Childfree | 2018-11-17
Childfree is a larp about owning one’s own body, about being empowered to make life-changing choices and pursue one’s dreams and projects. It is a larp about choosing to get an abortion.
In 2018, I designed Childree, a 4-hour-long, 5-to-7-player pro-choice larp about voluntary termination of pregnancy from an emancipatory perspective. It is played without a referee/GM, and has been accessible for free online on this page or from 1€ on itch.io.
Recently, I collaborated with Projet Évasions, a Swiss-based anarchist collective dedicated to circulating emancipatory ideas, in order to publish this larp in an even more accessible version. It is now released as illustrated cards bound together, and is available in both French and English.
You can download it for free on Projet Évasions' website, or order a physical copy as pay-as-you-like directly from them or from me. It's a pleasure and an honor for me to see that this game has been appropriated and augmented by others.
By the way, at the occasion of this new release, I wrote a text explaining the birth of the game, its political ramifications and the ongoing battle on discourse and representations it attempts to contribute to fight. I hope you enjoy it :)
Childfree was born from the disturbing ascertainment that even though larps about voluntary termination of pregnancy weren’t generally designed in an anti-abortion perspective, by presenting abortion as part of the parenting process, not of the contraceptive process, and by emphasizing on the potential − and rare − trauma, they nurtured conservative views about abortion. This larp is, thus, a political manifesto: it is radical in its premises, and hopes to carry across a critique of the social order. Particularly, it aims at pointing out the ways in which the society appropriates the female body as an instrument to reproduce itself, denying the female-bodied persons mastery over their own bodies.
This game is radical, queer, and feminist, and can be played with or without a facilitator. The absence of outside facilitator is also a structural choice, destined to encourage horizontality, autonomy, and collective responsability. It was written for 5 to 7 players and lasts 4 hours, all included. To organize it, reading through the game document suffices: it doesn't require any prior preparation.
A chair in a dark room, lit by a spotlight (or regular lamp with cardboard to limit the lit area) is enough to play the game. A device on which to play an alarm is also necessary to set the gametime.
Download the game documents here: Download
Childfree in media
Childfree was cited and its author interviewed in an article by Laura Hudson in The Guardian, titled
The female game designers fighting back on abortion rights. Read the article
This game was written during a larp-writing week-end among Fennoswedish larpers in Oravais, Finland. It led to the author being interviewed about that game in a local Swedish-speaking newspaper Vasabladet by the journalist and larper Fredrik Westblom. Read the article (in Swedish)