BSL for LARP

This post is long over due but we are finally here.

Haplocke is a BSL interpeter/Communication support assistant in real life but is also a LARPer. While not the only signer who LARPs Haplocke has been acting as an IC interpreter at British fest LARP Empire. She has also spent some time working with LARP organisers and within the LARP community to spread sign and Deaf awareness.

This video is an excerpt from a longer video chat that Haplocke and I had about sign language in LARP, Hap’s experience as an IC interpreter and, what we can do to be more Deaf and signer inclusive in our games. That full length video is available to Patreon Subscribers already. This video just took a little longer to edit and get out to you due to technical issues. But we are there now.

A full transcript of that interview will be available on this blog as soon as I have finished it – even with auto-transcribe software that is taking way longer to produce than I imagined. However, I didn’t want to continue to delay sharing this video with you.

There will be no transcript of this video as the video relies so heavily on visual signs and gestures that a transcript becomes incomprehensible. The video is fully subtitled though.

This isn’t just a dry guide to signs though, we talk about the logic behind the signs, how they make sense in sign and how and why they may differ from spoken English. It’s really fascinating and enlightening on top of giving us a useful skill.

In it we learn signs for:

  • Time in
  • Time out
  • Man down
  • Stop
  • OOC/OC/Out of character
  • IC/In character
  • Referee/ref
  • NPC/monster

We also take a look at a few Empire specific signs and talk about how this very contextually dependent signs were created.

My hope is that as organisers and players we can learn these signs even if we aren’t Deaf or a sign user and can start to incorporate them into our games alongside spoken English calls and terminology. This will help us to make a more sign friendly environment for players or potential players.

Of course, if you don’t live in a region that uses BSL this video is still useful! There is plenty of opportunity to think about how you might adapt or use signs in your local sign language.

Are you a d/Deaf LARPer or a sign user? Would you like to share your experiences and insight with us? Access:LARP would love to hear from you, so please do get in contact.

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