Designing with Dissonance

Navigating Immersion and Embodiment in Online Larps with Co-located Characters and Remote Players



immersion, laog, larp


Online larps have recently grown in popularity and see players acting over video and text communication platforms to play their characters in real time. These games often use the medium as a diegetic space and are written with the assumption that both the players and the characters are interacting remotely; the characters communicate through video calls, radio signals or text messages to match the distributed nature of the players. However, a number of online larps do not employ this strategy and instead have the players operating remotely while the characters are in the same location. This article explores the challenges and possibilities of creating online, immersive games where there is dissonance between medium and activity and how games can retain immersion and embodiment. By using physical and digital artefacts, augmenting the environment and generating creative ways to interact with those spaces; designers are able to create meaningful, engaging games.


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