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Frequently Asked Questions



  • When does the conference start and end?

    We are in the process of developing the programming structure, but our current plan is for the conference to begin on Thursday at 7:00pm with a night of larps in the hotel. Panels, keynotes, and workshops will run during the day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Evenings will contain a variety of themed social programming items, including a costume party on Saturday, and a limited number of short larps. Programming will end Sunday at 5pm.

    We also plan to host a variety of A Week in Austin events. Patterned after the Knutpunkt tradition of providing relaxing programming in the week leading up to the conference, we are working hard to develop content ranging from an edu-larp conference to short larps to pub crawls. Also, we plan to offer relaxed social events after the conference in town. We want visitors to experience what Austin has to offer during their stay!

  • Where is the hotel located?

    Our hotel is the Holiday Inn Midtown in north/central Austin, Texas. The hotel is located near the corner of 2222/290 and I-35, just north of the University and Downtown.

  • What are some low price options for accommodations during A Week in Austin?

    We will construct a more thorough list of options at a later date, but we suggest Drifter Jack’s Hostel by UT Austin for budget accommodations in a hip location. Drifter Jack’s features gorgeous art murals throughout the property and is located on “the Drag”, a.k.a Guadalupe Street, which is close to shopping, coffee shops, bars, and the campus.

  • How does the conference pricing structure work?

    The pricing includes 5 catered meals and access to all on-site events, workshops, games, and social functions. Details on meals to follow in the coming months.

    Registration is now open for Benefactor Badges! Benefactors help make Living Games possible by purchasing badges early. By paying the full price of $219 now, Benefactors help us with early expenses like advertising, web hosting, and security deposits. These special attendees can also offer additional donations if desired. Benefactors will be recognized on our website, and at the Living Games conference, and will receive special fundraising rewards not included with regular badges.

    We will open regular conference registration in late Fall. Conference prices are separate from hotel room rentals (see below).

  • Are day and weekend passes available?

    Yes, day and weekend passes are now available. Here is the price breakdown:

    $35 for Larp Night on Thursday at 7pm.

    $20 for Friday or Saturday evenings after 7pm. No meals included.

    $70 for the entire day of programming on Friday. Includes lunch and dinner.

    $70 for the entire day of programming on Saturday. Includes lunch and dinner.

    $50 for the entire day of programming on Sunday. Includes brunch.

    $150 for Friday evening starting at 7pm through Sunday afternoon at 5pm. Includes lunch and dinner on Saturday, as well as brunch on Sunday.

  • Can we eat off-site instead?

    We hope that you will not want to eat elsewhere. After extensive talks with the caterers, we're building a menu that we think will meet everyone’s standards.  We have discovered through experience that one of the key ways to build community is to provide opportunities for people to discuss the day’s events over shared meals. Also, eating together in the hotel cuts down on travel time and taxi costs. We want to enable participants to attend as many programming items as possible.

  • Will the conference offer food to suit my dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten-free, nut-free, etc.)?

    Yes. We are working with the hotel to do our best to offer multiple options for people with special dietary needs and are carefully examining menus. If you have a specific need, you can indicate your restrictions on the registration form under Comments or send us an email and we will accommodate you.

  • Does the hotel offer food, coffee, and alcohol at other times?

    Yes. The hotel has an on-site restaurant and a small kiosk bistro for coffee and food throughout the day. The bistro turns into a bar in the evening. We also plan to run a private bar in the back of the conference area in the evenings after 10:30pm. We hope to provide coffee and tea throughout the day, but cannot guarantee coffee service at this time.

  • How much meeting space does the hotel offer for events?

    Around 10 rooms depending on setup. We have rented out the entirety of the conference space, which means we will have relative privacy for most of the event. The conference will have access to a variety of different shaped rooms for events: boardrooms, ballrooms, cocktail lounges, and even a small, classroom-like Learning Center. Room capacities range from 20 to 700 for a total of approximately 15,000 sq. feet of conference space.

  • How much are the hotel rooms in the room block?

    $109 per night plus tax for a King room or 2 Doubles. Parking is free for up to 300 cars. Wifi is also free. The block is secure for 50 rooms each on Friday and Saturday nights. Please note that this block features a mixture of Kings and Doubles. A limited amount of rollaway beds is also available. We may be able to expand the block as needed, but availability is not guaranteed.  Please book promptly through the Living Games block either by phone or online. The registration code is: LGC

  • If we decide to stay longer, can we get the same price?

    The hotel will offer that price for the two (2) days preceding the conference and following it (Wed-Mon) assuming they have availability. Use the LGC discount code on their website. If the code does not work, please call (512) 451-5757.

  • How many people can the hotel accommodate?

    The hotel has 189 rooms: 97 Kings and 91 double rooms. The hotel is fine with room shares, so numbers will depend upon registration and coordination. We plan to set up a room share forum on social media for people to find roommates if necessary, although attendees are responsible for their own accommodations. The hotel has 8 wheelchair accessible rooms.

    The hotel features pods of floors that are connected with an open interior space in the center, adding to the communal feeling. Each pod of floors has a small lounge space in the center.

    Ideally, all of us will sleep in these pods and have the opportunity to mingle in the guest room spaces as well as the conference area. The hotel has 2 three-floor pods and 1 two-floor pod for a total of 8 floors.

    Ideally, we will rent out the entire hotel. If not, other hotel guests not attending the conference will have access to the restaurant in the hotel and other public areas until 10:30pm.

    If the hotel sells out, we suggest that attendees stay at the Travelodge next door or somewhere else nearby.

  • How do I get to the venue from the airport and around Austin in general?

    We are investigating options, but cabs are quite easy and relatively inexpensive, as is arranging a SuperShuttle. Currently, the SuperShuttle one-way rate for the shared van service is $16 per person. The venue may be able to provide a SuperShuttle discount for the event. You can also use a rideshare app such as Lyft or Uber.

    When getting around Austin, you can buy a week-long Capitol Metro bus pass for $16.75. Alternately, day passes are $3.50. Most A Week in Austin activities will be accessible via Capitol Metro.

    For other events, such as the Role-playing and Simulation mini-conference, we will arrange carpooling or vans.

  • What will the programming schedule feature?

    The Call for Programming is live! Living Games will feature a mixture of panels, round tables, show and tell sessions, workshops, keynotes, social activities, and larps. Our conference theme is Sharing Insights. We welcome contributions to the following categories: Intro to Larp, Community, Organizing, Designing, Playing, and Academic.

    In addition to our core programming, Living Games will also feature A Week in Austin programming activities before and after the conference, including the Role-playing and Simulation in Education mini conference at Texas State University's St. David's School of Nursing on Thursday, May 19th, 9am-4pm. More details on A Week in Austin to follow.

  • Who is organizing this conference?

    The lead organizer is Sarah Lynne Bowman, larp scholar and editor of the Wyrd Con Companion Book. Also on the team are Ashley Zdeb, co-founder of Imagine Nation and Dystopia Rising, and Lizzie Stark, an internationally-renown larp journalist. Evan Torner, Emily Care Boss, and Nick Fortugno, experts in both design and scholarship, are spearheading the Academic Committee. Steve Vig, an Intercon regular and non-profit specialist, is helping out with our Games track. Other RPG designers donated many hours to the project, including Mikael Andersson, who worked tirelessly on the website, John Stavropoulos, who provided expert guidance on the color scheme, and Liz Gorinsky, who helped secure the hotel contract. Sara Williamson, writer of American Freeform and Fastaval scenarios, helped immensely with early social media design. In short, our current team is diverse, consisting of people from numerous larp and professional communities.

    Our current heads of committees are:

    Programming: Lizzie Stark

    Academic: Sarah Lynne Bowman

    Games: Sarah Lynne Bowman

    Social: Terra Chirieleison

    Finance: Ashley Zdeb

    Safety: Sarah Lynne Bowman

    If you would like to participate as a volunteer or committee member, we would love to hear from you! Additionally, if you wish to sponsor the event by providing monetary donations, food/drinks for the con suite, or other supplies, please contact us at info (at) livinggamesconference.com.

    Ultimately, Living Games is the brainchild of dozens of other talented individuals as well. Shoshana Kessock ran the inaugural conference at the NYU Game Center in the Tisch School of Arts in 2014 with help from an international team of scholars and practitioners. The current iteration of the conference is the product of many hours of brainstorming from people from various role-playing communities, including Intercon, Dystopia Rising, Mind’s Eye Society, Knutpunkt, Double Exposure, Wyrd Con, Fastaval, Big Bad Con, American Freeform, Story Games, etc. Our goal is to create a bridge between different communities and pool the collective wisdom attained from years of experience in each.

  • Who is the target audience for this conference?

    The short answer is: anyone interested in discussing larp! We hope to appeal to curious people from boffer larp, freeform, theatre/parlor style, Nordic, blackbox, etc. Tabletop players, educators, simulators, theater specialists, etc. are also welcome. We also hope to become a key nexus point for academic and professional discourse about larp in North America, appealing to scholars, designers, game organizers, and students alike. Ultimately, we aim to provide content for attendees with all levels of expertise, from veterans to newcomers.

  • How will you approach diversity with regard to ideas and backgrounds?

    As many of these communities have operated in isolation from one another, ideally Living Games will be a space where attendees can freely share ideas from different backgrounds without judgment or criticism. We subscribe to the “BFF” rule adopted from the Larpers BFF Facebook group: when entering a discussion, feel free to debate a topic, but always leave the conversation having learned more and having become better friends than when you started.

    Also, we want to encourage people from diverse cultural, economic, racial, ethnic, and gender backgrounds to feel welcome at the conference. We plan to include options for scholarships in our future fundraising for attendees from diverse sociocultural backgrounds.

  • What is the edu-larp mini conference?

    We are partnering with Texas State University to host a one-day Role-playing and Simulation in Education conference at the St. David’s School of Nursing simulation lab in Round Rock, TX. This mini conference will take place directly before the start of Living Games on Thursday, May 19, 2016 between 9am-4pm. The Role-playing and Simulation Conference is free to the public.

    Please see the Call for Presentations if you would like to participate. We plan to feature a mixture of edu-larp and simulation demos; panels; posters; and paper presentations. We encourage professional practitioners and scholars to submit. Accepted academic papers are due one month before the conference and will be peer reviewed for inclusion in a conference proceeding. The deadline for abstracts is December 1.

  • Will you hold this conference annually in Austin?

    Our hope is to mimic the Nordic larp convention Knutepunkt/Knutpunkt/Knudepunkt/ Solmukohta, which rotates each year between Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. The first Living Games was held in 2014 in Brooklyn. In 2016, we will hold Living Games in Austin. We’re hoping the next organizing team will hold the conference in another North American city in 2017, and so on.

  • What is your harassment policy?

    Living Games is committed to creating a convention experience where as many people as possible can feel safe and free from harassment. Our conference will adhere to a strict Code of Conduct in order to provide as safe of a space as possible for our attendees. Living Games can deny admission to the conference to any attendee at its discretion.

    Please see the Code of Conduct and Guidelines for Encouraged Behavior for more information.

    If you have a concern about a specific attendee or a question about our Code of Conduct before Living Games 2016, please contact the Safety Committee at safety@livinggamesconference.com. Please note that the Safety Committee is separate from the main organizing group, so direct all concerns to this email address.

  • How do I book the hotel at the special rate?

    You can book the hotel through this link, which should give you a rate code called LGC.

    You can also call the hotel directly at (512) 457-5757.

    If you have problems booking, please contact info@livinggamesconference.com and we'll try to help.

  • What is the schedule for A Week in Austin?

    We have several fun events planned for A Week in Austin, which starts Monday, May 16th at 9:00am and ends Sunday, May 22nd at 2am! To register for A Week in Austin, click here.

    Please see this schedule for a full breakdown of events. Note that some events may be subject to change closer to May. A Week in Austin game signups will be released February 8 and are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Most days, A Week in Austin takes place in two separate tracks. The first track includes larping at the Austin Community College Gallery Theatre and the edu-larp conference, whereas the second involves sightseeing around central Austin during the day. In the evenings, both tracks will meet up for social events. Attendees are welcome to switch tracks midday if desired.

  • When is the cutoff date for registration refunds?

    The cutoff date for registration refunds is May 1. We have budgeted the food and other necessities of the conference based upon our number of registrations. We are not able to refund tickets any closer to the event than this date.

 

Posted March 24, 2015 in: news by lgadmin