Readiness: The LARP
Game Master’s Report : Projections on the Upcoming Civil War
By Theo Triantafyllidis & Kostis Stafylakis
Special Feature for OFluxo Platform
Published November 2020
Between the 16th and the 18th of October 2020, Readiness the LARP, a chamber live action roleplaying game took stage in Athens, Greece. The chamber was located in a secreted, highly migrated area of central Athens, near the Pakistani and the Chinese community. Readiness the Larp was designed to narrate and foreplay the pending scenarios of an upcoming American Civil War. It sparked the friction between a group roleplaying “the Preppers” (this movement of doomsday enthusiasts who marshal for the “end of the world as we know it”), an additional bunch of “Boogaloo Bois” (Civil War accelerationists flexing tactical gear and Hawaian shirts), and a group playing the “Golden Horde” (the allegedly criminal horde of the unprepared citizens molded in preppers’ jargon and literature). The game also featured a number of neutral figures inspired by popular digital culture: The Oracle, Pudge, Sensei, the Operator and Jeso (a non binary variation of the messiah). The game consisted of 3 acts meant to unravel in 3 consequent days.
Readiness is a serialized simulation of the unfolding political antagonism. It adapts real, often scary and cringey collective identities to a world permeated by fantasy aesthetics and infantile hopepunk sentimentalism.
The Preppers were played as herbalists by two participants, catering their tented plantation of blood-producing crops. Their main task was to protect the garden and the Egg (home of Jeso) against the attacks of the Golden Horde, provide ingredients for the Oracle’s potions, and develop a fungus that could exterminate the Horde. On the second day, a prepper conspirated with the Boogaloo Bois to snatch his fellow prepper and carry out sick experiments on him.
The Golden Horde started in a dismal state. Batu, the legendary leader of the Horde, woke up captured and imprisoned by Boogaloo Bois. The ExCop (member of the Horde) was also chained and detained. The Looter (Horde) struggled through a hidden tunnel to free the ExCop, while the Activist (Horde) provided guidance from the “Art of War”. Their main goal was to steal everything that was not nailed down (weapons, lockets, chains, props etc.) and use it to conquer the Egg (home of Jeso). By the 3rd day of the Game, the Horde prevailed, bashing and humiliating the filthy Preppers and Boogaloo Bois. They then published the “Declaration of the Golden Horde”, and disseminated memes for the global empowerment of the Horde.
The Boogaloo Bois were monitoring and torturing Batu, the captured leader of the Horde. Their task was to capture most members of the horde, cage them, and experiment with bootleg neuralink Brain Implants (-1 Intelligence, +1 Perception) on the heads of their caged specimens. The neuralink tryouts were ordered and commissioned by their boss, whose tech company is about to launch a new project to develop neural connections between electronic devices and the brain, aiming to monitor brain activity. Meanwhile, those space boys enjoyed to mock their fellow preppers for their obsolete attachment to the cultivation of the soil.
The Oracle casted spells against the Horde, sanctified the Preppers’ weapons and fed the preppers with a magical potion (+2 Constitution), using a sacred spoon. She sat on her throne, communicated with Jeso through a sacred lore and delivered ritual litanies to protect the Egg. On the 3rd day, she turned sick and spread a disease to all.
Pudge raided the camp on the second day causing total mayhem. It cried out a duress to the camera but it was ignominiously put down by the Sensei.
The Sensei supervised the game’s armory taking trades to provide players with weapons. A true warlady, Sensei taught defence techniques (+2 to Unarmed Combat) to participants and flexed breakdance moves. A system of barter economy governed the relations between clans and persons. Anyone was allowed to barter.
Jeso dwelled the Egg, the sacred capsule that the Horde sought to conquer. Operating through its secluded space, Jeso sang anthems and blessings but it was mostly preoccupied with narcissistic self-curation and texting on social media and Youtube’s live chat. On the 3rd day, Jeso blessed the Horde and sided with their victorious insurgency against preppers and Boogaloo Bois.
The Operator had installed a CCTV monitoring system and a series of sensors distributed to the subjects. The system was simultaneously broadcasting the experiment to a group of observers. Data was extensively collected from the head mounted cameras, neuralink waveforms, crowd tracking system, player vectors and the postgame forensics scan. This data will now be analysed and used as the primary Data Set fed into an Artificial Neural Network trained to predict the outcome of the upcoming Civil War.
Readiness: The LARP by Kostis Stafylakis, Theo Triantafyllidis & Alexis Fidetzis
With: Vasilis Bakalis, Stathis Chalkias, Sotiris Fokeas, Christos Fousekis, Marilia Kaisar, Kosmas Kosmopoulos, Markella Ksilogiannopoulou, Anna Samara, Lia Smaragda, Savvas Tsimouris, Vassilis Vlastaras, Poka-Yio
Μovement Αdvisor: Maria Gorgia