--> The Manifest of the Turku School

Foreword 2000
Foreword 2001

The Manifest
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI

Vow of Chastity


The styles: Good and Bad

Strategy games are often fun and educational. They can be a measure of your intellect, strategic thinking and ability to stretch resources to their very limit. It’s fun to try to win the war at chess. It’s fun to rule a nation in Civilization. It’s fun to command an army unit in Necromunda. Wouldn’t it be fun to try to win with just one person whose actions you could guide? No! Not unless that person is a robot with exact orders and no personality. Real people don’t aim to win at the ”game of life”; in fact, there is no such game! Real people aim to enjoy their life or further their personal goals, but they also have all sorts of doubts and weaknesses, which come into way of their wanting to do what they want to do: ”I was going to run for the parliament, because I want to make the world a better place, but I ran into some old friends and went out for a beer, instead.” That is why the gamist style does not work.

Stories are fun and interesting, they can have a huge impact on mankind. Movies are often entertaining, and a good book can really make you think. And if you want to tell your own stories, nobody’s keeping you from writing a short story, or a novel, or a drama, or a movie. Nobody’s keeping you from composing a song, or directing a play, or choreographing a dance. But note that in those cases you are the auteur, the creator. And when your work is finished the audience will get to see it. RPGs don’t work that way. If you want to tell a story (as the dramatists do), you must have the players as the audience, the auteurs, or both. If the players are the audience, you’d somehow have to stop them from interfering with the story - and thus they would become passive, and you’d have a form of theatre or story-telling. If the players are the auteurs, you can’t tell a story. If they are both, as they effectively always are in RPGs, then the story is told by players, not the game master. And then there are an infinite number of little stories, all inside the heads of the players. You will have no way to know what will happen beforehand, and no way to re-create it afterwards. (This same observation can also be found in the very definition of role-playing.)

It is said that man is a social animal. This is true, for most people define themselves at least partly through social ties (job, school, hobby, nationality, social class, religion etc.). As all existing societies are imperfect and flawed, this poses a problem: people do not know themselves - they have defined their image of themselves at some early developmental stage, and can’t see how it could be anything else. It would be so much better if they could try to live in a different world, or a different society, for a while, and then try to see themselves in a new light after that experience. Well, they can! Through the simulationist way of role-playing - which is, or can be, social philosophy and behavioral psychology put to practice. It can have many positive effects on players, and it’s also one of the two styles the Turku School promotes.

Apart from societies, what most dictates a person’s behavior, is his personality (which is in part a product of the society). It’s easy to think you know yourself when you live a very sheltered life and never have any reason to leave your room - or, heaven forbid, question your own way of thinking. To find out your true self - or to check if this is really what you want to be - you need to have an outside view on yourself, or an inside view on somebody else. Living the life of another personality, another character, is just the trick to accomplish this. Another name for that is the eläytyjist style of larping, and it is the other style of larping the Turku School promotes.

You, the reader, have probably already made your mind about what styles are acceptable and what are not. Now, read on, as we further elaborate the ideals of the Turku School.