Great examples

Educational Live Action Role Playing can change the world

My 501c3 non-profit company, Seekers Unlimited, makes custom-designed interactive, immersive analog games that are adaptive to any learning situation or environment, whether they have computers or not.

 

I have been involved with larps, or Live Action Role Playing, for nearly 30 years. Although most people think of larp as a hobby where you play-pretend medieval warriors with foam swords, it is so much more than that.

 

Larp is Model United Nations

Larp is mock trials

Larp is the U.S. Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin

Larp is disaster simulations

Larp is standarized patients for medical training

Larp is what President Obama's re-election committee ran to test their computer system in 2012

 

Larp is a lot.

 

I started a non-profit (501c3) company, Seekers Unlimited, that makes educational larps for classrooms.

 

Some examples of edu-larps we already ran:

 

Hit Seekers - at-risk high schoolers in urban Los Angeles pretended to be music label executives who had to use accounting math, basic algebra and geometry to manage their companies to make the most fictional money. They also saw a possible career path into the music business.

 

Noir - an 8th grade class in urban Los Angeles pretended to be police detectives and forensic scientists using science to solve mysteries.

 

Ancient Mesopotamia - A 6th grade class was immersed in this time period, taking on roles of Babylonian governors, astrologers, merchants, and priests. They made up their own cuneiform, presided over a court using the Code of Hammurabi, presented the Epic of Gilgamesh as a play with call and response, and made predictions using a star wheel.

 

Our larps do not require high tech, just imagination. We ran an astronomy larp about density with five dollars worth of trash bags and shredded paper. We ran "The Great Phlogiston Debate", where 8th graders played actual Age of Enlightenment scientists (including many female scientists) and debated their scientific theories. It cost about $20 worth of props.

 

Edu-Larps are improvisational by nature, so the teacher can adjust the pace and difficulty of the adventure to her specific class. No software program can predict what students will do in each class each year, so we give tools to the teacher to use as appropriate. Plus, the teachers get a role so they can experience the story with their class.

 

We seek to bring edu-larps to a much wider audience. Student desire to learn with edu-larps is 100% (based on a recent survey). They are engaged and empowered in relevant, contextual narratives.

 

Please check out our website for more information and examples: http://seekersunlimited.com/

 

Plus, you can see video footage, images, and the full content of our Ancient Mesopotamia edu-larp for free from the Educade hub here: http://educade.org/lesson_plans/mesopotamia-live-action-role-play-by-seekers-unlimited

 

Please help us bring these living games to learning.

Thank you.

 

Aaron Vanek

Founder, Seekers Unlimited

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