Monday, November 14, 2011


This weekend, I took my Harry Potter reading 8 year old (though he recently started whichever book it is that's REALLY long - don't know if the enthusiasm will hold) to the World Quidditch Cup, on Randall's Island in NYC.

100 College Teams (I saw Dartmouth, Yale, Swarthmore, Hofstra, U Mass...). Two thousand dedicated athletes - men and women (the official rules state all teams must be co-ed). All running around a dozen outdoor fields (thankfully, the weather was great) with a broom between their legs, chasing a person dressed in gold lame to signify the snitch, playing an imaginary game based on an imaginary world created in a series of best-selling books.

That's fan dedication!

The website states that they are not affiliated with author JK Rowling, and Alex Benepe, the event's commissioner and creator told NJ. com: Rowling hasn't stopped the IQA from running its website, where it sells a rulebook. "Warner Brothers leaves us well alone."

Benepe also reportedly wondered: Could he even find anyone interested enough to run with a broomstick between their legs? Would the whole enterprise simply prove to be nothing more than an adventure in LARPing (live-action role-playing)?

While the above paragraph (written by the reporter, not Benepe himself) appears to view LARPing as somehow inferior to his endeavor, it was, in fact, precisely what I thought of when I first heard of the Quidditch World Cup.

Wikipedia describes LARPing as: A form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters' actions. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules, or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.

And I have long-wondered whether there might be a place in fandom for a Soap Opera LARP? Would people be interested in acting out new scenarios featuring characters from All My Children, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, Santa Barbara, etc... And, consequently, would the shows' original creators be just as generous about letting their fantasy world be expanded as Ms. Rowling seems to be?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Could this be another way for fans to demonstrate their passion and commitment to the genre?

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