LARPnography: an embodied embedded cognition method to probe the future

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to propose LARPnography as a more holistic method to probe the emergence of plausible futures, drawing on embodied embedded cognition literature and the emerging consumer practice of live-action role-playing (LARP). Current research methods for probing the future of markets and society rely mainly on expert judgment (i.e. Delphi), imagery or simulation of possible futures (i.e. scenario and simulation) and perspective taking (i.e. role-playing). The predominant focus on cognitive abstraction limits the insights researchers can extract from more embodied, sensorial and experiential approaches. Design/methodology/approach: LARPnography is a qualitative method seeking to immerse participants within a plausible future to better understand the social and market dynamics that may unfold therein. Through careful planning, design, casting and fieldwork, researchers create the preconditions to let participants experience what the future may be and gather critical insights from naturalistic observations and post-event interviews. Practical implications: Owing to its interactive nature and processual focus, LARPnography is best suited to investigate the adoption and diffusion of innovation, market emergence phenomena and radical societal changes, including the rise of alternative societies. Originality/value: Different from previous foresight methods, LARPnography creates immersive and perceptually stimulating replicas of plausible futures that research participants can inhabit. The creation of a fictional yet socio-material world ensures that socially constructed meaning is enriched by phenomenological and visceral insights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1637-1664
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Volume53
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Delphi method
  • Embodied embedded cognition
  • Ethnography
  • Futures and foresight
  • Live-action role-playing (LARP)
  • Scenario method

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