jueves, 1 de septiembre de 2016

The dark side of larp tourism

Picture of la sirena varada location, taken by Herman Langland

Larp tourism. What a great idea! Although perhaps it is not as awesome as it seems.

Last year the concept of larp tourism was formalized with this video by Claus Raasted.
While I agree in that larp tourism can work marvels for big/commercial events like College of Wizardry, The Witcher School or Fairweather Manor, for other larps I am not so sure.

We had a particularly negative experience in the second run of ‘la sirena varada’ (that's the Spanish for 'The Stranded Mermaid') concerning a couple of larp tourists. Even if they probably will not define themselves as that, they told us that they were going to use the larp as part of a trip through Spain. That’s really cool, mind you. ‘la sirena varada’ is a Mediterranean larp by design, topics and structure. It is deceptively easy-going, a sandbox approach that uses techniques and a specific direction (a descent into madness) with an open hand. It is international, using exclusively the English language, and advertises itself as “A larp about Mediterranean dreams and red-blooded delusion. About waking up late and enjoying life”. It seems like the perfect candidate for larp tourism, right? Hardly.