LARP game enthusiasts and experts went through discussion. It was an attempt to find a way to larp and survive through the ruthless business world.
LARP game is still not popular as his little brother, Escape Room (ERoom). The availability of ERoom and the time people need to invest to take part is insignificant compared to LARPs, for instance. Just as the costs, prices, and usability are. That is the point where problems with maintaining LARP starts. However, problems don’t finish here.
As we all know, it is always easier to go through battles with people who wage similar battles or already have won the battle.
Portal 8 LARP Convention opened the opportunity for discussion about challenges, obstacles, and options for success in the LARP game world. The discussion was led by Miroslav Wranka. It was a great upgrade to the subject “Run LARP, don’t go broke” we were writing about before.
The discussion goal was sharing experiences in organizing LARPs and obstacles organizers are facing with. Above all, they were hoping to find/share potential or efficient solutions.
About Miroslav Wranka
Miroslav is a freelance journalist with a focus on informatics and business. He has been playing role-playing games in various ways for fifteen years. He is a part of the Terrible Creation collective. Miroslav started designing games because he did not find enough of the ones he would like to participate in. He is especially interested in the use of LARP games as a tool in improving education, business and social integration.
During the discussion, there were many approaches to the problem, but the passion for the LARP was unquestionable. As a result, participants were more than open to discuss and share their experiences and battles they are in.
LARP games and Escape Rooms – comparing businesses
There was a basic perspective through discussion – ERooms are more available to people. Individuals and groups need to invest only a few hours of time to act silly for a bit and resolve some problems in ERooms. No interaction with actors and no deep character identifying.
LARP game, on the other hand, is a role-playing game that often lasts for a few days. It requires more time to play. Deep involvement, identification with characters, experimenting with new roles, and sometimes not that enjoyable emotion are inevitable. Also, the participation price is higher. This could be reasons why LARP is not that popular and available.
Since LARP is a deeper role-playing game than ERoom, it requires more preparation:
- convincing locations – exteriors and interiors,
- a lot of stories writing for different historical periods,
- adjusting each LARP for participants age, needs, interests, LARP knowledge,
- developing characters, rules,
- creating costumes,
- certain goal to achieve (learning, fun, insights, healing…),
- debriefing, deroling, workshops
- actors, psychologists, and other crew members…
Moreover, bureaucracy is always a regular obstacle. We believe it is easy to see why the ERoom is more practical to bring on the society’s table.
A big team without a significant profit
A lot of work and a big team without a significant profit doesn’t sound promising. Many Larpers passionate in writing, management, psychology, therapy, history, sightseeing, and others will invest their time and knowledge in creating LARP for free. But until when? This is a secure road to burnout.
One extra problem is that Larpers are usually people who can’t pay much to take part in LARPs. Although they would like to.
Also, LARP showed a wide range of transformation and usability that unfortunately only Larpers can experience and see. In front of LARP there is a huge step to show his advantages as a method in the education system, entertainment world, art, psychotherapy, and other areas.
Commercialized vs. passionate LARP
The struggle was real. Instant commercialized LARP version that would be profitable and less attractive to real Larpers on one side, and deeply involved and a juicy LARP version that is harder to sell to masses but is a treat for every Larper, on the other side.
We would say that every businessman, passionate about his field of work, is running the same battle. Since we are in a world where profit is keeping us alive, in this discussion Larpers tried to find a way to stay on the surface between two extremes while doing LARPs.
The fruits of discussion
As a result of the discussion, some ideas finally occurred. For instance, the option of doing LARPs for masses to get some profit and use it to create LARPs for enthusiasts. On the other hand, it is possible to make cooperation with the artist’s organizations, colleges and etc. In addition, infiltrating into institutions crucial to recognize LARP as a great and important tool/method in many areas of society is also a way, although slower.
It is also worth thinking about the option of creating a LARP game with different levels that are bringing different price and involvement levels to participants.
Life gives you lemons you make lemonade
ERoom can be a good lemon for Larpers’ lemonade. In other words, ERoom can help in making people more interested in LARP. People will get fed up with similar well-known activities, without interaction and intensity. Furthermore, they will probably reach for more content and interactions. That is where LARP takes over.
We can also look at a business matter from a different point of view. Book, “The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage”, that one of the participants mentioned, is talking about changes in the business world. As the author says in the book, goods and services are no longer enough. Economic growth lies in the value of experience and transformation. Creating experiences for customers and businesses is important. Charging for the value of the transformation that experience offers. Long story short, experiences, and transformations are the basis for future economic growth.
To sum up
There is a way to spread LARP in many areas of society. Although every society has specific challenges and obstacles, uniting forces can only give more perspectives and solutions.
Watch the detailed, inclusive, and open discussion on the Geexus clip above.