What makes a mind conscious? Are humans permitted to do whatever they desire to androids? What makes a human being ‘human’? Conscience is a larp inspired by the famous HBO tv series Westworld about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the moral implications of those innovations for all involved. It explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.
This larp is an original creation inspired among other things on HBO's Westword TV Show, but does not use characters or follows the plot from the series.
Framed in a mixture of western and corporate themes, Conscience intends to address subjects such as ethical choices, the nature of humanity, the consequences of one’s actions, and the limits of consciousness in AI.
The in-game location will be both the wild west theme park Conscience and the headquarters of the company that owns the park, Aleph.
The Guests in the park can live out a true Western experience with no restrictions and no effects on their real life. They could rob a bank, join the desperados, become a sheriff, or save innocent people. It is an escape from the perfect everyday world they live in, a world in which illness has been completely defeated. For the players of the Guests, their experience will be either a descent into villainy or an ascent into heroism, whatever is decided in-game. They can also choose a different path every day; plot loops only last one day, so the next day guests will find a new blank canvas for them to play in.
The park opens every day at 8am and closes at 12pm, and a number of plots, created by the company’s Plot writers, repeat themselves day after day. Every day is different, depending on Guests’ behaviour, and every Aleph personnel member works to improve the Guest’s experience.
Guests ticket price is 420€. They will sleep in cabins of 3-8 people.
Hosts are the robots that exist to satisfy the Guests’ desires in Conscience. They are subject to the three laws, inspired by Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics:
- “A Host will never permanently harm a human being”.
- “A Host will obey the orders of authorized human beings, except if the order is in conflict with the first directive”.
- “A Host will preserve its existence, except if self-preservation is in conflict with the first or second directive”
The Host’s plots can be changed by Aleph’s Plot writers. Their personality and mind may be modified by Aleph’s Behaviour characters.
The experience for participants playing Hosts relies on objectification, the absence of consciousness, and servitude to humans. It is not an experience that is suitable for all players, because it is very oppressive. If you have problems feeling objectified, please consider not playing a Host.
Host ticket price is 360€. They will sleep in dorms 6-30 people. Hosts will need to bring a smartphone and headphones.
Aleph is headed by a Board of Directors. Its day-to-day operations are organized in departments, each with their own Head: QA, Behaviour, and Plot writers. Game experience for players portraying company employees will revolve around the contradictions of corporate work and the ethical dilemmas they face. All company workers can visit the park during their free time, so they will also have the chance to be a Guest and live the Western experience.
QA consists of two different departments: Security and Maintenance.
The players in Security will live the military/private security experience with training, monitoring the Hosts, and playing directly in the park as undercover Guests.
The players in Maintenance will be the blue collar workers. They will be in charge of repairing the Hosts and charging their batteries. Their conflicts will be related to their attachment to the Hosts and their low status in the company.
Behaviour players will be the ones involved in the creation of the Host’s personality and behaviour. They will be in charge of altering Host’s minds, either for plot reasons or because of behavioral issues, and will perform interviews with the Hosts. Their conflicts will mainly be related to the ethics of playing God.
Plot writer players will be in charge of plots and the fun of the Guests. They will write up new ideas and events, rehearse them with the Hosts, and program them. Their conflicts will be related to creative processes, egos, and how to entertain the Guests..
Board of directors ticket price is 420€. They will sleep in cabins 3-8 people. They will need a tablet and a smartphone with headphones
Aleph employees ticket price is 360€. They will sleep in dorms from 6 to 30 people. They will need a tablet and a smartphone with headphones, and they will need to be also in Aleph uniform.
Practical and Sign up
You will receive a second email after sign up with a questionnaire that you should fill out for casting. After casting the larp, we will send you a character concept. Then, less than two months before the larp, you'll receive a full character with plots and relationships.
Number of players: 92.
Guests and department heads of the company will sleep in bungalows (3 to 8 people). Their ticket price will be 420€.
Hosts and company employees will sleep in communal rooms on bunk beds (6 to 30 people). Their tickets will cost 360€.
There will be two reduced price tickets (for either host or aleph employee) The reduced price will be 250€. If you would like to apply for a reduced price ticket, contact us at: email@example.com before the 10th Dec. On 10th Dec we will make a lottery .
Jan 6th: 1st payment: 95€.
May 5th: 2nd payment.
If you need to make more payments, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
The larp signup fee (95€) is non-refundable.
If you cancel your participation one month and a half or less before the larp starts, there will be no refunds. The organizers reserve the right to refuse a participant the right to participate in the larp without giving any reason. In such a case, the full fee will be returned to the participant. The organizers also reserve the right to refuse a participant to continue the larp if said participant makes the larp an unsafe place. In such a case, no refund will be given.
Run 3: Oct 19th to 22th 2019.
Run 4: Oct 26th to 29th 2019.
Players are required to be on location on Saturday morning, to register and prepare for the event. The game will start after lunch on Saturday and it won't end until Monday afternoon-night. There will be an out of game after-party on Monday night.
There will be no out of game breaks for showering, eating or sleeping; you’ll be able to do all of that as your character would.
Once the larp starts, all meals will be in game. The food will be managed by a professional cook and her team, but we will need the help of the Hosts and company workers to serve it.
There will be theme appropriate food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Drinks are included, but no alcohol is served in game. Unless you have any special dietary needs (please inform the organizers if you do!) you’re requested to not bring your own food.
ALCOHOL, AFTER GAME DINNER AND PARTY
We won´t serve alcohol in game, but we will sell it at the afterparty.
A dinner will be provided after the end of the game and then we’ll party. .
ARRIVAL AT THE PARK
We will arrange a charter “larp bus” for those coming by train or airplane; it will depart from Malaga (the international airport closest to the location).
We'll give you all the relevant details in a few months’ time.
Saturday 8AM: bus departure from Malaga.
Saturday before 11AM: meeting at Fort Bravo.
Saturday from 11 to 11:30: sign up and formalities. We can't guarantee participation in the event for anyone who arrives after 11:30 am.
Saturday from 11:30 to 15:00 lodging, , pre-larp workshops, light meal.
Saturday 16:30 The larp starts.
Monday afternoon, the larp ends (around 18-19 pm).
Monday evening: post-larp dinner (included in the larp fee)
Tuesday 8 AM: bus departure to Malaga.
There will be a website that will enhance the robot-human interaction and the interaction between the different company departments. It will always be used as an addition and with the only purpose of helping us tell the story.
Hosts and Aleph characters will need a smartphone, able to run telegram.
Aleph characters will also need a tablet. If you don´t own one, please ask us.
Orga will provide wifi in Aleph offices area and sim cards for the smartphones of players that don't have roaming.
The larp experience will be improved with the technology, but it is not based in technology.
Costumes and props
The clothes should match the visual style but need not be historically correct. All characters will need a Far West-style costume.
Players can bring their own cap gun or ask us about one. Please note: bringing a cap gun may not be legal if you arrive by plane.
Characters from Aleph will need to wear the official Aleph uniform and will bring a smartphone with headphones and tablet.
Hosts will bring a smartphone with headphones.
The location of the game is in the desert of Tabernas, Almería (Spain). The buildings and facades date from the 60s when Sergio Leone discovered Tabernas and started filming his numerous cinema successes here, turning Tabernas into an instantly recognizable part of the new genre known as spaghetti-western. “For a Few Dollars More,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," and some episodes of the famous tv shows "Penny Dreadful" and "Game of Thrones" were shot in Fort Bravo.
The park is open to tourists during the larp, as it is a year-round attraction. When deciding on the date of the larp, we have taken them into account, and we have picked the time of year when the location is quietest. We have asked organizers of other larps (Ultime Western, French larp) about their experiences with them, and we noticed while filming there that they hardly interfere. We also have a lot of exclusive locations.
During the game, the tourists will unknowingly play members of the One Smile Association, people allowed into the park as a part of the company’s social responsibility program. They are easily told apart as they do not wear Western clothes.
Hosts are programmed to ignore them.
SAFETY IN CONSCIENCE
Our safety system relies on the ability of players to set and respect boundaries, be able to say safe words, and be able to speak with the safety team in case you are not ok. If you have trouble doing that, this larp is not for you.
CODE OF CONDUCT
- People are more important than the larp. Safety is our priority. Respect all the game security rules.
- Each person’s body is their own. They alone may set their boundaries and say what makes them comfortable. Please be clear establishing your limits, both physical and emotional. Don’t be afraid to modify your limits if you feel to during the game. Asking about someone's boundaries is expected, pushing them is not acceptable
- Consent must be freely given, vocalized and considered inviolable. Respect everybody’s boundaries and don’t tease, gossip about, ostracize or retaliate against someone who has set a consent boundary. In fact, we would like you to thank your fellow co-players for setting boundaries, as practicing active consent negotiations allows everyone to feel more comfortable.
- Off-game harassment, abuse, or assault of any participant – or using the alibi of character to harass, abuse, or assault a player – is not tolerated. This includes any reference to the race, gender identity or presentation, sexuality, body size, conventional beauty, age, and experience.
- Each participant is responsible for their own actions; for reading, understanding and abiding by the Code of Conduct; and for the consequences of their actions to others.
- Everybody might harm another member, whether intended to do so or not, and must accept the responsibility of their own behavior. If you are informed about this kind of situation you are expected to reflect this in your own behavior and seek to change it. Don’t deflect, blame, or become defensive if you are informed that you have harmed someone.
- No one should ostracize or retaliate against any member for setting a consent boundary or for making a report of harassment or abuse.
- If you witness someone behaving in a manner that is against our Code of Conduct we encourage you to ask them to stop. Please inform the Safety Team of the incident. You may report anonymously if you feel more comfortable doing so and we will respect your privacy.
- We won´t serve alcohol in game, but we will do so at the afterparty. We ask you to avoid drinking your own alcohol during the game. You will have time to enjoy alcohol drinks during the afterparty.
- Inform Not Only Larp team about any health problem or allergies we should take into consideration.
Emergency: “Emergency, stop playing”. Everyone should stop their scene.
For every player:
- Green (or one tap on the shoulder). When someone uses this, it means the rest of the players can raise their game intensity. It is a suggestion, not an order.
- Yellow (or tapping the shoulder twice). When someone uses this, the other players have to lower their game intensity. This is an order you have to follow.
- Red. The scene stops immediately. This is an order. The person who stops the scene can ask for what she/he needs.
Low battery: This is a safe word for Hosts. The Hosts may appear to be robots, but of course, the players are not. If they're bored, tired, have spent too much time in a scene, or a human is ordering something they don't want to do, they can say those magic words and ask for what they need. For example: “Low battery. I need to take a seat,” or “Low battery. I need to get to Maintenance to go back to the park,” or “Low battery. I won’t serve dinner.”
No real sex, no touching of genitals, no touching of people who are naked. Racism or comments about the body of the players are prohibited.
When recreating a public sex scene, one you want other players to witness, it needs to look like sex; this will be covered in the workshop.
VIOLENCE & SEXUAL VIOLENCE
There will be a workshop where we will explain how to depict sex and violence.
We will also use different colored ribbons to communicate the experience the player wants to consider experiencing:
- White ribbon: violence.
- Red ribbon: sexual violence.
Everyone can be involved in a shooting and might die because of a gunshot.
- no ribbon: no one can touch you.
- White ribbon: scalate scenes with safe words. You agree with grabbing arms and wrestling. You agree to negotiate violence over grabbing arms and wrestling..
You need to negotiate off-game before the scene (from now until the scene happens) with a player that wears the ribbon or in the facebook group for negotiations.
This is the negotiation’s scheme for violence over grabbing arms and wresting and sexual violence:
- "we need to talk, I would like to play a ____ scene with you" fill blanks with sex/violence/torture/bdsm/pillow fighting".
- "do you have any limits or triggers?" This way is mandatory to consider limits always
- "do you want to set the scene beforehand or do you have any desire for the scene?"
Victims and abusers can start negotiations in a facebook group we'll open as soon the casting process is ended.
A negotiation could be "play the scene until the kidnap starts, bring me to a dark alley and that is where we end".
When the scene has started any of the players can should use the safe words to ask for more intensity or to slow down the scene.
Disclaimer: Being treated as an object could have a strong impact on your emotions. If you have personal issues that may worsen from this type of play, a larp is not the place to self-medicate or to try to resolve those issues. In this case, please consider not playing these scenes.
Scenes about sexual violence and nudity will be played in special zones of the location.
This is an out of game space that works as a safety net for the players. If your play is having any negative impact on you, you can come here and eat, rebalance, relax, or get a hug.
ARE YOU OK?
Gamemasters or other players can ask if a player is ok with this sign:
You can reply with:
“Yes, I am ok”.
“Not sure”. This hand signal, which means the player doesn't quite know how they feel, or that it's neither good or bad. This should be treated as a thumbs down by the person doing the asking. Please ask the player if they want to get to the safe space.
“No, I am not”. Please bring the player to the safe space.
NotOnlyLarp has a First Aid Team to deal with any health problem that can happen during the event. Please inform us about any health problem or allergies we should take into consideration and the way to deal with it. We also want to know any player that can volunteer help to our First Aid Team.
We have a first aid kit but this does not include medication, everyone has to bring their own.
NotOnlyLarp has a Safety Team to deal with any issue that can be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct or threaten attendee safety.
Feel free to raise any complaint to our Safety Team, each complaint received will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
SAFETY TEAM MEMBERS
Not Only Larp definition of harassment may not necessarily align with legal definitions of harassment. Therefore, attendees should regard the following guidelines as expectations of conduct in addition to legally actionable actions. In other words, the legal expectations of tangible proof are not necessary for the Safety Team to take action upon a complaint.
For our purposes, harassment includes:
- Verbal comments or displayed images that denigrate individuals based upon gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, political beliefs, philosophies, geographic origin, or socioeconomic status;
- Physical or verbal intimidation or any other behavior that reasonable individuals would view as abusive;
- Body policing, including gender policing in all bathrooms;
- Non-consensual physical or emotional interactions;
- Non-consensual sexual acts.
- Unwelcome sexual attention, whether verbal or physical.
This harassment policy applies to both in-person and online activities. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Not Only Larp volunteers and committee members are also subject to the anti-harassment policy.
We will provide members of the Safety Team detailed instructions and training procedures in case of a violation of code emergency. Attendees can report harassment at any time:
Before the event: If you are privy to information about harassment toward yourself or someone else by someone in the community at large, please email us at email@example.com. Please include as many details as you consider necessary. These messages will remain strictly confidential, known only the Safety Team. Reports received about registered attendees before the event are subject to the same consequences as those received during the game.
During the event: If a violation of the Code of Conduct transpires, please inform as soon as you consider necessary to a member of the Safety Team. You can reach them personally or through any other member of Not Only Larp Team or by phone or chat.
After the event: You may choose to wait until after the event to report a violation, in which case, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Possible Disciplinary Steps for Violations
Disciplinary Steps are organized into two levels based upon the severity of the violation.
Level 1: Monitoring the individual in question, pulling the individual aside to discuss the violation, and/or issuing verbal warnings.
Level 2: Removing the individual from the game and, potentially, from future Not Only Larp events.
This document is it's inspired by the safety documents from Living Games Conference, New World Magischola, and Just a Little Lovin'
Play to flow. This game is designed to offer you the chance to experience life as your character, albeit during a short period of time and in a controlled environment. It will be a successful experience if you flow with what happens to your character and lift the play of your coplayers. There are no objectives that will cause you to win or lose. The only thing we ask of you is to be in your character's shoes, to connect with what they feel, to think the way they would think, and behave in the way they would behave, all the while allowing your character to make their own decisions. That's what we call "flow" or “letting go.”
You are your own game master, of course within the limitations of the game- and safety rules. We trust our players to be involved in the whole process, from the character creation phase to the end of the event. That's why, once the game starts, you don't need to ask us permission to do something or to decide if your character would think or do something.
Your character sheet is yours. Read it, study it, cry on it, transform it and play it..
What you see is what there is to see. There are no magic ability cards that can save you. All you see will be part of the game and you will have to deal with the consequences. Respect other people's experiences and safety: avoid any behaviour or attitude that can hurt the immersion or the experience of other players but also keep in mind that safety comes first.
There will be secrets. There are some stories that we want to be revealed in-game. So please be careful about the information you share with others out of game. Every character could have different levels of knowledge about different plots.
The off game use of any kind of electronic devices (tablets, phones, computers, etc) during the game should be discussed with the organizers.
"Verum". When we say this word we are letting you know that the next sentence is a cue that must be followed up, for example ‘make way for this car’. Only organisers can use it, although we will rarely do so.