This article was written by Quinn D and Eva Schiffer in the Fall of 2020.

Larps that take place online (Live Action Online Games aka LAOGs/laogs, virtual larps, digital larps, or online larps) have several huge advantages. If you happen to be living through a global pandemic they let you keep playing without endangering others, and even in more normal times they let physically distant people share experiences in a way we never could have before the internet. They also have the potential to be accessible (and inaccessible) in completely different ways than physical larps.

Game Structure

Online games have different logistical challenges than face-to-face games. Some game structures work better than others.

Running Face-to-Face Larps as Laogs

Some games meant to be run face-to-face can be adapted to work online.

Things That are Harder or Very Different Online

Some things are hard to transition to a virtual space.

Some things are much, much worse in a virtual game than face-to-face.

Accessibility

Accessibility has totally different challenges online. Physical mobility is less of a problem in online games, but other things like having a blind player or players who have hearing issues can be even more challenging to cope with than they are face-to-face. How accessible your game is will be highly dependent on the technology you choose to run the game.

Please keep in mind that some people have a much more difficult time understanding what’s being said when your game includes multiple people talking at the same time. This can be even tougher online, since all the sounds are coming from exactly the same place (your computer speakers or headphones). Either design your game to avoid multiple conversations in the same space or include a content warning so folks who can’t handle this can avoid playing. If your game avoids too much crosstalk it can be more accessible for some people than a face-to-face larp, because they will have much more control of their sound setup and volume.