Larp Studies Seminar

29.04.2017, Poznań, Poland

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Timetable & Agenda


We are pleased to invite you to the inaugural Larp Studies Seminar: an international academic debate on the subject of live action role-playing, which will be held on the 29th of April 2017 at the Poznan International Fair, as a part of PYRKON Convention in Poznań, Poland.

The discussion of larp as a medium, entertainment, form of art, and social phenomenon has been developed for the last 20 years. It was initiated by the larping community in the Nordic countries, in which the international exchange of ideas, practices and theories has focused mainly on the Knutepunkt/Solmukohta convention, held annually since 1997. Shaped primarily by practitioners (designers, writers, organisers, players, drama educators), the Nordic larp discourse was co-created by academicians, it utilised academic theories, and it has itself influenced scholarly research worldwide. The multimodal and multi-faceted nature of larp requires an interdisciplinary approach, which is reflected in publications from many fields of humanistic and social studies, and even some within the sciences (e.g. systems science).

The need for research on live role-playing has increased significantly in recent years, when larp became a part of well-established industries such as tourism, education, event organisation, experience design, and media entertainment. In fact, it has become an industry of its own, with an increasing number of publications, awards, grant projects and specialist conferences. The rapid growth, professionalisation and public recognisability of this form of art timed with the rise in scholarly research on non-digital role-playing (and with the appearance of larp-related courses in academic curricula). Papers on larp have regularly been published in International Journal of Role-Playing, Analog Game Studies, and Wyrd Con Companion, and presented at conferences dedicated to game studies, such as DiGRA RPG Summit and CEEGS, only to mention the most important ones.

Speakers invited to the Larp Studies Seminar have a double expertise as larp specialists, combining the rigour of academic research with an extensive practical experience as larp creators. They all have made significant contributions to the larp literature, and now they will discuss the current state of ‘larpology’ and its prospects of future development.

The audience is more than welcome to participate in the debate: researchers, educators, designers, students, and anyone interested in serious academic discourse (in English) on live role-playing is invited. This event will be a part of the Pyrkon festival, so a Pyrkon ticket will be required to enter the venue. Besides, the seminar is open free of charge for all registered attendants.


International Speakers:

  • J. Tuomas Harviainen , Hanken School of Economics (Finland)
  • Annika Waern , Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • Rafael Bienia , Maastricht University (Netherlands)
  • Yaraslau Kot , Belarussian State University (Belarus)

Polish Speakers:

  • Jerzy Szeja, Games Research Association of Poland
  • Augustyn Surdyk , Adam Mickiewicz University / GRAP
  • Piotr Milewski , Kazimierz Wielki University
  • Krzysztof Chmielewski , Kazimierz Wielki University / Polish Naval Academy
  • Michał Mochocki , Kazimierz Wielki University / GRAP


The Larp Studies Seminar is organised by Games Research Association of Poland (GRAP) and Druga Era (creators of the Pyrkon Fan Convention), in cooperation with Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz (UKW) and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (UAM).


Advisory Board:

  • Dr. Jerzy Szeja - President at GRAP
  • Dr. Michał Mochocki - Assistant Professor at UKW / Head of GRAP-Bydgoszcz
  • Dr. Augustyn Surdyk - Assistant Professor at UAM / Treasurer at GRAP, Head of GRAP-Poznań


Organising Committee:

  • Dr. Michał Mochocki - Assistant Professor at UKW / Head of GRAP-Bydgoszcz
  • Mateusz Makowski, M.A. - PhD Candidate at UKW