I was at the first run of the College of Wizardry at Czocha castle, Poland – yes, the Harry Potter larp for grown-up kids that’s making the rounds on the internet. Read a long-form piece on the larp, plus some thoughts about why intellectual property or fantasy genres can generate good relationships.
I think one thing that made the game extraordinary was the constant need to solve small problems with two things: 1) made-up magic (i.e. bullshit) and 2) at least one other person to help you. Larps are social works of art, it’s generally true, but for some reason even doing evil in this game felt positive—perhaps because you were using a vastly creative medium to do it. I’ve never experienced a larp where the aftermath included such an outpouring of positive energy towards the other participants, and I’m at the age where that kind of bonding happens very infrequently to boot.