[personal profile] oakenguy
Intercon M happened! And while outside of game there were a few off-notes that made me aware that my mingle-and-socialize muscles have gotten alarmingly atrophied, each and every larp I was in was awesome.

There was one thing in particular that threw me for a loop, and I think it's a good illustration of how larps can have unique strengths as a game/event/artform. Saturday night I played in Teenage Mystery Dance Party, a game where ALL the teen characters from the Hanna Barbera cartoons get together in the same mansion for a big party. I was part of Team Speed Buggy; the Scooby Doo gang was well-represented, as was Team Speed Racer, Josie and the Pussycats, and even the Jabberjaw group managed to travel back in time from their usual setting to take part (and try to protect their timeline from alien invasion by Zorak's mantis-people). And most of the game was the sort of madcap set of escapades that you'd expect--chase scenes! People in flimsy costumes trying to scare away meddling kids! A battle of the bands! A road race! Plus all the cross-pollination you'd expect from the different shows, with Jabberjaw getting his fins on some Scooby snacks and Speed Buggy and Speed Racer teaming up to trap a villain by blinding him with headlights. Hijinxalicious!


Now, here's the most beautiful thing of all: as far as I know, none of this happened because of anything any of the 5 GMs did. It just grew organically. Valerie from the Pussycats and Velma from Scooby Doo had teamed up to create a device that would increase someone's intelligence because, let's face it, every team had at least one character who could really use it. But out of everyone, by far the dumbest character (and this is a testament to the player's acting ability) was Bubbles from Team Jabberjaw. How dumb? She had a special ability called "Too dumb to be scared" that kept her from running away when a monster appeared. When she was asked if she'd like to help with the experiment she thought they were saying spearmint and offering her gum, so they zapped her, and she went from being the most clueless person in the very large room to being (and this is another testament to the player's acting ability) by far the smartest. Which, considering that Hanna Barbera likes to stock each its teams with at least one gadgeteer/brain/Clueful person, is saying something. So the teen genius group welcomed its new member and/or developed instant crushes, and all was well.

And then we all realized that the effect was temporary.

In the last half hour of the game, with almost all of our special abilities used up, we'd just entered/created Flowers for Algernon: the LARP.

I can't really describe the honest panic as the smartest characters from four different shows pooled their brainpower to try to figure out how to help Bubbles, who was (have I mentioned this was a good player?) losing her intelligence bit by bit and getting more and more distressed as people came up and asked her questions that she knew she used to know the answers to. We were in the last 90 seconds of game when we got everyone together with what we hoped was a functioning device that would make her intelligence permanent...turned it on...and saw everyone from Team Jabberjaw suddenly vanish. And then GAME END. With none of us knowing whether we'd saved her brain, or erased her entire timeline.

This game was supposed to be my light, fluffy vacation from the angst of the other larps!

(For the record, during the post-game wrap-up the lead GM confirmed that Bubbles and the rest of Team Jabberjaw had just gone back to their own time. Except they'd also never been here in the first place, so they hadn't won the Battle of the Bands. Except we remembered them. I think. By that point in the night I was a little wiped out.)
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