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Failsafe

November 2011

In late 2011, Stichting Lore-ley organised a 27-hour-long zombie LARP (Live Action Role Play). During that time, participants took on the roles of people trying to survive while surrounded by growing hordes of zombies. The focus wasn’t on fighting the undead, but rather on the atmosphere and on the tensions between people that can arise in such a desperate situation.

To keep things exciting, the game went on continuously, even at night. Anyone who wanted could go to sleep, inside or outside the game area (where you had a chance of waking up to a zombie attack). The game started with just a handful of zombies, but their numbers grew as player characters got infected by zombie bites. To make sure the zombies had a fun day too, they got points which they could spend on ‘skills’, like the use of both arms, extra speed, or a very limited vocabulary. They could earn extra points over the course of the game, justly giving the unsuspecting surviving players the impression that the zombies were getting stronger. Those who weren’t zombies (yet) could meanwhile try to uncover the cause of the zombie problem or, more importantly, arrange their escape.

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