REPOD Episode 6: Anthony Robinson on Immersion, Larp, & Survivor

In episode 6, we sit down with Anthony Robinson, an enthusiastic larper, former castaway on the reality show Survivor Fiji, and long-time contributor to the immersive theatre website No Proscenium.

Anthony was instrumental in how David and I met, connecting us when he brought us both on as guests on a No Proscenium podcast. It only seemed fitting to bring Anthony onto our podcast to chat about immersive gaming and Survivor.

Anthony is an old school larper (Live Action Role Play) who also happened to play Survivor, which is one of the most immersive games in the world. Larping is one of the original forms of immersive gaming, and it was a blast chatting with him about the different types of larp. We also discuss how to incorporate role-playing into our everyday lives. As you may know, David is a huge Survivor fan, so it was fun chatting about Survivor, and in particular, how much the editing can slant to create a certain narrative.

This episode in particular was more of a conversation between friends who have a shared love of deeply nerdy topics, and we hope you’ll enjoy listening along.

Episode 6

Topics Discussed in this Episode

  • We chat about how Anthony introduced David and Peih-Gee when they were all guests on a No Proscenium podcast. [0:45]
  • Peih-Gee talks about when she first met Anthony at the finale party for Survivor China and they bonded over larping. [1:50]
  • We chat about our love of MMORPGs (massive multi-player online Role Playing Games). [2:50]
  • Anthony tells us that City of Heroes has a secret server that is still up and running. [3:01]
  • Anthony talks about how he leaned into his “nerdiness” when he applied for Survivor. [4:44]
  • Anthony was really involved in larping (Live Action Role Play) and he talks to us about what it is, exactly. [5:25]
  • Anthony talks about the different systems of larp – Parlor Larp (more theatrical, less physical), Nordic Larp (more immersive, less physical), Boffer Larp (most physical). [6:20]
  • Anthony tells us about an old Star Wars Larp that used pop-o-matic dice on lightsabers. [7:20]
  • Anthony tells us how he was introduced to larp while studying at Yale – “college and people with foam.” [8:20]
  • We chat about the commonalities of player empowerment in games like larps, ARGs, and even Survivor. [11:25]
  • David talks about his experience with mock trial throughout high school and college and how that was his first introduction to improvisational theatre gameplay. [13:20]
  • We chat about role-playing in our everyday lives. [15:50]
  • Peih-Gee tells a story about the time her mother ran off down a dark alleyway when Peih-Gee was a young child. She probably got her sense of adventure and impetuousness from mother. [19:07]
  • David talks about developing his “expert voice.” [20:12]
  • We learn that David, contrary to Peih-Gee’s expectation, does not play wizards. He prefers ranger- or loner-type roles. [20:30]
  • We chat about alignment in RPGs. [21:50]
  • Anthony and Peih-Gee chat about the dynamics of rocky relationships on Survivor. [25:00]
  • Peih-Gee talks about how editing in reality TV can shape how a character is perceived. [26:30]
  • Anthony talks about experiencing emotional difficulties on Survivor. [28:15]
  • Peih-Gee talks about the evolution of editing and how depictions of masculinity have changed in the past ten years. [29:33]
  • Anthony talks about the need for better aftercare on Survivor, and some of the emotional traumas castaways can experience after coming off the show. [31:15]
  • Anthony shares a bonus story about the time he organized a group of Survivor players to play Stash House, an escape room in Los Angeles, CA. [36:10]
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Resources Mentioned in this Episode

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Thanks for listening!

Guest Bio

Anthony Robinson, Survivor Fiji castaway & Associate Editor at No Proscenium

Anthony Robinson is a longtime contributor for No Proscenium. A graduate of Yale’s American Studies Program, Anthony is by turns an old-school larper, sometime assistant director for film and tv, busy dad, theatre nerd, and alumnus of Reality TV’s Survivor. He likes long walks along the beach, a good night dancing to Brit Pop’s greatest hits, making Star Wars-inspired props, and loudly discussing the last immersive theatre experience that he just went through.

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