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    Weird Experience: Transformations of Space/Place in Lovecraftian LARP

    Germaine, Chloe ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5187-8815 and Mitchell, Laura (2021) Weird Experience: Transformations of Space/Place in Lovecraftian LARP. Studies in Gothic Fiction, 7. pp. 30-40. ISSN 2156-2407

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    This article takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of live-action roleplaying games (LARP). Using techniques derived from organization studies, Gothic Studies, and speculative philosophy, we present autoethnographic reflections on playing and organizing live-action roleplaying games inspired by the stories of H. P. Lovecraft. We contend that such games construct and then destabilize an improvised “place” that reveals the underlying weirdness of material “space” underneath. “Space” is Weird in the sense intimated by the thematics of Lovecraftian fiction, which offers glimpses into a chaotic space that lies outside a seemingly-ordered human universe. This article gives several examples that point to the potential of “Lovecraftian” LARP to likewise produce momentary ontological shock and horror. If Weird fiction in its literary form aims at revealing (if only in fragments) an incomprehensible material reality that lies beyond human perception, LARP takes this further, allowing, if only for a moment, the constructed layers of everyday places to crumble and collapse, laying bare the invisible, everyday mechanics that make sense of the Weirdness of reality.

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