Live Action Role Playing (LARP) can be an effective and engaging way to learn about different cultures – both in an informal learning environment like summer camp and in the formal classroom. However, to make sure that your LARP is respectful and accurate, it’s important to work with a Cultural Advisor. A Cultural Advisor is someone who can provide insights into the customs, beliefs, and traditions of a particular culture or lived experience, and help ensure that your LARP is culturally appropriate. 

Here are some steps on how to create a LARP that explores culture using a Cultural Advisor.

Step 1: Choose a culture

The first step is to choose a culture to focus on. This could be a culture that is familiar to you, or it could be one that you have always been interested in learning more about.

Step 2: Find a Cultural Advisor

Next, find a cultural advisor who can provide guidance and support throughout the process. The best cultural advisors are actual members of the culture you wish to explore.  You can locate a cultural advisor through your personal network, a cultural center, or through a directory such as If you are unable to find a Cultural Advisor, you might consider using a LARP adventure like Quest for the Caribbean Cure that has already been developed in partnership with a Cultural Advisor. 

Step 3: Develop a storyline

Once you have found a cultural advisor, it’s time to develop a storyline for your LARP. This could involve creating a scenario that is based on a specific event in the culture’s history, or it could be a more general theme that allows participants to explore different aspects of the culture. It is best to explain what outcome you wish to achieve to the cultural advisor and ask for them to direct you on what kind of story would be best suited to your objective. 

Step 4: Work with your Cultural Advisor to create characters

The characters in your LARP should be authentic representations of the culture you are trying to teach about. Working with your Cultural Advisor, you can create characters that are accurate and authentic. Your Cultural Advisor can also help ensure that the language and behaviors of the characters are appropriate for the culture being represented.

Step 5: Plan the setting

The setting of your LARP is also important, as it can help to create an immersive experience for participants. Your Cultural Advisor can provide guidance on costuming, masks, props, decorations, and other elements that are specific to the culture being represented.

Step 6: Promote your cultural LARP

Once you have planned your LARP, it’s important to promote it to potential participants. You can also reach out to cultural organizations or groups that may be interested in participating in your LARP. Be sure that any person who plays a cultural “face character” (where their actual face is seen instead of a mask) is a member of the culture. If not, it may be best to use artistic or symbolic masks instead.  At no time should a person attempt to change their natural skin tone or eye shape through makeup to look like a member of the culture they do not belong to.

Step 7: Host your LARP with your Cultural Advisor present

The final step in creating a cultural LARP is to host the event with your Cultural Advisor present. Your Cultural Advisor can help ensure that the event runs according to their consultation, and can address any questions or concerns that may arise during the event.


After the cultural LARP is complete, it can also benefit the participants to do a debrief and address any of their questions or to improve their understanding of the experience. This is particularly important for an educational LARP (edu-LARP) to improve the transfer of new knowledge.

Cultural LARPs can be an immersive and exciting way for both the LARP designers and the participants to learn about a culture. Bringing a Cultural Advisor into the planning as well as production stages can ensure that your cultural LARP is appropriate and respectful and help your organization avoid negative social media. Other than visiting the culture firsthand, there are not many other experiences that can create an immersive learning environment than a cultural LARP.


Guardian Adventures provide consulting and licensing of educational adventures, including a free LARP and cultural programs, for summer campsamusement & attraction industries, and more.

EduLARP, or educational live-action role-playing, is a creative and effective approach to learning academic subjects or social emotional learning that has been gaining popularity around the globe. EduLARP involves immersing students (or summer campers) in a fictional world and having them take on different roles within a story or scenario and then complete tasks that are related to the learning topic. 

Engaging and Interactive Learning Experience

One of the most significant benefits of EduLARP is that it offers a highly engaging and interactive learning experience. Instead of just reading textbooks or listening to lectures, students get to actively participate in a fictional or simulated world where they can apply what they have learned inside the story – usually with associated consequences. By immersing students in this way, EduLARP makes learning more engaging and memorable, which can help improve retention and comprehension as well as the transfer of the knowledge into life outside of the learning environment.

Multidisciplinary Approach

EduLARP also offers something traditional schools lack: A multidisciplinary approach to learning. By creating fictional worlds, students can explore a wide range of topics and academic subjects. For example, the EduLARP plot might involve learning about different periods in history so that the students can solve the mystery, while also learning about biology, physics, and chemistry in order to defeat an antagonist. This kind of multidisciplinary approach can help students understand how these subjects are interconnected and even dependent upon each other for the end goal.

Improving Communication and Social Emotional Learning

EduLARP can help improve communication and social emotional learning (SEL) when students take on different roles, interact with one another, and learn to communicate and cooperate effectively in order to complete tasks. This process can help students express themselves, listen actively, and work collaboratively. These skills can be beneficial not just in academic settings, but also in personal and professional settings later in life.

Encouraging Creativity and Critical Thinking

Students must use their imagination to bring their roles to life in an EduLARP and solve problems within the context of the story they are navigating. This requires them to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to challenges. The scenarios may also make room for mistakes and failure… but with opportunity to continue forward so that the student understands that failure is not the stopping point. Additionally, EduLARP often involves complex plotlines and mysteries that require critical thinking and a variety of different approaches. 

EduLARPs differ from LARPs in that the student actively learns real-world knowledge and applies it within the story.  While in LARP, participants might learn knowledge that is only applicable within the fictional world of that LARP or it may only test the knowledge they already have (such as role playing scenarios for training emergency response personnel). LARPs can contain SEL aspects, but the primary focus of a LARP is entertainment, while the primary focus of an EduLARP is education.

As EduLARP continues to grow, more schools, summer camps, and other informal educational programs will see the depth and breadth of value that this exciting and engaging vehicle for learning has to offer.


About:  Guardian Adventures provides free and licensed educational games, adventures, and LARP systems for summer camps, schools, and recreation organizations. 

EduLARP, or educational live-action role-playing (LARP) brings an innovative and engaging approach to learning that has been adopted by educators and summer camps worldwide and is growing in popularity. It provides an immersive, hands-on learning experience that can be applied to various academic subjects, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

STEM-focused EduLARP scenarios involve students or campers taking on fictional roles that require the application of STEM skills and knowledge. This approach engages participants in a fun and interactive way while allowing them to develop a better understanding of STEM subjects. 

Here is a list of different EduLARP scenarios that can you can use to teach STEM in your classroom or summer camp:

  1. Scientific Lab: In this scenario, participants become scientists working in a lab to conduct experiments and solve problems. The role-playing game could involve creating a specific solution, identifying a scientific challenge, and coming up with a creative solution. The game can also teach scientific methodologies, hypothesis development, data analysis, and problem-solving skills.
  2. Engineering Challenge: Students can be tasked by a fictional city to design and construct a prototype that meets specific criteria for solving a problem – either real or made up. The challenge should require them to use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to design a solution within the given constraints and resources. Examples include waste water collection, moving a building, or even designing a public transportation system.
  3. Coding Adventure: Campers take on roles such as software engineers or hackers, and work together to solve a particular problem using programming languages. One idea is that they must protect a network or system from a cyber attack. This can also teach participants about cybersecurity and ethical hacking.
  4. Environmental Investigation: Create a news story that requires the participants to uncover an environmental problem and its source. This can teach the impact of human activities on the environment as well as biodiversity, the effects of climate change, and conservation efforts.
  5. Crime Scene Investigation (CSI): In this scenario, students or campers act as detectives and solve a crime by using scientific methods such as fingerprint analysis, DNA testing, and forensic science. Introduce the scenario by setting up a crime scene and providing participants with evidence to analyze and enough resources to solve the mystery.
  6. Space Mission: For this challenge, participants act as astronauts on a space mission and must solve various problems that arise related to physics, astronomy, and engineering. Conduct this scenario by creating a simulated spacecraft (which can be as simple as an image projected on the wall) and providing participants with challenges to overcome.
  7. Medical Emergency: Students act as medical professionals and must diagnose and treat a patient based on their symptoms. This can be based in an actual or fictional case.  Set up involves providing participants with a patient case study and equipment to use.
  8. Environmental Disaster: In this scenario, participants act as environmental scientists and engineers and must respond to a disaster such as an oil spill or natural disaster. Create a simulated disaster with either images or props and provide participants with tools to clean up and prevent further damage.
  9. Build a Bridge: For this challenge, participants act as engineers trying to get to an important destination by a specific date and must design and build a bridge using limited resources. The scene should provide materials and a set of requirements that the bridge must meet.
  10. Renewable Energy: In this scenario, participants act as energy engineers after a natural disaster and must design and build a renewable energy source such as a wind turbine or solar panel for local villages. Start by providing information about the area (by which they will determine the best approach) as well as materials and resources to build their energy source.
  11. Robot Challenge: Participants take on the role of robotic engineers and must design and program a robot to complete a specific task in space or in a hazardous environment. The scene should require a set of tasks to accomplish and provide resources to build the robot.
  12. Business Simulation: As business owners or entrepreneurs, the campers or students must manage a fictional business using math, finance, and economics. The simulation should provide a set of business parameters and challenges. Optional: Combine this with other scenarios listed here and the business the participants create has to solve the other challenge.
  13. Genetics and Evolution: In this scenario, participants act as geneticists and must solve a problem such as determining the origin of a species (perhaps Zombies?) or solving a medical mystery (a pandemic?). Set this scenario by providing participants with the background story, a set of genetic data to analyze, and a problem to solve.
  14. General Mystery: Another option is to provide a story that requires an array of challenges that require different types of problem solving without one primary focus. This can require students or participants to draw on a wider range of knowledge and skills and include topics outside of STEM like history or literature.

EduLARP offers an exciting approach to teaching STEM subjects, providing participants with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in practical scenarios, which develops a better understanding of the subjects. This approach is also beneficial for improving student engagement, retention, and collaboration skills. 

Teachers or camp counselors who need assistance in designing and running EduLARPs can refer to our comprehensive LARP blog which goes into more detail about the process. Try an EduLARP at your location and watch the deep learning happen.


Guardian Adventures provide consulting and licensing of educational adventures, including a free LARP and cultural programs, for summer camps, amusement & attraction industries, and more.

Live Action Role Playing, or LARP, is a fun and engaging way to immerse your campers in a world of stories and adventure. Running a LARP at your summer camp can be an exceptional program for increasing camper retention and creating a sense of community among campers.

Campers who participate in LARPing are often more invested in the camp experience, and in our experience, are more likely to return year after year. Here are some of the ways that offering a LARP program can increase camper retention:

  1. Immersive Storytelling

    LARPing provides campers with an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a fictional world. When you create an engaging storyline and safe but exciting interactions where campers have a sense of agency, there is an increase in the camper’s desire to return year after year to see how the story evolves as well as their own role within it.

  2. Positive Peer Interaction

    LARPing requires teamwork and collaboration, which can promote positive peer interaction. This type of positive interaction can create a sense of belonging and community among your campers, many of whom may not fit the classic summer camp programming based in sports or hiking. Connecting to others who are like them can give them a sense of belonging and elevate the camp experience. These interactions can also be made more effective when the LARP you design is inclusive and accessible. When you take the time to design activities (including LARPs) to be inclusive and accessible, you will attract more campers and people of various lived experiences.

  3. Encourages Creativity and Imagination

    Campers who participate in LARPing are constantly exposed to an activity that requires creativity and imagination – in fact, it’s the common foundation of all LARPs. This can contribute to the overall development of your campers while also giving them an encouraging outlet for trying out new ideas. 

  4. Teaches Problem-Solving Skills

    LARPing requires campers to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions to problems. This type of problem-solving can be a valuable skill that your campers can transfer into other areas of their lives, while also having a positive impact on their confidence and self-esteem.

  5. Fosters a Sense of Belonging

    By participating in a shared experience, campers can feel like they are part of a group, which can be especially important for campers who may be shy or introverted. As mentioned above in #2 positive peer interactions add one-on-one connection… but when everyone in your program has a passion for the adventure and their role in it, this sense of belonging and community is greatly enhanced. 

  6. Learning

    Education is always a value-add for any summer camp program. But when education (either STEM or Social Emotional Learning) is integrated into a LARP, the learning becomes exciting and memorable. When an 8 year old needs to learn Newton’s Laws of Physics in order to cast her first level spells as a wizard, she may be inspired to seek out higher level science classes or even a career path in STEM. As well, parents consider education as a high value-add in the camp experience, especially if it can address summertime “Learning Loss”. This makes the parents or guardians (who pay the camp tuition) more likely to consider returning their child to a LARP camp.

  7. Year-Round-Engagement

    You can also run LARPs online during the off-season. Some game systems provide instructions on how to convert your LARP into an online adventure which means you can schedule a few Zoom sessions where campers can see their friends and play their character in a supplemental adventure that encourages them to sign up for the next season right away. It also helps to drop hints during these online adventures that can be useful for when they return to camp.

These are just a few of the ways that a LARP program can increase your camper retention.  Of course, most retention doesn’t just come from the kind of programs you provide… but the quality of the experiences within those programs.  Make certain that your LARP is engaging, safe, accessible, and perhaps educational, and you should notice more campers coming back to your camp year after year.


About:  Guardian Adventures provides free and licensed educational games, adventures, and LARP systems for summer camps, schools, and recreation organizations.

Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) is a unique and immersive form of role-playing game (RPG) that involves physically acting out characters’ actions and interactions in a live setting. Running a LARP event can be challenging – especially for those new to the world of RPGs. But it can also be a rewarding experience, and with proper planning, it can be a memorable and even impactful event for all involved.

Here are some suggested steps for running a LARP:

  1. Choose a Theme: First, decide on a theme or setting for the game. This can be based on a fictional world, historical event, or even a modern day scenario. The theme or setting will provide a foundation for the game and will help to guide the creation of characters, costumes, and props. You should also consider if the theme fits any educational outcomes you want your players to gain, such as STEM or social emotional learning (SEL).
  2. Choose a Game System: This is what tells your participants and staff how to play the game. Think of it as the “rule book” or “instructions” of any tabletop game. If you are not already using an established LARP game system, you will need to either create one or decide which one to use. If you are new to running a LARP, simple is best. Creating your own system can be a long endeavor because it requires playtesting and updating numerous times. Some free LARP systems are available. You might want to be certain that the game system you choose covers your preferred type of combat or conflict system whether that is using foam weapons or nonviolent communication.
  3. Create Characters: When running a shorter LARP, it is advisable to create established characters for the participants to play. For longer LARPs, you can provide character creation sheets with rules and the participants can design their own character. In either case, these characters should be well-rounded and have distinct personalities and abilities. They should also be appropriate for the theme or setting of the game. Providing a character sheet with the character’s background and abilities can be helpful for the players to better understand and connect with their character.
  4. Props & Costumes: If you are running a short term LARP, participants (called “players”) should be provided with costumes and props to help them fully embody and represent their characters. For longer term LARPs, players can create their own according to the requirements. These can be as simple or as elaborate as desired, but they should be appropriate for the theme or setting of the game. Foam weapons and shields or NERF Blasters can also be provided for safe combat scenarios if this is part of your LARP theme.
  5. Create the Game Scenario: This is often referred to as the “module”, “adventure”, or “quest” for the players to participate in. This scenario should be based on the theme or setting of the game and should provide a clear goal for the players to work towards. The scenario should also include challenges and obstacles that will require the players to work together and use their characters’ abilities. The module might also include STEM or SEL aspects if you want to make the LARP educational. 
  6. Communicate Safety Rules: It’s also important to have a clear safety protocol in place and to train staff and players on these rules before the start of the LARP event. This includes the use of foam weapons or other interactive combat, as well as guidelines for physical contact. It’s also important to look at your LARP through the eyes of accessibility and make adjustments for people with disabilities.

On the day of the event, it’s important to have a clear plan and schedule for the game scenario, and to have a designated person in charge of keeping the game moving and managing any issues that arise. It’s also important to have a designated person in charge of safety during the event. Please keep in mind that there is a saying in LARP that “no story survives first contact with the players”.  What this means is that you should be prepared to flex and change your story or even your desired outcome depending on what the players do. Having some skill in improv acting is very helpful in this area.

After the event, it’s a good idea to have a debriefing session with the players to gather feedback and suggestions for improvement. This can be done through group discussions or written evaluations.

It may sound like a lot of preparation and logistics… but running LARPs and experiencing the level of player immersion and impact can be a powerful reward. As you create and run more, you will become more skilled at it and the preparation gets much less cumbersome. You will likely also look back on your start of running a LARP with gratitude because you will soon realize that there is nothing quite as exciting as acting out an adventure.



Guardian Adventures provide consulting and licensing of educational adventures, including a free LARP and cultural programs, for summer campsamusement & attraction industries, and more.

Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) is a type of role-playing game (RPG) that is a fun and engaging way to immerse oneself in a fictional world, interact with others and live out characters and scenarios. However, LARPs and other interactive events can often be inaccessible to people with disabilities due to physical, sensory or cognitive challenges. Making your event accessible for people with disabilities is crucial to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience a sense of belonging and participate in the adventure.

Here are some tips on how to make LARP or event more accessible:

  1. Conduct a Needs Assessment: It’s important to understand the specific needs of people with disabilities who will be participating in your LARP. Reach out to potential participants and ask them what accommodations they would need to fully participate in the LARP. Conducting a needs assessment is a great way to identify potential barriers to accessibility and make adjustments accordingly. 
  2. Provide Physical Accessibility: Ensure that the venue where you are holding the LARP is wheelchair accessible and has ramps, lifts, and accessible restrooms. Make sure that the terrain is flat and stable and that there are no obstacles that could impede mobility or make a scenario unsafe. Provide accessible seating areas and designated parking spots for people with disabilities.
  3. Sensory Accessibility: Some people with disabilities may have sensory sensitivities or require specific accommodations to help them navigate the environment. To ensure sensory accessibility, consider providing earplugs or earmuffs to dampen noise levels. Create quiet areas where people can take a break from sensory stimulation. Consider providing braille and/or large print versions of handouts and signs.
  4. Provide Assistive Technology: Some people with disabilities may require assistive technology to participate fully in the LARP. Consider providing assistive devices such as an assistive learning device, audio and/or braille versions of written instructions, closed captions for videos, or screen readers.
  5. Make Sure Instructions are Accessible: Provide clear and concise instructions for participants to follow. Use simple language, avoid jargon (or define it first), and provide visual aids with audio description if necessary. Consider providing sign language interpreters, and/or closed captioning.
  6. Create Inclusive Characters: When designing characters, ensure that they are inclusive and diverse. Avoid characters and caricatures that perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Create characters who are staffed by people that reflect a variety of cultures, races, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations. Provide accommodations for people with disabilities in the character design, such as characters that use wheelchairs or have sensory sensitivities, ideally played by people who have these actual disabilities.
  7. Train Staff and Volunteers: Staff and volunteers should be trained in disability awareness and etiquette. Train them to provide accommodations and assistive technology if needed. Make sure that they are aware of the needs of participants with disabilities and are equipped to provide support.
  8. Encourage Feedback: Encourage feedback from participants with disabilities about their experience with the LARP. Listen to their suggestions and concerns both before and afterwards during a debrief and make adjustments accordingly. Consider establishing an accessibility committee of people who require accessibility to continuously review policies and processes and make improvements.

Making LARP or events accessible for people with disabilities requires planning, awareness, and sensitivity. It can also require LARP creators to re-think their systems, location, and their stories or characters. It requires more preparation time and perhaps even expense.  However, creating an accessible and inclusive LARP benefits everyone simply because all people have different needs – even those who do not have a disability.  Providing for these needs can make it easier for players and staff who have a lesser degree of hearing loss or who have limited vision or mobility all feel included.

Taking the time to make your LARP or event accessible can not only attract more participants, but also help those people feel like they belong – which helps them become emotionally immersed in the experience.  This state of immersion is what makes LARPs unique and powerful. So just start making adjustments one at a time and eventually you will have an inclusive and accessible LARP.


Guardian Adventures provide consulting and licensing of educational adventures, including a free LARP and cultural programs, for summer campsamusement & attraction industries, and more.

A Roleplaying Game (RPG) is a type of game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional (or reality-based) setting. These games typically involve a group of players, who work together to create a shared narrative and make decisions based on the characters they are playing.  RPGs have grown in both style and popularity over the years and can be found in a wide variety of industries as a useful tool beyond just entertainment.

RPGs originated from tabletop games in the 1970s with one of the most famous being Dungeons & Dragons. They have since evolved to include various other forms such as video games, live-action role-playing games (LARPs), and online role-playing games (RPGs).

In a traditional tabletop RPG, players each take on the role of a character in a fantasy, modern day, or science fiction setting, and work together to complete a series of quests or missions. The game is usually led by a game manager (GM), who is responsible for creating the world and the NPCs (non-player characters) that the players interact with.

The GM sets the scene and presents the players with challenges, while the players make decisions based on their characters’ abilities and motivations. The game is essentially a collaborative storytelling experience, with players working together to create a narrative and solve problems.

Video games RPGs are similar to traditional tabletop RPGs, but are played on a computer or video game console. These games often involve a single player taking on the role of a character and working through a series of quests or missions to advance the story.

LARPs involve a group of players physically acting out their characters in a real-world setting. The players will often wear costumes and use props to help them get into the character and the setting (depending on the theme and game mechanics).

Online RPGs allow players to interact with others over the internet, using text or voice chat to communicate. These games can be played on a computer or mobile device, and are a popular form of RPG for those who may not have access to a physical group of players.

RPGs can be used in educational settings, training sessions, and simulations.  Their interactive and improvisational game mechanics make them a useful tool for a variety of purposes including nonviolent communication exercises, social-emotional learning, cultural-based learning, and more. Because RPGs can be emotionally immersive, GMs may want to consider a debrief time and, in the case of LARPs, rigorous safety rules.

As more research is conducted over time, the effectiveness of RPGs in learning is being explored and expanded.  Their significance reaches far beyond simple entertainment and has become an integral part of a growing number of industries.  

But they are also just plain fun.


Guardian Adventures provide consulting and licensing of educational adventures, including a free LARP and cultural programs, for summer camps, amusement & attraction industries, and more.

Nonviolent Conflict Resolution (NCR) is an approach to settle conflict that emphasizes communication, cooperation, and empathy. It is based on the idea that conflict can be resolved without the use of violence, and that by understanding the underlying issues and emotions involved, individuals can find mutually beneficial solutions. Note: This approach requires investment in Social Emotional Learning (SEL) so that students of NCR have a better understanding of their and others’ emotional state, motivations, and how best to de-escalate a situation.

Nonviolent conflict resolution can have many benefits, including:

  1. Reducing violence: NCR teaches individuals to resolve conflict through communication and cooperation, rather than through violence. This can help to reduce the incidence of physical and verbal aggression, and create a safer environment – both mentally and physically.
  2. Empathy and understanding: This approach emphasizes the importance of understanding the perspectives and emotions of others. By learning to empathize with others, individuals can build stronger relationships and work together to find mutually beneficial (and often more creative and robust) solutions.
  3. Conflict resolution skills: Individuals can learn the skills they need to resolve conflicts effectively and in a way that may be more long-lasting. Using skills such as active listening, negotiation, and problem-solving, each “side” of the conflict will have an opportunity to have their concerns heard and hopefully addressed. As well, individuals trained in NCR can feel more confident and capable in their ability to resolve conflicts by having more tools beyond physical or verbal aggression.
  4. Cultural sensitivity: With a robust training approach that includes Culture Based Learning, nonviolent conflict resolution can promote cultural sensitivity and understanding. By learning about different cultures and customs, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the perspectives of others and find ways to resolve conflicts that respect the beliefs and values of all parties.
  5. Long-term benefits: The long-term benefits for individuals (and also for society as a whole) include reduction in crime, improved relationships, and communities where members feel a sense of belonging. This, in turn, can lead to higher engagement and a more inclusive society.

In order to be effective, nonviolent conflict resolution education or training requires not just conceptual learning, but also interactive practice.  This can often be best served with live action roleplaying (called LARP) and a significant amount of time dedicated to debriefing so as to improve the transfer of knowledge outside of the learning environment and be available to the learner during actual conflict.

Nonviolent conflict resolution is an important set of skills that can provide more equitable, impactful, and long-lasting outcomes for individuals, organizations, and communities. 


Guardian Adventures provide consulting and licensing of educational adventures, including a free LARP and cultural programs, for summer campsamusement & attraction industries, and more.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an important aspect of personal development that can be taught using a variety of methods, including Live Action Role-Playing (LARP). LARPing allows participants to physically embody a character and interact with others in a live setting, which can provide a unique and immersive experience for teaching SEL. LARP allows for a limitless range of scenarios and themes such as Real World, Fantasy, Historical, Sci-Fi, Superhero, and more.

SEL can be taught using LARP through the creation of characters and scenarios that involve social and emotional challenges. For example, a real world LARP could be set in a high school where characters have to navigate social hierarchies, form relationships, and deal with difficult emotions such as jealousy, betrayal, and anxiety. Because of the “pretend” nature of LARP, participants can choose to be characters who conduct themselves in a manner that the participant would like to explore… such as a character who is more courageous, honorable, or assertive than the person would actually feel in life outside of the LARP. If the participant makes a mistake or their decisions don’t feel right, they can always “blame” it on the character and try something different.

SEL can also be taught through the use of non-player characters (NPCs) who can serve as role models or antagonists. NPCs are typically played by staff or teachers and are intended to move the exercise forward for the participants. NPCs can be used to model positive social and emotional behaviors, such as empathy, kindness, and assertiveness, or to challenge players to practice dealing with difficult emotions and situations.

As well, SEL can be taught through the active practice of nonviolent communication in dynamic scenarios involving Improv and basic character guidelines.  This can include negotiation skills as well as learning how to express feelings in a manner that is not aggressive or accusatory.

It’s also important to debrief and reflect on the LARP event as a way to evaluate the learning experience and to integrate the SEL lessons learned into everyday life. This can be done through group discussions, written reflections, or even creating an action plan to apply the learned skills into real-life scenarios.

In addition, it’s important to have clear safety protocols in place and to train staff and participants on safety rules before the start of the LARP event. This includes the use of foam weapons or props as well as guidelines for physical contact. It’s also important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency.

LARP can certainly be enjoyed for just being “fun”. But it should never be overlooked as a powerful tool for personal and even professional development. By embodying characters and experiencing immersive scenarios firsthand, participants can learn about and practice different social and emotional skills in a safe and controlled environment.  And when debriefing is provided, they can transfer those new skills outside of the LARP environment and into real life.


About:  Guardian Adventures provides free and licensed educational games, adventures, and LARP systems for summer camps, schools, and recreation organizations.

LARPing, or live action role-playing, is a fun and exciting game that allows participants (called “players”) to fully immerse themselves in a fictional world. However, it’s important to ensure that everyone involved is both emotionally and physically safe throughout the event. 

Here are some tips to help make sure your LARP is safe for all players:

    1. Clearly communicate rules and expectations. Before the event, make sure all participants understand the rules of the game, as well as any expectations for behavior. This will help prevent any misunderstandings or accidents during the LARP.
    2. Have a safety plan in place. It’s important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency, including emotional distress. This includes maintaining a first aid kit and location, emergency contact numbers, and a designated person in charge of handling any safety issues that may arise.
    3. Use safe combat and weapons. Make sure that all combat and weapons used during the LARP are safe for use. This might include using foam weapons with specific safety elements, having a weapons check, and testing players for proper combat technique before the event. Be certain that all participants understand what is considered appropriate contact level for striking each other with a foam weapon.
    4. Be specific around what is not allowed. For example:
      • No carrying or bodily moving another person
      • No lying on the ground when there is combat in the area
      • No running at night or in low-light situations
      • No climbing up structures
    5. Make sure that there are designated “non-combat” areas where there are fragile props or unsafe trip hazards. Also consider using plastic props instead of glass and battery operated candles instead of actual candles with real flames.
    6. Encourage consent. Make sure that all players are aware of the importance of consent and that any physical contact or combat is only done with the explicit consent of all involved. For example:  All participants (not just players) have to ask and receive consent to touch another person’s body before doing so. Also, check in with participants and provide a system of communication (especially a command for halting all action) if they feel uncomfortable with any aspect of the game.
    7. Provide a way for participants to opt-out. Some players may not feel comfortable with some aspects of the LARP, such as combat or certain role-playing scenarios. Make sure there is an easy way for them to opt-out or take a break if they need to. You might also consider providing less intense interaction options for those who are younger or prone to feeling overwhelmed.
    8. Encourage open communication. Throughout the event, encourage players to speak up if they have any concerns or issues, including emotional safety. This will help ensure that any problems are addressed as quickly as possible.
    9. Provide debriefing and support after the event. After the event, provide an opportunity for players to debrief and process their experience. This can be done through a group discussion or one-on-one support with a designated person.

As you can see from above, a great deal of safety at LARPs has to do with open communication and boundary setting. It’s important to cover each of these points in any LARP event so that your players and participants feel confident that they can speak up if they feel unsafe and that their physical and emotional well-being is the top concern during the event. With these considerations, your players can focus on having fun and enjoying the many benefits of LARP.


About:  Guardian Adventures provides free and licensed educational games, adventures, and LARP systems for summer camps, schools, and recreation organizations.