A bit too long Sunday

Half naked Frederick Rockwell by Petr Bezděk

The text contains key spoilers with respect to the nature of the game. If you plan to play the game, consider whether it is worth reading for you.

“It’s a gloomy evening in October sometime in the 1955. The place is the hotel Sunday not far from New York. I have arrived with Bruce to join the rest of our group of merry communists and artists. It’s time to show the old-school New York modern how modern art looks like.“

Hotel Sunday aka a small guesthouse near the Czech border. A place where the ghost of the 1960s in America takes place. The two influential movements mix and meet in the small hotel near New York. Hotel, sure, but with inhabitants who lives there for years and who doesn’t bother changing from pyjamas for breakfast.

New York modern represents the previous generation, which created influential pieces twenty years ago and now basically stagnates. Leftist or maybe even communists revolutionist who creates totally new and different pieces of art, often just to provoke the previous generation. Mix this with Hollywood stars and the stars of the podium and you get a great background for the civil dramas playing out during the weekend.

“Well, I must admit that the party yesterday till the dawn was pretty wild. Ouch, is this really my head? It feels as if someone was pounding on it with a hammer. Ok, what the hell happened in the bedroom between let’s say all of us.”

The game was split into the five different parts. The parts flowed without any hindrance. Apart from sleeping, there was no strict cut between the parts. The game with respect to the art and intensity gradated until the wee hours in the morning of the second day. The night of the second day of the game was devoted to parties and to making bad decisions. The morning of the last day was about the impacts of the decisions made the night before. Also about the hangover, physical, psychological and/or social.

Nudity and/or sex was an important part of the gameplay for at least some of the characters. As such there was a mechanic to allow playing it out without actually engaging in the coitus or becoming fully naked. Every player needed to bring white underwear. Whenever a player was in white underwear, it meant that the character is naked. The sexuality was simulated by drawing with the colours mainly on hands. The mechanics may sound a bit silly, but it worked quite well. The nude poet running through the boardinghouse declaiming his poetry meaning the player in the white underwear running around conveyed the point without unnecessary awkwardness.

Discussing with a friend over wine by Petr Bezděk

It is important to mention that the alcohol in the game was real at least the soft alcohol. This is uncommon in the context of the Czech larp. It added a bit to the atmosphere during the night. The org team was pouring the alcohol and as such could regulate the intake if it were necessary, but as far as I know, it wasn’t necessary at all.

“Why did he stopped talking to us? Is it something we did? Is it possible that he died?
I am looking around on the familiar faces. Some of these faces I have been watching for thousands of years. I hurt them even though not willingly.
I guess it’s time to move on and ”

The characters were accompanied by unseen characters. The unseen ones were players with a bit more information, but still players nevertheless. The unseen characters were there to represent inner voices, to guide the players in the difficult times, to add the weight to moments and of course also to provide another layer of the game. The unseen had their own layer of the game and they knew most of the information about the other characters, which meant that they were expected to read around 30 pages of text more than the other players.

Based on my experience and the feedback from the other players this mechanism worked quite well and the game that was prepared for the unseen ones was also quite interesting and enjoyable.

“It is time for me to give up and go back. I can’t do this anymore. I am so glad I got that option even though I wasn’t worthy and couldn’t believe in Him.
And the silent tears kept flowing over the cheeks of the Cassiel, one of the First ones, till the time to go came.”

For me, the game was after a long time a game where most of all, I just got stuck and spent an hour sitting at the table with an empty glass of wine in my hand. The whole time I spent lost in the thoughts in which the three key game layers intermingled with the real world outside of the game space. The responsibility for the charges and their behaviour and decisions, the responsibility for my fellow unseen ones and what was my impact towards them. The responsibility towards god and how is He perceived by the others.

And this whole was blending through the character of Frederick, The Unseen one and in the end also me as the player. Not on the emotional level, but on the level of how complex system can originate and by aksing a philosophical question about for how big part of it are we responsible, should be responsible and if we are responsible, in what way we should bear this responsibility.

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I always try to find answers to the complex questions. Now exploring the world of Mainframes in the Broadcom inc.

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Jakub Balhar

Jakub Balhar

I always try to find answers to the complex questions. Now exploring the world of Mainframes in the Broadcom inc.

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