Making Your LARP More Accessible for Players With Mental Health Issues

Image credit: Stephen Dann (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Image credit: Stephen Dann (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Earlier this year, live action roleplayer Pen Tynan created a guide to Mental Health Accessibility in LARP (part one and two). Whether you’re an organizer, a player, or just casually interested, Tynan’s guide is a must-read look at how to make a hobby more welcoming to everyone.

Tynin begins by reiterating points from an earlier post on accessibility for people with disabilities.

Accommodations are not about making the game easier for disabled players. It’s about making it no more difficult than for other players.

 
Tynin’s posts explores how considerations like content warnings and confidentiality can make any LARP a better experience for everyone involved.

Becky has generalised anxiety disorder and can not play traumatic horror games without exacerbating it. She sees a game announced that may be fun but it isn’t clear if it will have a lot of horror elements. She is able to email the organiser and get clarification, which they then add to the game description, that it is a horror event. Becky decides to pass on this game and is glad she didn’t put herself in a bad situation.

Example:
Charlie is concerned that mental health will be portrayed with bad stereotypes during the game and that they might be made fun of. They are relieved to see that this is addressed specifically in the tolerance policy and that mockery of mental illness will not be permitted.

 
Other helpful guidelines cover topics like dining, sleeping arrangements, out-of-character quiet spaces, and tolerance policies.

[Axes’n’Yarn]