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Larp: A Respectful Calm


by Mark Waks

And now, for more on this morning's tragic events, we turn to Roger Forrester, in the field.

Thanks, John. Things are finally getting quiet now at Decameron Enterprises, after a morning of carnage. Police have cordoned off the area while they talk with the employees inside; we should know more in a few hours, once they are finished doing interviews.

We can now say that the shooter was 31-year-old Seamus O'Malley, an employee at the firm. Reliable sources tell us that he had two guns; it seems a miracle that only four people were killed. O'Malley himself was pronounced dead on the scene, after having been shot by another co-worker.

The Mayor finished addressing the public a few minutes ago; he asks that everyone maintain "a respectful calm" while the authorities investigate this terrible incident. Senator Newbold has just announced that he will be holding his own press conference at 3pm -- we will bring you live coverage from that.

Like any big town, Violet City has more than its share of history and secrets. As the glare of the camera focuses on today's tragic events, those will begin to bubble towards the surface.

A Respectful Calm is a four-hour LARP, set in the aftermath of a bloody downtown shooting. The characters are drawn from this setting: the shooter's victims, friends and co-workers; the innocent bystanders and the perhaps-less- innocent targets; the police and the media; the sincere idealists and the opportunists who see a chance to be heard. As with any LARP, there is more going on than meets the eye, but don't expect any fantasy or SF tropes here: this is a pure real-world story.

This is a relatively serious and realistic game about life, politics, greed and corporate life, including a stark look at the politics and dogma of American gun violence and policy. It strives not to take sides, but to simply lay out a messy, complex scenario for the players to explore. If you have passionate opinions on any side of this topic, you will find some of the characters offensive. (The word "triggery" is grimly appropriate.) But the characters are mostly sincere in their views, instead of simple caricatures. (Well, okay -- the politicians will probably be a bit over-the-top. I can't entirely control my cynicism.)

The game has no hard age restrictions, but the subject matter is not appropriate for younger children.

19 to 28 players