Edularp Conference Tampere April 1st 2020

Edularp Conference Tampere 2020 is part of the Nordic Larp conference Solmukohta. It brings together edularp professionals, larpers, teachers and other people interested in the form from all over the world.

The program consists of workshops, discussions  and lectures. If you are interested in edularps and applications of larps in education, welcome!

The event is held right before the Solmukohta 2020 conference and it’s organized together with the Growing Mind research hub.

Signup is closed

Unfortunately we are not taking any new sign ups to the Edularp Conference at the moment. The event takes place at Tampere University, and the university has given instructions to  avoid gatherings of more than 100 people because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus epidemic. (Hervanta campus mentioned in the instructions is a different campus than ours, but the same instructions apply.)

At the moment it looks like we can still organize the event as planned, but we are of course following the situation very carefully.  

If you are travelling to the conference from an affected area or you suspect that you may be ill, we wish that you respect the university guidelines, stay home and cancel your participation. You can do so by emailing us to the address If you have any other questions about the event, you can of course also contact us via email. 

Participation to the event is free.

More information:

Follow us on social media:
#edularptre2020 | Facebook event

Conference Program

When: April 1st, 2020 from 9:30 to 16:30
Location: Tampere University, auditorium Pinni B1100 (address: Kanslerinrinne 1, Tampere) 

There’s a one-hour lunch break at 11:30 and a fifteen-minute coffee break at 15:00. It’s possible to buy lunch and coffee from the university cafeteria, and there are several restaurants in the walking distance. 

Session 1: The Potential of Edularp 

09:30-09:45 Opening words
09:45-10:45 Nuppu Soanjärvi: Discussions With the Potential
10:45-11:00 Mátyás Hartyándi: Edularps vs Dramatic Role-playing 
11:00-11:30 Sarah Bowman & Kjell Hedgard Hugaas: Transformative Role-Play: Design, Implementation, and Integration

Lunch break 11:30-12:30 

Session 2: Teaching with Edularp

12:30-13:40 Project Presentations 
13:40-14:15 Lisa Nordemo & Lukas Renklint: Participation and equality through Edularp
14:15-14:30 Jon Cole: Scaffolding Students into Edularp 
14:30-15:00  Susan Mutsaers: Larping with all Abilities 

Coffee break 15:00-15:15

Session 3: Studying Edularp 

15.15-15.45 J.Tuomas Harviainen: 50 years of educational gaming research: Implications  for edularps
15.45-16.30 Mikko Meriläinen, Growing Mind research hub: Learning through games: problems and solutions

Program introduction

Session 1: The Potential of Edularp

09:45-10:45 Nuppu Soanjärvi: Discussions With the Potential

This workshop digs out the potential in the conference participants! You are invited to share your own experiences of learning and teaching through edularp and of how to notice and better utilize potential features in future edularps. The workshop consists of small group discussions and especially concentrates on two educational features of edularps: taking the role of a fictional character and sharing the responsibility of creating and maintaining the fiction during the game with others.

Nuppu Soanjärvi is a game-education trainer by day and a PhD student in Helsinki University by night. Nuppu’s own research concerns educational role-playing games. For fun they spread the joy of tabletop RPGs with Noppatuuri streaming crew on Twitch and volunteer in Suomen roolipeliseura ry. 

10:45-11:00 Mátyás Hartyándi: Edularps vs Dramatic Role-playing  

While there is an ongoing exchange between the emerging edularp scene and other older methods of applied drama, only a handful of larpwrights build actively on outsider sources. To turn the tide we will analyze examples from British and German dramatic schools, compare their key features with edularp’s and offer some didactic insights on successful educational role-playing.

Mátyás Hartyándi (b. 1986) published the first Hungarian academic paper about analogue RPGs and their educational application. He is a mental health specialist and educator who uses various playful methods (from DiE to edularps) in his school activities. Of course, he is also an avid roleplayer.  

11:00-11:30 Sarah Bowman & Kjell Hedgard Hugaas: Transformative Role-Play: Design, Implementation, and Integration

This presentation will cover the highlights of our recent article on the topic of designing and playing for transformative impacts. We will offer a model for how to design with specific psychological, social, educational, and political impacts in mind. We will discuss the importance of building safety structures within which people can feel secure enough to allow themselves to experience something transformative through larp. Then, we will discuss the vital steps of integration, presenting many options for the ways participants can personally and collectively experience and implement these transformative impacts. Finally, we plan to distribute a copy of our workshop for designers who wish to use this framework as a design process.

Sarah Lynne Bowman has published several academic articles and chapters on edularp and designs edularps in college classrooms. Kjell Hedgard Hugaas designs historical and modern larps with political underpinnings. He has theorized the ways in which ideas impact larpers through the process of memetic bleed.

Session 2: Teaching with Edularp

12:30-13:40  Project Presentations

Six ten-minute presentations about recent interesting edularp projects.

Heikki Koponen: Kohina – a tabletop roleplay for groupwork and employment skills

The game is developed in Digital Applications in Youth Employment Services -project (South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences). The project develops new tools and services: an online youth workshop, games that support employment and online coaching for young people living in sparsely populated areas. The game was used to develop working life skills by illustrating the skills needed in working life while playing a role-playing game. Situations in the game mirrored various work-related topics. Game plot was situated in an alternative history where you get to blame the Sun for all the mess! The game has also some larp elements and it has been tested also with Roll20 online virtual application. The Kohina -handbook is published in Finnish and it is aimed for new game masters with no previous experience of role-playing games.

Heikki Koponen is gamification specialist in Otavia (Otava Folk High School). He has developed different kind of role-playing games for upper secondary school.

Pauline Paris: Primary School at Hogwarts

A summary of how Pauline Paris immersed a class of 10-year-old students in the Harry Potter universe, and used it for classroom management as well as for curricular activities.

Pauline Paris started working as a primary school teacher in 2015. Paris can not envision teaching without using the tools and skills gained from 15 years of LARPing as a player, organizer and author.

Jutta Koskinen, Todellisuuspakolaiset ry: How to inspire kids into reading – Hogwarts workshops

Hogwarts workshops were a collaboration project of the Library of Hämeenlinna and the youth association Todellisuuspakolaiset in 2017-2018. The workshops were designed to inspire young people to read Harry Potter by organizing Hogwarts lessons as a short larp for many school classes. During the lessons, students got to experience the life of Hogwarts students by attending magic lessons, for example, Care of Magical Creatures.

Jutta Koskinen is one of the founding members of Todellisuuspakolaiset ry (direct translation: Refugees of Reality) which is a Finnish non-profit youth association. She has been an active event organizer in the association for four years. Koskinen is a Bachelor of Culture and Art and she works actively with children and teens.

Mátyás Hartyándi: Lvdvs Maximvs Center for Game Based & Playful Education 

Lvdvs Maximvs offers a wide variety of game based and playful learning opportunities at the Benedictine High School of Pannonhalma, Hungary. It started seven years ago as an experimentation with informal teaching methods and gradually turned into a hub of educational activities including extracurricular edu-larps and other classroom based role-playing exercises. After the introduction of the center we will focus on best practices and lessons learned in learning experience design.

Mátyás Hartyándi (b. 1986) published the first Hungarian academic paper about analogue RPGs and their educational application. He is a mental health specialist and educator who uses various playful methods (from DiE to edu-larps) in his school activities. Of course, he is also an avid roleplayer. 

Rian Rezende: Wonder Cards Storytelling: teaching narrative, design and LARP in Brazil through imagination and the senses 

This work presents the practices aimed at teaching narrative, design and larp that have been carried out in the design course at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. We will present the imagination instrument we have developed, the Wonder Cards Storytelling card game – designed to guide the teaching and involvement of students – as well as the other support materials and the results obtained. 

Rian Oliveira Rezende, Dr., is a professor at the Department of Arts and Design of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). He is a designer and social scientist. He completed his social science degree and bachelor’s degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and has a master’s and doctorate degree in Design from PUC-Rio. He is the founder of 5D Magic design studio. His studies explore innovative methodology and thinking through building experiences, artifacts and spaces that combine the methods of: games, narrative, imagination, magic and design.

Mike Pohjola, Avatar ry: Velhokoulu – The Finnish school of magic

Last summer the Velhokoulu larps by the NGO Avatar received the award for Gaming Deed of the Year. They are part of a larger global movement of larps for kids that is now taking root in Finland, as well.

Mike Pohjola is a novelist, an entrepeneur and a game designer whose eldest son also plays in the larps.

13:45-14:15 Lisa Nordemo & Lukas Renklint: Participation and equality through Edularp

During this workshop we will explore the possibilities of creating participation through edularps. As a participant you will get to try out some exercises to introduce a group to edularp and prepare them to be active participants in the larp. You will get examples on how to create discussion about equality through edularps and how to further support equality in a group.

Lukas Renklint is a larp designer and larp-pedagogue at LajvVerkstaden with 12 years experience of designing larps. He is especially interested in designing larps that explore social structures and gender. Lisa Nordemo is a larp designer and larp pedagogue at LajvVerkstaden with 11 years of experience creating interactive experiences for children and young adults.

14:15-14:30 Jon Cole: Scaffolding Students into Edularp

When students try edularp for the first time they can feel unsupported and unsure how to begin. How prepared students feel for an edularp affects their learning performance. In this presentation, Jon Cole shares instructional design methods for scaffolding students into edularp, based on Understanding by Design using. Understanding by Design is an evidence-based approach for planning lessons, which Jon has applied to preparing students to larp. Examples include scaffolding students into an individual activity as well using a multi-session curriculum to introduce edularp skills over multiple sessions.

Jon Cole is a sex educator for Planned Parenthood North Central States in USA. Since 2015 he’s designed and facilitated edularp for adolescents. In 2019 he was invited to present on his methods at USA’s National Sex Education Conference.

14:30-15:00 Susan Mutsaers: Larping with all Abilities 

Larp, it’s fictions and it’s often socially complex environments can be hard to understand, especially if you are facing mental challenges. This presentation focuses on the specific challenges that arise when working with these participants and on possible ways to overcome them.

Suus Mutsaers is a Dutch social worker who is currently studying for a bachelor in education. She’s worked and designed with and for people of all abilities in both social work environments as well as within theater education. Her current studies see her teaching larp within the Dutch special education school system.

Session 3: Studying Edularp

15:15-15:45 J. Tuomas Harviainen: 50 years of educational gaming research: Implications  for edularps

In this lecture, Harviainen goes through the history and developments of educational gaming, with an emphasis on what edularps could gain from that knowledge. Moving from math games to military simulation, followed by the advent of computer games and the Serious Games movement, Harviainen shows how research has been favoring only certain aspects of the possibilities, and how larps have on the one hand realized the goals dreamed of by earlier theorists, they could also benefit from not re-inventing every wheel.

J. Tuomas Harviainen, PhD, MBA, is Associate Professor of Information Practices at Tampere University, and one of the editors of SImulation & Gaming, the oldest existing game research journal.

15:45-16:30 Mikko Meriläinen, Growing Mind research hub: Learning through games: problems and solutions

This panel discussion addresses edularp as well as game-based learning in general. The focus is on discussion between panelists, with some questions posed by the chair.  Members of the panel: Riikka Aurava (Tampere University, Growing Mind), Nuppu Soanjärvi (University of Helsinki), Lukas Renklint (LajvVerkstaden), Susan Mutsaers, Jon Cole. 

Mikko Meriläinen (PhD in education) is a researcher at Tampere University Game Research Lab, working in the “Growing Mind: Educational transformations for facilitating sustainable personal, social, and institutional renewal in the digital age” research project. In his work Meriläinen focuses on questions of youth gaming cultures, game-related parenting and game jam learning.