DK-vers LARP

A live-action role-playing game created with teenagers who participated in the first GES-2 winter camp.

DK-vers is a work of fiction co-authored by participants of the GES-2 winter camp. From early January 2022, 35 children aged from 12 to 16 worked on creating a LARP (live-action role-playing game): together with workshop curators they devised a script and characters, developed the game design, created costumes and decorations, and learned how to document the process on photo and video. After the camp ended, the team continued to meet regularly to work on the project.

For all the teenagers, DK-vers was their first experience of creating a game, and they hope that players will treat the result with care and understanding. The plot was chosen through a collective vote by project participants: the action unfolds around a fictional incident that took place at an exhibition opening at an imaginary contemporary art venue. The players had to devise their own character, from their personality traits to their favourite artists, to select an evening costume which they would wear to the opening—and prepare to live for several hours in the new role and alternative reality.

Все фото: Аня Тодич
I’d never been to a children’s camp—I always thought they were dull. But I haven’t regretted for a second that I decided to give it a try. There were many difficulties, but we coped, and I’m certain that we did a very good job. The creative atmosphere of the space, the time spent creating the game, the curators who told us about the upcoming stages with fire in their eyes—all this helped me to understand how I wanted to see myself in the future.

— Dasha Koritsa @sundy_alt, participant

The GES-2 winter camp was held from 3 to 7 January 2022 and was one of the first collaborative programmes between GES-2 and schools.

Now when we’re almost ready to show our first LARP to the public, I remember the night before the first meeting with our team. I was worried and pondered about how far this could go. After all, we would be demanding constant teamwork, division of responsibilities, and tons of self-control from the participants. Now not a trace of these doubts remains: we formed just the kind of team that we wanted—unique, purposeful and with many bright talents!

— Evgeny Snytnikov, curator of the game-design workshop.

When I saw the announcement of the GES-2 winter camp, I immediately wondered what kind of game we would create. On the first day I made friends, learnt a lot of new things and was very happy to be participating in the project. I liked the fact that we did everything ourselves, and the curators only guided and supported us. The months we spent preparing the game flew by very quickly, and I’m proud of the result.

— Agata @mieeevvv, participant

Project authors

Curator of the game design workshop

Evgeny Snytnikov
Graduate of the biology faculty of Moscow State University, where Russia’s largest popular science festival, Biologist’s Day, was founded. Author of LARPs for players without previous immersive experience. Studies and works in Belgium. Strives to combine his knowledge of neurobiology and game design skills, creating neural interfaces for a VR gaming project.

Curator of the design workshop

Darya Makarova
Artist, works with texts, graphic art, the sculptural environment, sound and performative elements. In her projects, she gives primary attention to creating situations that inspire viewers to overcome and relive sensory experience. The main themes of Darya’s works are language as a plastic material, boundaries of ethics and cyclical processes.

Curator of the character workshop

Artem Neugodov
Graduate of the biology faculty of MSU. Scriptwriter on the team of organizers of the Biologist’s Day popular science festival. Expert on LARP plots (including major ones such as Iron Throne). Head of role-playing workshops at the project “Skills of the future” at the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of Moscow.

Curator of the communications workshop

Kristina Solovieva
Independent PR and digital consultant. Previously head of the PR and SMM departments of ZIL Cultural Centre and the Solyanka State Gallery. Speaker for the projects Skillbox, Netology, Creative Planning Sessions, SODA.Büro, HSE.

Curator of the documentation workshop

Ksenia Babushkina
Senior educator on contemporary photography at HSE, lecturer, photographer and photo editor, artist working with photography. Graduate of the Galperin photo faculty, participant of photography summer schools (ISSP). Curator of educational programmes at ZIL Cultural Centre, PhotoDepartment, Mayak school at New Holland Island, and team leader at the Kamchatka creative camp.

Co-curator of the documentation workshop

Larisa Molokanova
Editing director, educator at the Netology online university. Graduated from the journalism faculty of MSU, studied at the Rodchenko Art School. As an author, editor, camera operator and video editor, she was worked with such publications as The Village, Wonderzine, and The Bell. Founder and editor of the rrrrrrr.ru animal media website. Team leader at the Kamchatka creative camp.