Mitchell, L (2015) Materiality, magic and belief: framing the countryside in fantastical live-action roleplay games. Ethnography, 17 (3). pp. 326-349. ISSN 1741-2714

[thumbnail of ETH submission.pdf]
ETH submission.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (209kB) | Preview


This account of a UK live-action roleplay (LARP) event highlights complex shifts between different interpretive frames, foregrounding the role of the physical setting as well as non-players and locals in providing symbolic resources that inhibit or support the breaking of interpretive frames. The conception of framing used here draws upon Goffman’s (1974) definition of a frame as part of the organization of activity that specifies meaning and expectations of involvement. In looking at the setting, this presents UK LARP as an engagement with rural materiality. From the point of view of a game organiser, the paper identifies the creation of specific contextual frames by the visiting hobbyists associated with three interpretations; (1) a narrative conception of the space as a backdrop for fantastical events, (2) a ludic conception of the space as an area of game-playing, (3) an event conception of the space and its inhabitants as something to be managed. Three examples of disruptions to the work employed to maintain these frames demonstrate their fragile nature.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Sage at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: context; frame analysis; framing; Goffman; LARP; roleplay; rural; setting; place
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HS Societies secret benevolent etc
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2015 14:46
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2018 10:45

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item