LARPing goes to Disneyworld.

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Peter Trei

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Jun 2, 2022, 2:06:05 PMJun 2
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LARPing has grown up.

It seems to be turning into its own SF fannish experience,
on a par with books and visual media. I suggest it needs more
discussion.

For me, LARPing has been something other fans were doing at cons.
It didn't impact me. More recently, my daughters both got
independently involved in local LARP groups, most of which ran
over weekends at remote campsites.

But I wasn't really aware of large-scale commercial LARPs. They've
gotten big.

Disney has this spring introduced a new event in Orlando,
"Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser", which is a special hotel,
constructed to internally appear to be a SW universe
passenger cruiser. Guests sign up for a 3-day, 2-night event,
which can cost over $6000 for a family of four.

Inside, the hotel is configured to provide a 24/7 immersive experience.
There are no windows, only video 'viewports' showing the space
environment. There are a large number of non-customer NPCs, roping
customers into taking parts in a wide ranging plot onboard with
age-appropriate parts. Costuming and developing your own
character is encouraged.

Families can leave to visit regular Disneyworld (if they really want
to), on a bus configured internally as a shuttle which docks at
'Black Spire Outpost', a Star Wars themed new section of the park.
However, I expect most will be there for the SW experience, not the
Carousel of Progress.

I'd heard a bit about this, but a recent article in the New Yorker
explores the experience, and how it was developed, in great detail:

"LARPing Goes to Disneyworld":
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/05/30/larping-goes-to-disney-world
Its a fascinating read.

Disney leaned heavily on commerical LARPs to develop this, and
the author explores that world in depth, including taking part
in a small LARP based on Godwin's 'The Cold Equations'.

Official Disney trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eY-VRFq10k

Positive review from CNET
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-ZF6ySGN_M

Somewhat more jaundiced:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vqn0S0Atu8

Things like this are, in my opinion, legit stfnal experiences,
and merit discussion.

pt

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