This is a series of four sessions of Monsterhearts 2 by Avery Alder. Monsterhearts is a game in which you play teen monsters, mixing coming of age stories with gothic horror, including exploration of queer sexuality. Attendance for all sessions is encouraged, but not required. Each session must be signed up for individually. The sessions are scheduled for three hours. They will be recorded, and uploaded to YouTube with the consent of all participants. Please note, there will be no session on October 24th, as GauntletCon begins!
It is the beginning of a new school year in St Osana’s School for Boys, an ancient and dismal school in the Yorkshire Moors. While the sun is rapidly setting on the British Empire, the “British Invasion” of the US music scene continues apace, and it is the height of “Swinging London”. The sixties have seen the flourishing of teenage culture, and it feels like real change may be coming. St Osana’s, however, continues its centuries long task to beat tradition into their charges, feeding into the Old Boys Network that still maintains a stranglehold on public life.
We will have a tone and content discussion before the game begins, including setting out lines and veils. As a general content warning, Monsterhearts explicitly deals with both sexuality and physical endangerment of teenagers.
In this series, I want to explore a particular place and time: a boys boarding school in the north of England in 1968. Due to the historical setting of the game, there are some additional themes that would not normally be a feature of Monsterhearts. These include period typical homophobia - homosexual acts have only just been decriminalised, and there was no legal recognition of - or protections for - people who identified as trans. Corporal punishment was still legal, and practiced, in schools. There was also a tendency to tacitly accept bullying within boarding schools as part of the educational environment. As part of a homosocial setting, I anticipate all characters will be pupils of the school, and be perceived as male by society at large. We will discuss all of these as part of our content and tone conversation to ensure a comfortable play environment, but it is also not my intent to sugar coat a historical setting. And despite the lengthy disclaimers, I am not anticipating an unrelentingly grim tone!