l) PAC-Analysis with reLarp

Key words: bleed, reflection
Focus: In their debriefing groups, participants talk about their experiences using the PAC analysis method.

Target: everyone

Place: Hall of Mirrors (then divided into groups)

Responsible: Ole

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For each debriefing group, someone from the organisers is needed as a moderator. Everyone gathers in the Hall of Mirrors and is asked to bring their smartphones. Afterwards, the debriefing groups spread out in the building and go through the following steps of the debriefing together.

1.) Stimulating Instructions

Ask everyone to go to https://b-ok.shinyapps.io/reLarp on their smartphones. If participants are willing to talk about their associations in the group, ask them to fill in their first name. Otherwise, they may enter their participation number.

5 min

As an alternative to the link, you can also present a printed copy of this QR code to the participants.

Give them the following inspirational instruction on the basis of which they should write down what spontaneously comes to their mind.

Please recall the experiences, the conflicts, and the frustrations that you have faced in the course of Sirius. Write down words or short sentences that are meaningful to you to describe these experiences. Think of as many words as possible and record them in the order that the words occurred to you.

2.) Free Word Association

Following these instructions, the participants input their word associations related to their experience of the larp.

15 min

3.) Order of Importance

The first words or images that occur to participants may not always be the most “important” in that the words or images are necessary to explain the recalled experience. Thus, in this step, the participants are requested to rearrange their inputs in order of importance.

5 min

4.) Image/Evaluation

For the purpose of the subsequent analysis, we also ask participants to evaluate the meaning of each item as positive (+), negative (-), or neutral (~).

5 min

5.) Degree of Similarity

In preparation for the subsequent discussion and analysis, the participants are asked to rate the items in pairs based on the degree of how close they are in connotative meanings on a 7-point scale (from 1, very close in meaning, to 7, very different in meaning). The participants would receive instructions, such as:

10 min

Please rate the distance between each pair of the items you listed according to the 7 scale below. In so doing, evaluate how close they are in your image. Do not evaluate in terms of the accuracy of meaning in the dictionary.

6.) Cluster Analysis

Based on the matrix given in the previous step, we perform a hierarchical cluster analysis with Ward’s method on the similarity matrix to obtain a so-called dendrogram, a tree diagram to illustrate the arrangement of clusters.

5 min

Cluster here refers to a number of items that are close in meaning and thus may build a set of relations. This relates to the meaningful structuring of information necessary for learning.
Although the analysis of the distance between items can be meaningful, the dendrogram in a PAC analysis is utilized to explore the structural meaning of the participants’ experience.

7.) Dendrogram Interpretation

In this important step, we ask the participants to explain the meaning of each cluster, the relationship between or among clusters, and also within clusters. 

30 min

Therefore, the participants are asked to elaborate on some of the items. Often the participants include the evaluations from step 4 in their explanations. This whole process is for exploring the participant’s overall image of the experience (the frustration) concerned and helping them in their reflection. This step may, of course, include questions and comments by the larp organisers. If the participants agree, others can also join the reflection in this step or the next.

8.) Cooperative Understanding

Following from the above, organizers may share their interpretation of the dendrogram rather immediately with the participants or keep their thoughts until the end of the debriefing process.

30 min

Important to note is that if interpretation happens in a dialogue, organizers should refrain from imposing their own interpretation on the participants or “rail-roading” them to a desired conclusion. The goal is to share interpretations to receive some responses from the participants. This process requires cooperation and interaction between both parties.

Closing remarks

Thank them for participating in the debriefing and leave room for a few final statements and explanations.

5 min

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