Meanwhile, Ropecon was, as I say above, great. I attended far fewer program points than ever in the last decade, but that was just due to placements: Jonne's lecture on role-playing theory, the VTES tournament, Päivi's lecture on Islamic mythology, the Rock-paper-scissors championship - all were on top of my own stuff. I did get to listen to Malik lecture, to try out the final version of Hounds of the Sea and see loads of friends. Plus watch a crappy French horror movie while eating divinely good ice cream.
My own lecture, a repetition of "Rituals & Role-playing" from KP, was attended by about 35 people, which was great, especially given the time of day (Friday night). It went well enough, I think, and the audience seemed to be interested in the stuff.
On Saturday, I ran Mike Young's awarded "The Road Not Taken", a very psychodrama-like larp where you play through short scenes with one main character and others playing (mostly) conflicting urges in that person's mind. I had nine players (from a maximum of twelve), and did some encouraging towards more interaction as the game progressed (for example, reminding the voices that they can interact, too). People said they liked the game a lot, and one of them took my printed script with her for a new run somewhere. I really recommend trying this scenario out, especially to jeepers and experimentation-oriented Nordics. It's fun, it's a way to play competitively in a safe, supportive environment, and the ethical choices people make can really amaze you. Some words of advice, though: I allowed the players to talk on top of each other, despite the running instructions, as that seemed to take place no matter what. Afterwards some players stated that as the main character they loved the bombardment of thoughts, but others felt it was too confusing - and problematic for some players who weren't as loud or aggressive. So what my players recommended, as a group, was that one should either allow the simultaneous speaking, but reduce the number of players to something like seven, or to have clear turns, allowing only one or two voices to speak at a time, and have some sort of symbol at hand showing who has the right to speak at the moment. Anyway, a great experience and an intriguing game. I may have to run it again myself, too, with a pre-selected cast at some point, just to see if it differs.
On Sunday, I ran the zombie apocalypse larp I have been designing for Roger, "Siege Mentality II". Ten annoying people surrounded by a horde of zombies outside, deciding whom to throw out and how to survive. Most of it is just arguing, but fun. A very traditional mini-larp in many ways, but I tried my best to give it interesting dynamics, and added some randomization into0 the mix, so that people can play it several times, if they want. I had a full cast of ten, most of whom had attended one or more of my larps before. They were all just about damn perfect, and the game went marvelously (I think, and was also given that impression by several players). So expect re-runs, as well as a Jeepform version, in the near future.