Simulated 5 days of LARP in a weekend.

Premise: Pack more days in your day.

Ever finish a LARP weekend and you are driving home, reliving your great adventure? It was great, but I wish it was longer. Unfortunately, work, school, or just life won’t allow you to escape for longer than a weekend. What if you, the player, only had an available weekend of time but your character had a week’s worth of questing to do? The premise was derived over waffles one morning. What if we artificially changed the day-night cycle of a LARP and packed more days into the existing weekend?

Need a big box

We would need a way to control the environment, and the easiest way would be to control the light switch. Let’s say we had Brewster Millions money (1985, Richard Pryor) for our thought experiment. We created an outdoor camping environment in a mega warehouse. This warehouse has a simulated sky for the day/night cycle like in The Truman Show (1998, Jim Carrey). The simulated outdoor experience would have the added benefit of only sunny days and clear night skies. Alternatively, you could probably achieve a similar outcome in the post-apocalyptic LARP realm by running the LARP in a simulated bunker. The two major factors that need to be under your control are the light and the temperature.

This ain’t rocket science, it’s the methodology of Chronobiology

There are many smart cats that have been studying this field of science since the 1960s, but the general idea is that all living things on the planet react to the rhythm of the day/night cycle. This is set by external cues like the available light and temperature. When we mess with those factors, we do something called “forced desynchronization (Czeisler, 1985). We have all experienced this at one point in our lives, thinking that we were missing a day. This most commonly occurs in the winter when forced to sell paper clips in a cubical environment. However, let’s mess with that circadian clock for the right reasons. LARP

The Schedule

What would a simulated day/night schedule look like? Most weekends, LARP starts between 8-10 pm on Friday and runs until the afternoon on a Sunday. Without changing that available time and still allowing our players and cast to sleep. Using a 4-hour day and 2-hour night cycle. This is what it would look like. This would result in your character having 5 days of adventuring.

8 p.m. – 12 a.m. daylight
12 a.m. – 2 a.m. night followed by sleep

8 a.m.-12 p.m. daylight
12 p.m. -2 p.m. night
2 p.m. – 6 p.m. daylight
6 p.m. – 8 p.m. night
8 p.m. – 12 a.m. daylight
12 a.m. night sleep

8 a.m. – 12 p.m. daylight
End of game

Story Advantages and Disadvantages

Storytellers would be able to progress a “week” long story arch over the weekend. Since days are more compact, stories would be more focused on the main storyline. Fewer, side storylines would be used. Players that don’t normally stay up at night would be able to participate in the first 2 Saturday night cycles. This would open the storytellers to more options for nighttime shenanigans since this would include the whole player base. Furthermore, on the last night cycle on Saturday, I’d pause the game since more people would be burned out by then.

Health and your sanity

Messing with your clock does come with drawbacks. Then again, so does browsing TikTok till 2 a.m. Here are some of the notable health impacts, the severity of these probably varies greatly from person to person.

  • Disrupted Circadian Rhythm
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Mood Changes
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Immune System Functions


As cool as this would be to LARP for a “week” it would be expensive and probably not a good idea health-wise. However, this field of science is still actively being studied, and in 2017 a Noble Prize was awarded*. There is always a chance you could get your LARP funded by a university as an experiment, be sure to invite LARPnews.

*The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.
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Al the Vampire

The only living Vampire and chief editor of a online entertainment news website.
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