Saturday, October 8, 2011

Princess Maker 2 LP: So What is an LP?

I decided to take advantage of the long weekend by doing something I've wanted to do for a long time: A Let's Play of Princess Maker 2 (whether I'll finish it this weekend is another matter. I have a feeling these take a while). An LP is essentially a written (often with visual aids; occasionally video rather than written) account of a videogame playthrough. If you're interested in some examples, I point you towards the LP Archive website. I'm not going to secondguess people's motives for creating the LPs, but I imagine it has to do with the nature of videogames. In general, playing a game is a rather ephemeral condition. You have a piece of software whose programming is generally set in stone, but your own playthrough of it is both unique and temporary. The LP allows players to share that experience. There's also an element of what Mia Consalvo calls "game capital"--a humorous, engaging description of a game playthrough nets its creator some prestige within (certain) videogame communities. In my case, they're useful for analysis, as they provide a text that basically documents player experience. They're often a bizarre combination of role-playing and game explanation, as the player jumps back and forth between documenting their role as the character and their role as player. I'm doing an LP myself to get a sense of what they're like to compose.

They're also known as player diaries, and after-action reports. If you're interested in reading/watching up on some good ones, I recommend the group-authored LP of Dwarf Fortress, Boatmurdered, game journalist Tom Francis' LP of Galactic Civilizations 2 (which I've mentioned before), and in the off-chance that you still want more after that, there's a list of choice LPs at

So that's the LP. Next up: What's Princess Maker 2?

Later Days.

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