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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by pass type, topic, and format. You will be able to build your personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021.

Board Game Design Summit: Embodied Play: Lessons for Tabletop Game Designers from LARP

Kathryn Hymes  (Co-Founder & Lead Game Designer, Thorny Games)

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Board Game Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

Live Action Roleplay (LARP) is doing some of the most innovative explorations into embodied play in gaming today. With decades of community engagement and academic study, there are many innovations in LARP that have largely gone unnoticed to the broader design community.

Let's fix that. What is LARP? What design patterns and concepts are helpful frames for understanding embodied play? Most importantly, what can tabletop designers learn from LARP in order to tell deeper more resonating stories?


People who attend will take away key patterns and prominent LARP that can be readily applied to tabletop design.

Intended Audience

This talk will primarily benefit those who make tabletop games, and are looking to venture into new uncharted design waters.