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Close Up: Dark City

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Dead City Productions lures students, alumni and guests to partake in a complicated game of improvisation and storytelling. President Eben Lowe and treasurer Mike Kanarek gave PLAY4 a peak into their shadowy underworld.

PLAY: So what do you guys do?

Mike Kanarek: Dead City Productions is a live-action role-playing game where people get to pretend to be vampires who manipulate the world from the shadows. They have conflicts with the world outside and amongst themselves, it’s sort of a cross between improv drama and ‘how to host a murder mystery’ — with vampires.

PLAY: How did you get started with DCP?

Eben Lowe: I’d been gaming regularly for years, and when I got to NU I discovered that DCP was pretty much the only role-playing student group in existence. I had never really been a big fan of vampire role-playing, but I started playing my freshman year and the whole thing just snowballed out of control until I was president of the organization.

PLAY: What character do you play?

EL: This year I’m playing Lucas, an approximately 200-year-old vampire from northern England. He’s a smuggler and is a little bit obsessed with security.

MK: I play several characters. Since I’m not technically a player I get to be different people as the plot requires. My personal favorite is a really deformed 600 year old who lives beneath a church in London.

PLAY: What’s the best part of being in Dead City Productions?

MK: For me it’s the fun of writing the plotlines and getting to watch the conflicts between the characters play out. Since I’m staff instead of a player I get to control everything in the game world but the players so I get a unique point of view — and a little bit of a geeky power trip.

PLAY: What kinds of people participate?

EL: Unfortunately there’s a bit of a social stigma attached to the whole gaming endeavor; people think we’re either nerds or goths or satanists. Admittedly most members of the group are a little dorky, but we’re basically your average college kids.

PLAY: Do you plan to continue gaming in the future?

EL: Absolutely. I think for most gamers gaming is a lifelong hobby and addiction.

MK: Yeah, less than I do now probably but it’s in my blood.