bartczak, who is also the creator of Spindle. The game tries to create 360° illusion on the Grodziec castle. The game is going to be held from 15th to 17th of April. Kamil is well known for his approach to games without any mechanics and therefore simulating the real world.
Black Friday (http://www.theblackfriday.it/) – International Blockbuster organized by a group of Italian organizers. It is going to be held from 17th of November until the 20th of November. The larp presents itself as a thriller set in modern day world using all the currently available technology. It sounds very promising, at least to me.
We attended after party only on the Friday. The pub has one main issue in being more or less long corridor with tables at the sides, which made it very difficult to move between groups. Other than that it was fine, it was possible to dance there and the prices were also ok. There is just one important remark to make. Don’t drink with polish guys!
I liked the conference overall. It was an opportunity to meet friends and create new ones and also start some cooperation. If you like to be part of the international larp community I would like to invite you to the next Kola in the Lublin and another international larp conference, which is going to be held in the Sankt Petersburg in the middle of December.
Originally published on http://blog.balhar.net/