Gone Viral

Puzzles, deduction, escape

Designers: Liz Cable, Toby Jones (UK)
Number of participants: two groups of 6
Duration: 90 minutes, running twice in succession
Genre/style: Escape room with LARP elements
The presenter feels that this larp IS suitable for young people aged 16+

About the larp

It is 2022 and the UK is in chaos. In this post-antibiotic society researchers worked in secret, unregulated by the EU and answering only to their profiteering paymasters, hoping to create the next wonder-drug; a cure-all for everything from the common cold to cancer. You are part of an expert team called in by what remains of the government to investigate a disease outbreak at a secret research facility in the depths of the Yorkshire Dales. Can you control the spread before it becomes a pandemic?

Content Warnings: None.

Presented by

Liz Cable (UK): Liz Cable ran the 7 year Dreamscape LRP Campaign and the 4 year Mirth – Forgotten Sorrows Campaign, and multiple live adaptations of TV series including Robin of Sherwood. She founded The Adventurers Guild alongside the LRP magazine The Adventurer. Her latest campaign setting was unusual for the game mechanics being written into the mores and traditions of society, almost eliminating the need for a GM. More recently she has written over thirty escape games, and would like to bring to The Smoke an experimental cross-over game combining the puzzles and problems solving of escape games with the characterisation and strong narrative of LRP.

Liz teaches Digital Narratives and Transmedia Production at Leeds Trinity University, and is working towards a PhD researching immersive games for learning.


Communication style Lots of speech
Movement style Walking
Tone Light-hearted
Characters Characters are fully predesigned
Narrative control Intensely plotted and designed, but players have freedom as to how to achieve their goals
Transparency Transparent design, but players can create secrets during play and keep them from each other / reveal them when wished
Representation level Scenery and props will be used to make the play space look something like the fictional space
Play culture Players are in rival factions, teams, etc, which are in some sort of competition for success

Saturday afternoon, Studio 3