Webinar: Thar Be Dragons!... Taking Inspiration From Live Action Roleplay for eLearning


Thar Be Dragons!... Taking Inspiration From Live Action Roleplay for eLearning_Blog Header 800x350

Escape the mundane tasks of daily work life and journey with us to a place where imagination runs free and anything is possible! Our user experience designer Josh Bleggi opened up and shared how his adventures as a member of a Live Action Roleplay (LARP) group help him make better, more creative design decisions and avoid common project pitfalls.


In this webinar, Josh covered:

  1. A Brief Introduction to the World of LARPing
  2. 5 Stories and Lessons Learned


So, what is LARPing?

LARPing is a type of interactive role-playing game in which the participants portray characters through physical action, often in costume and with props. If you've ever seen a group of unconventionally dressed adults attacking each other with foam weapons in a park, you've probably witnessed a LARP group.




There are several different types of LARP groups, which Josh explains in more detail in the webinar. Some of the benefits and reasons people join LARP groups include:

  • Collaborative Storytelling
  • Creative Outlet
  • Stress Relief
  • Relationship Building


Okay, cool. But, how does LARPing relate to designing good eLearning?

Josh opened this up to the webinar attendees to get a feel for what people thought about this before sharing his 5 stories. Suggestions from the audience included:

  • Good learning is based on developing the learner. Role playing games often have that element of developing the character, upping his/her stats, etc
  • Gives participants opportunity to pose real-life scenarios


Lessons Josh Learned From LARPing That Apply to eLearning


1. Keep Things Simple

When Josh went to his first LARP, the organizers gave him a brief rundown of the most important rules and guidelines, and then let him jump into the game and experience it for himself. You can apply this to your learning development:

  • Don't give learners more than they can handle
  • Add more as learners progress
  • Gamify learning for better engagement


2. Learn, Rehearse, Perform

In addition to the weekly event at the park, Josh's group has fighter practice each week. At practice, more experienced members would give the newer members tips and critiques and they could practice there and then apply it at the weekly event. This concept of learn, rehearse, and perform is a key training concept too.

  • Start with formal learning
  • Build skill through practice in a safe environment
  • Foster a culture of mentorship


3. Tell a Compelling Story

Each weekly event at the park is structured around a specific game or battle with rules and a backstory. So, while it may look like a bunch of adults running around willy-nilly, bopping each other with pool noodles, they are actually unified teams working toward a shared goal. Sound like something that might apply to eLearning?

  • Give your learner a reason for performing the desired action
  • Make the learner the hero
  • Deliver on the promise


4. Prepare for Success

Josh shared a story of a bigger LARP event that unfortunately was not executed well, leading to unhappy participants and postponed games. You can avoid similar situations in your training by following these tips:

  • Know where you want to go from the beginning
  • Trust others to know what they are doing
  • Make sure everyone has the support they need to succeed
  • Be willing to adjust on the fly




5. Be Brave

Depending on your LARP group, characters can have different strengths and weaknesses. These develop over time as you play. As Josh shared, it's important to be brave enough to experiment with your character and enjoy how you're playing in the LARP. You can apply this confidence to how you develop eLearning and how you pitch ideas to your boss or stakeholders.

  • Everyone does the job differently—doesn't mean they are wrong
  • Do things other people won't
  • The craziest ideas sometimes turn out the best

To learn more about LARPing and go into depth on how these lessons apply to eLearning, watch the recording now:



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