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Why don't I do more larps?

The question I've been asked recently by several people is why don't I do more larps. The question was not larps in general - it was about the specific series. Why don't I do a sequel to Izgon soon? Why don't I do more Terra Nova events per year? I'll explain my thoughts on this below.

To tell the truth, I've actually been doing a lot of stuff for a while. Here's a short list of things I've done this year so far:

  • Terra Nova: Zimograd (a 3-day larp event)
  • PoRtaL (a 3-day larp convention - coorganized it, while doing workshops, presentations, writing a larp for it and guiding a team into creating another larp, (Re)union)
  • Izgon larp, merely running it took over a month, preparation took some more time
  • Running Ars Amandi workshop and Death of the Japanese Emperor larp on SFeraKon
  • Co-organized a Krvomeđe
  • Terra Nova 2013 (a 3-day larp event)
  • Maintaining this blog, my personal life and my sanity, while also writing stuff for, doing Hangout videos, a TV appearance, visiting other larps, reading what's new in the world of larp, promoting Croatian larps and networking with larpers worldwide

And it continues. Next month I'll do a run of Limbo larp (already full, but there will be other opportunities), coorganize Rajski Vrhovi XVIII, visit the Fallout larp near me (June 14-16) and many other things. As you can see, my larp-related schedule is quite full and diverse, ranging from boffer battles to highly experimental larps (in form and content) with artistical tendencies, and everything in-between. Focusing on one of those aspects would hurt another.

I could run more of the Izgon. I could have simply turned it "on" and left it running indefinitely. In a couple of months it would have made majority of its players half-nuts, going on to reevaluate what exactly are they spending their time on, and quitting the larp in frustration, with negative emotions associated to it, possibly similar to MMO withdrawal. Alternatively, I could produce sequels (and I'm planning a short one) but they will never be as efficient as the original larp which had most of its secrets revealed in the end. That was a part of its power, as is a power of one-shots in general - sacrifice replayability for drama.

Issues with continuously running Terra Nova would be different ones. Yes, I could run more of Terra Nova. I could make it a bi-monthly (or even monthly) event. However, if I did that, that would be what I'd do, and that would be all I'd have the time to do as I'd have no time to do anything else related to larp. With a very real possibility of burn-out, like on Monster camp (IMDB / Amazon), which is something I'd rather avoid. Terra Nova is a larp with main event once-a-year. Zimograd was a special event - something like it might or might not repeat sometime in the future, and currently no multi-day events outside of the main series (once a year) are planned. This has several benefits:
  • It keeps the costs down. One such larp a year will make it cheaper for you to get your gear for it, as you're not paying X amount of entry fees, travel money, food & drink money, and equipment maintenance since Terra Nova is less often, you can either keep the costs down or invest that money into good quality gear. Instead of, say, three or four more Terra Nova events this year you can save that money to get yourself a latex weapon and some armor, or perhaps some quality clothes or eating set. (Getting yourself a good kit is very important in fantasy larping as it improves yours and others' experience by its look and feel)
  • It keeps the storyline reasonable, without overly stretching it, reinventing it, or going too generic as it would happen, given enough playtime.
  • It gives everyone (including me) ample time to prepare, recover, and think of new ideas - perhaps test some of them as well.
  • Helps prevent player and organizer burn-out.
So that's why there are no bazillion Izgon and Terra Nova sequels. I might be running the main series of Terra Nova once a year, but I want to do other things as well. In the end, I find experimenting with other forms and ways of organization to be very inspirational.

Questions? Comments? Disagreements? Share your opinions in comments below.


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