Adam James: How to prevent a war larp
21 April 2018

A larp about evolution, shared identity and misunderstanding

Sat 21 April, 4.30 – 8.30pm
SPACE Mare Street
£6/4 Sign up here

No prior larp experience required

How to prevent a war is a larp designed and run by Adam James which explores the evolution of life from inanimate object to humanoid community. Crossing the forms of non-verbal role play with sculptural assemblage, players are invited to find poetic commonalities and bridge differences.

This larp uses the anthropomorphism of inanimate things, embodiment and shared identity to explore new forms of language and integration. Switching from victor to victim play is designed to examine varying degrees of playful conflict and raise questions of what needs to be in place for a mutually beneficial outcome. The larp explores the use of object as material for character and decision making made through physical contact. Narratives are established throughout the larp via a process of reflective hot seat questioning and collective writing.

This larp is set within Adam James’ sculptural installation at SPACE, the objects of which will be used throughout play as extensions of body; semblance of landscape; tools of burden; or forms of currency.

From unconscious matter life has emerged… intuition led out from dark… strange shapes met misunderstood gestures... change and resolve to do better… stand taller breath longer... notes on fridge doors… silence passing


No experience of larp or movement-based practice is necessary to take part. Play is suited to all levels of physicality, but if you have any specific needs please contact the gallery in advance. Please dress in clothes you are comfortable to move around it.

Possible sensitivities: floor-based play, negotiating touch and consent.

Larp is originally an acronym for Live Action Role Playing, but today it’s used as name in itself. It refers to an interactive activity where people immerse themselves in fictional worlds to experience how others might live. Larps are played by groups of 2 or more people facilitated by a games master whose role is to ensure the players feel safe, understand the rules, roles and fiction within the larp.

Nordic Larp is a school of larp design originating in the Nordic countries and is one which values immersion, collaboration and artistic vision. This larp event is of the Nordic school.


Adam James (b. 1978) is a British artist. His works use larp (live action role-play), performance, film, and sculpture to explore new forms of collaborative democracy. James uses non-verbal play to encourage new forms of dialogue, mediation and reconsideration of difference. James is interested in how a private space can be publicly held and how sculptural form can serve as alibi for new forms of exchange.

James received his BA in Fine Art at the University of Brighton in 2003. In 2007 he completed his MA in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. In 2016/17 he worked with Turner contemporary on the 18-month project Art Inspiring Change and with the Serpentine gallery to produce a larp based resource called ‘Here is the Place’ to help children deal with transitioning to secondary school. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Kent, where his is researching Nordic larp as a progressive model for participatory arts practice.