Foreword to the First Edition (2/24/2000)

The Turku School was founded when myself and Dare Talvitie (both of us then living in Turku) found ourselves defending the same ideals on a Finnish LARP e-mailing list, ”SuoLi-list”. Since then the Turku School has formed into a group of RPG artists and scholars, concentrated in the Finnish city of Turku (Åbo). This Manifest of the Turku School, now published for the first time in its entirety, has created much discussion and objection in Finland - its main point being that the GM is an artist who, as such, has no responsibility to his material of choice - that is, the players. Also, when playing, the important thing is not to have fun, but to immerse yourself in your character.

This first edition of the entire Manifest of the Turku School has been written and printed in English for Solmukohta 2000. The Player’s Vow of Chastity, a.k.a. the Turku Dogma (”This is how we think players should play in our games” - also to be seen as an anti-thesis for the Norwegian ”Larpwright’s Dogma”) has been published before in electronic form, but this is the first time that the actual manifest is seen by anyone - although it has been referred to for years.

The object of the manifest is, basically, to make people think about what they want from role-playing, how they can get it, and why are they doing things that don’t give them what they want. (And, perhaps, to point out, that it is not the only medium available to talented young artists, and that some things would work much better some other way.)

This manifest has been written by me, but some people have provided valuable comments - one way or the other. Thus, I would like to thank ELF Vesala, Eirik Fatland, Peter Munter and Kristiina Prauda, for being so delightfully wrong, and failing to admit it in sometimes heated conversations. Also, although they have no direct connection with the Turku School, I have gained some valuable insight communicating with Paul Dwyer, Joseph Campbell, Satu Heliö, Riku Korhonen, David Lichtenstein, Topi Mikkola, Markus Montola, Tero Mäntylä, Gordon Olmstead-Dean, Satu Rasila, Mikko Rintasaari, Toni Sihvonen, Jaakko Stenros, Adam Stoner, Pirjo-Riitta Tähti-Wahl, Niklas Vainio and Mike Young. And in the end, I would like to thank Dare Talvitie for commenting on and proof-reading some of the working versions of this manifest.

Yours in provocation,
Mike Pohjola
Turku, 24.2.2000

The Manifesto
The Turku School