For all the wonderful things that LARP is, it’s also a perfect place for the spread of viruses. Close interactions with people, sharing of food and limited hygiene are concerning factors. People being uneasy with the Covid-19 making headlines in the news daily, how will LARP make it through these upcoming dark times?
The entertainment industry is already seeing a decline in attendance due to the fear of getting infected. As areas with similar spread of the virus-like in China and Italy go into lockdown and restriction of travel are put into place to slow the spread of the virus. The LARP industry can be negatively affected by this sudden change.
How will your game fare this upcoming bio-winter? There are a few things that organizers can do to help ease the burden. Game organizers will need to run lean and trim unnecessary spending for the foreseeable future. Consequently, games that took on large loans and mortgages may have a hard time making payments as attendance is reduced. Amenities on your site may be more of a deciding factor if someone will attend or not. Amenities, like flush toilets, hand washing stations, and showers. Changes to policies, such as rest periods, face masks, sanitizers, and nylon gloves may also be a contributing factor to your players. However, as demand for all social functions decrease games may find themselves able to negotiate better sites for less money. Game organizers will need to be proactive in finding ways to reduce risk to players and operate with less. Events are being canceled due to fear of spreading this virus and that is a temporary possibility owners might be facing.
Caring for oneself has never been as important as this upcoming season. Although the chances of catching Covid-19 at LARP is low, precautions should always be taken. As a player attending any LARP, you should plan for the possibility of catching flu which may not be related due to transmission from someone else but something like having an improper sleeping bag for a cold night. Players whom may feel under the weather with a flu should take into consideration that staying home would be the best choice even if they might miss that one cool game. Remember to take care of your immune system and read up the best ways to keep it strong. Surviving a LARP weekend on hot-dogs, ramen noodles, and chips can put you at a disadvantage with an improper diet. Due to current events remember to limit physical touching and keep your fingers out of your mouth is huge (Moms were right). Washing your hands… and then washing them again then using hand sanitizer. Don’t put your loot tags in your mouth, you wouldn’t put money in your mouth so why do it. Take it easy and don’t burn yourself out get some rest, sleep and remember to stay on top of your health this “flu” season. Honestly, nothing mind-blowing here.
The best-case scenario is that the spread of the pandemic is put under control within the next 1-3 months and LARP may resume being as excellent as ever. Alternatively, LARP may change and become a smaller more intimate version of its former self while limiting the introduction of outsiders. Furthermore, this may be the opportunity for other social products like Virtual Reality (VR) versions of LARP might immerge in VRChat, AltSpace and Horizon that’s coming out soon from Facebook. With HMD like Oculus Quest that don’t require a computer, this is a very possible future. My crystal ball is low on power so it’s hard to see what the results will be. This old vampire is wishing everyone all the best in these upcoming times.