Living Games, Shared Meals, and You!
Journalist Lizzie Stark, our Programming Coordinator for Living Games and author of the narrative non-fiction book on larp Leaving Mundania, explains the rationale behind shared meals at the conference:
It’s a bit unusual here in the US for a conference to include food. I’ve attended several conferences in Europe that offer it, and I think it creates beautiful connections between people. I’ve learned about larp scenes I never dreamed existed, talked about new concepts of theory, and gotten to have meaningful discussions with speakers I wouldn’t have felt comfortable approaching in another social situation.
Everybody eats. It’s a great equalizer, and there’s no better way to build community than literally breaking bread (or a gluten-free alternative) together. Eating together is part of the social design—our way of bringing people together—at Living Games.
We think shared meals have a lot going for them. For starters, they’re inclusive—no one has to worry about feeling left out of a lunch date. We also aren’t scheduling events against mealtimes—this is because we want to make sure you eat and keep your strength up. Meals provide a natural break from programming, and a chance to digest what you’ve experienced. Plus, you won’t need to leave the site, pay for a cab, and miss out on any of our great programming items!
Most importantly, at a big conference, it can be tempting to stay in your comfort zone and just talk to the people you already know. Shared meals mean that you’re more likely to run into that one person who made a great comment at that panel, and just maybe make a new friend when they sit down next to you.
And if you just don’t feel like talking at a meal, don’t worry—we’ll have a quiet table available for those who simply need a break.
We hope you have fun chatting with each other in the chow line!