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SFeraKon 2013 day one: Ars Amandi

This will be a short article - as I'm getting myself ready to visit Jaska 11 at least for a day - and no photos as I didn't snap any yesterday.

Apart from lots of stalls representing the usual share of associations, goods and services, and meeting a lot of people I haven't seen in a while (conventions really function as meeting places), I haven't seen much of the convention as I was getting ready for running an Ars Amandi workshop.

A total of 11 brave people signed up, most of them with little larping experience:

  • One person was a very experienced fantasy larper
  • My sister-in-law was there, having some experience in fantasy larp
  • My wife was there, having some experience in various forms of larp (fantasy, steampunk, Death of the Japanese Emperor)
  • A person with some limited chamber larp experience (The Cabin, A Party Full of Secrets)
  • A person whose only larp so far was Izgon
Rest of the people had no larp experience. Compared to the run on PoRtaL, I'd say this run went somewhat less deep - there was some uncomfortable giggling all over the run - though it was not less intense. Two people left after first round (closed eyes, hands only) due to finding the experience too intensive. Two more went in and out a few times as they were journalists and had to cover more stuff in the same time slot (but they still spent the most of their time on Ars Amandi, which was awesome).

Well, it was to be expected - different results for running the workshop on the specialized larp convention and on a general SF/Fantasy convention - but I still consider the results on SFeraKon run to be excellent. Despite the giggling, most people had an amazingly deep experience, were willing to go to the maximum of their intensity, broke some of their previous boundaries and connected to each other on a level which is hard to explain to people who never participated on such a workshop. One participant suggested I run this workshop to companies for team-building purposes. That would be interesting.

The workshop was a success. A post-workshop debriefing continued for an extra hour in the hallway, which is always an excellent sign. There was a lot of talk, ideas, sharing experiences, exchanging contacts and more.

I'll keep doing workshops on conventions. Perhaps we'll find time to do a short intro next week on Terra Nova. But a full workshop is a totally different experience.

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