Nordic Nations: A Magic Larp Kingdom

For anyone who’s seriously into larping (and can, of course, speak a Scandinavian language), a trip to the Nordic countries is an absolute must. While larping is growing in popularity in the USA and Canada, European Northerners have taken the art form, adopted it as their own, and added a dash of high culture. Prepare for the best larp of your life.

Denmark, long considered as the epicenter of all things larp-oriented, has a population smaller than that of Indiana (approximately $5.5-million). Yet the Nordic nation has a larp community about 100,000 people strong, or about two percent of the total population. Other Nordic countries are close on Denmark’s heels following the larping trend—and with the establishment of cultural festivals and artistic funding grants, it looks like larp will be there to stay.

For anyone considering visiting, a larp festival takes place in the Nordic countries annually. Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland take turns hosting Knutepunkt, a live-action avant-garde larp convention. Expect to see out-of-this-world costumes, complex plot outlines for future games, and of course a lot of play. Norway hosts Knutepunkt for 2013, from April 18 to the 21.

If you can’t make Knutepunkt and are still set on larping in a foreign land, Denmark is still a great destination year-round. Danish larp magazine ROLLE|SPIL, launched in 2010, has lists of events happening around the country. And in a country that publishes not only one larp magazine, but multiple ones, you can be sure to meet with some interesting faces who are down to go gaming.

This part of Europe has nurtured their larping communities and developed a distinct style that differs from North American larp. Expect the Nordic games to be more emotional, darker, and more physical—read: more intense. For any larper who’s looking to take their play to the next level, a trip across the Atlantic might be in order. The Scandinavian countries have turned this hobby into a unique and powerful form of human expression that should be experienced by any fan of the genre.