JaLL USA will be held at a campground with cabins near Minneapolis, Minnesota. The larp is six days long, running from Monday through Saturday. Participants are cast as pre-written characters. The price to attend the larp is $300, and there are scholarships available. Participants are responsible for preparing costuming for their character before the game. At the camp site participants are responsible for helping with set-up and tear-down at a level that matches their physical ability.
August 7th to August 12th 2017. Participants must be available to leave Minneapolis at noon on August 7th. They will return to Minneapolis by 5pm on August 12th.
JaLL will be held at a scenic rural campground a short drive away from Minneapolis, MN. The organizers of JaLL are choosing not to reveal the exact location of the campground to preserve the privacy and safety of participants. Participants will be given the exact location of the campground after receiving their character and paying for their ticket.
To simplify travel, organizers are arranging private bus transport from Minneapolis to the site. Participants with access to vehicles may choose to drive themselves to JaLL and pay for parking rather than ride the bus. If you are planning to drive yourself, please email email@example.com once you are cast to receive directions and arrival time.
Participants will stay in cabins that sleep up to 18 people in bunk beds. Every cabin has multiple outlets for electronics. None of the cabins have air-conditioning.
The bunk beds have bare twin mattresses. Participants may bring their own bedclothes (cover sheet, top sheet, duvet, pillow) or rent these items from organizers.
Sleeping arrangements are primarily by character groups. That is, you will likely be in the same cabin as people in your character's closest circle of friends. As such, cabins and sleeping arrangements are mixed gender. That is, your roommates might be any gender at all. Body shaming and transphobia will not be tolerated.
The campground has indoor plumbing at a communal restroom building with locking toilet stalls, urinals, and curtained shower stalls. At JaLL USA these bathrooms and shower facilities are for people of all genders, with no segregation based on sex or gender. There are 2 other locking-door single-toilet bathrooms at the site, but they are located further away from the sleeping cabins and may not be available at certain times.
The campground is in a deep valley in a rural area where cell service does not reach consistently. AT&T is the only cell phone carrier that has service at the site. The nearest cell service for Sprint phones is a 10 minute drive or 40 minute walk. The nearest cell service for any other cell carrier is a 20 minute drive. There is one payphone on site, which will be reserved for the organizers' needs and emergency use only.
The nearest free wifi service is at the campground main office, a 7 minute drive or 40 minute walk from where JaLL USA will be held. The organizers are investigating a mobile wifi hotspot, but cannot guarantee at this time that they will be able to find a router and carrier with strong enough signal for anyone to access the internet at the campground. If organizers are able to get an on-site hotspot, it will have limited data that can be used by a small number of participants who have a pressing need due to business or caregiving responsibilities. If you think this applies to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the general reason for your need and how often you will need to use the internet. We will let you know whether we can accommodate you. Anyone who would like to use the internet for a non-pressing need will have to go to the campground office during a break time. We have a strong preference for no use of cellphones (or other pieces of post-1985 technology) during in-character times. Using phones in off-larp spaces, at out-of-character times, or to track and manage health conditions at any time is, of course, acceptable.
The Midwest is known for rapidly changing weather conditions. Pack clothing that can be layered and will guard against heat, insects, sun, and rain.
There is no air-conditioning anywhere on site, though shade and seating will be plentiful and some spaces will have fans. The summer routinely reaches temperatures of 85-90 degrees F (30-32C), and can get as hot as 110 degrees F (43C).
The campsite is about a 10 minute drive from a small town with basic amenities such as a pharmacy, gas station, motel, grocery store, etc. If you have have a specific question or concern about nearby amenities please email email@example.com.
During this larp we will be playing three 4th of July parties set in 1982, 1983, and 1984. Your costumes should reflect your character and the time period, but you can decide how much of a "makeover" you want to give your character from one year to the other. Think accessories, hair products, and different tops. You don't need to change everything from one year to the next.
Need costume ideas? The Wikipedia article on fashion in the 80s gives a good overview of different styles that became popular at this time, including some of the more "alternative" styles. The "Castro Clone" look developed in the 70s in the gay scene in San Francisco and remained popular among many gay men throughout the 80s. You can follow JaLL USA on Facebook to get regular postings of period photographs.
Because the larp is taking place at a rural camp site in Midwestern summer, seriously consider the comfort of your costume as a priority. Plan to bring shoes that can stand up to muddy conditions. Bring layers in case one "year" is sweltering hot and one "year" is rainy and cold. If you can, bring a black umbrella to use during funeral scenes.
Food at this event is vegetarian and provided with the cost of registration. Kitchen volunteers will be able accommodate many, but not all dietary needs. Vegan and gluten free options can be provided, if requested. Unfortunately accommodation for people with severe nut allergies will not be possible due to the campground's cooking space.
There will be three meals a day, with the exception of first and last day which will have 1 meal each. Meal times will be on a regular schedule, organizers will let participants know as early as possible if there are any changes to the schedule.
JaLL USA has a zero tolerance for substance use before or during the larp. For the purposes of this larp, inebriation is unsafe and unfun. Please do not bring any alcohol or other drugs to the camp site.
During the larp, organizers will sell non-alcoholic beer for characters to purchase at the party, keeping a tab for participants. Please bring cash or check to settle your tab at the end of the event.
At the larp after party organizers will provide one keg of low alcohol beer for participants to enjoy. The beer will be 3.2% alcohol by weight or 4.0% alcohol by volume. Please do not bring your own alcohol to the after party.
Tobacco use is permitted at JaLL USA 2017, but not in any of the camp buildings or tents. This includes electronic cigarettes. Organizers will provide several receptacles for cigarette butts — please use them.
If you need accommodations for a physical or mental disability, please list this on your sign-up form or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The organizers can share the detailed information, including pictures, they have collected about the campground. We strive to make JaLL as accessible as possible to people with disabilities. We are also limited in this regard by the unchangeable aspects of our site and budget. If you reach out to us we will work with you to make accommodations to the best of our ability.
|morning||workshops||1982 morning after||1983 morning after||1984 morning after||tear down|
|evening||workshops||1982 party||1983 party||1984 party||after party|
The heart of Just a Little Lovin' is comprised of 66 pre-written characters, which attempt to portray the diversity of life in the gay, lesbian, and alternative spirituality communities of the 1980s. Even more important than these characters are the relationships they share with one another. These characters are carefully written to capture the feeling of the time period and explore the core themes of the game. Unlike some other larps, such as New World Magischola, character relationships and backstory should not be dramatically changed by players before play.
At the start of the larp the characters are primarily organized by their core social circle. By the end of the larp characters will have made new social connections and perhaps changed their core social circle. The primary social circles are:
Informal group of gay New Yorkers with money and influence
Members of the men-only gay leather and fetish club
Performers, employees, and regular attendees of a drag club
Staff and regulars of an intimate and casual lesbian bar
Pretentious poets, writers, and artists
Staff, clientele, and performers at New York City's hottest disco club
Hippie practitioners of alternative and syncretic spiritualities
People in the swinger subculture and into partner swapping
Brooklyn Book Cafe
A gathering place for people active in the peace movement
Just a Little Lovin' is about alternative sexual and spiritual communities in the 1980s. Sexuality is an important theme that is interwoven through all the characters and permeates the experience of the larp. A majority of characters are gay and bisexual men.
Sexuality is portrayed through the use of representational mechanics, consent negotiations, and relationship discussions out-of-character. Anyone can opt-in or opt-out of sexual scenes at any time.
This larp takes place during the AIDS crisis in the United States. Characters can die of HIV/AIDS during the larp, but that is not the end of the larp for any participant. These participants will be assigned a new character and the organizers will help them integrate into existing social dynamics.
The setting of the 1980s and the design of Just a Little Lovin' encourages some amount of play on discrimination. Participants can calibrate with others to have the kind of experience they want around this content. Before the larp begins, participants will complete workshops to help them play on discriminatory content in a sensitive and respectful manner.
Racism is not a valid theme for play at Just a Little Lovin'. That is, characters should not encounter these discriminatory thoughts or behaviors at Mr. T's big gay 4th of July party. Homophobia is also not a central theme of the game, though at later parties gay characters may experience some tension from the Saratoga friends as a result of the AIDS crisis. Players wishing to explore these themes can invite others to participate in private, optional scenes in the black box.
Transphobia, biphobia, and misogyny are valid themes for play at Just a Little Lovin'. These oppressions can come up at Mr. T's big gay 4th of July party as microaggressions. Players wishing to explore more severe forms of this discrimination can invite others to participate in private, optional scenes in the black box.
Individual participants can indicate they don't want to play a character who is discriminated against in their casting survey. Alternatively, individual participants can calibrate their play experience with others to avoid personal experiences with discrimination in play.
During Just a Little Lovin' almost the entire camp site is considered part of the larp. Bathrooms, kitchens, and cabins are all places where characters will talk, flirt, and dance during the Mr. T's big gay 4th of July party. The sanctuary space is the exception to this rule, it is a space that is not a part of the world of the larp. The sanctuary space is a cabin by itself and has a comfortable spot to decompress, snacks, and a member of the Safety Committee who can listen non-judgmentally if you'd like. No one needs a reason to use the sanctuary space and it is always open during the larp.
The Black Box is a simple room with some light and sound equipment. In Just a Little Lovin' participants can use the Black Box to play out scenes that take place outside of Mr. T's big gay 4th of July party. They might play out flashbacks from their youth, possible futures, or metaphorical representations of intangible things like emotions. The Black Box can also be a place to consensually play out intense content (e.g. blatant homophobia) that is of interest to a small group of participants, but is not acceptable behavior in other game areas. Participants will learn how to use the Black Box before the larp begins.