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January 2018

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“The Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings has joined forces with the creators and producers of The Amazing Race to conjure a land of magic and malevolence, where mythical creatures lurk in the woods. For 12 lucky souls, a fantastic world will come alive in a unique competition series where players will engage in epic challenges.”

-ABC.Go.com

Over the last two years LARPing.org has been aware of countless attempts to bring LARP to TV, and in some cases have worked with the research teams behind those attempts to better educate and shed light on what Live Action Role Playing is. “The Quest” is one we posted about last summer, and after nearly a year of waiting we have a chance to see what ABC had in mind.

LOGO_Quest-BW1

Encouragements

It’s rare to see a reality TV series in which the genre has producer with tried and true track record for success. In this case we have producers from both “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as well as “The Amazing Race”, both with years of experience in their respective fields.

Things we see that we like:

  • Beautiful Set Design
    Holy cow! Talk about some fantastic sets. They have obviously taken the time to setup shots the highlight the setting of the “Game”, and the projected mood of the scene.
  • Fantastic Makeup
    At one point we see a witch, few monsters, and (what I imagine is) a few baddies. All of them with impeccable makeup!
  • Unscripted (We hope)
    Reality TV is made on the cutting room floor, but from what we can tell neither camp developing this show has a history of twisting plots and creating unrealistic drama or tension between characters. We hope this is the case here!
  • Attention to Detail
    In many cases shows like this run with a very tight budget, it’s good to see they haven’t completely jumped the shark and put anyone in David Bowie’s wardrobe… yet.
  • Mark Ordesky
    If you’re unfamiliar with Ordesky, you must be living under a rock. That is all.

Discouragements

Sadly, this type of show is risky. Very risky. Without properly developing a narrative and making it clear enough for the audience, Non-LARPers will become confused by the In and Out of character progression of the show. This may be too much for some even with that clear narrative defined.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Things we see that we worry about:

  • “LARP” Never Mentioned
    This is truly a double edged sword. Some will immediately be interested in the show with that “keyword” included in its marketing, while others will completely sign it off. Of course we’d like to see it in there, but we can understand why it isn’t. Allow the viewer to make the decision!
  • Casting and Characters
    From what we can tell, there are a wide variety of players engaged in this game but all seem to fall into the Hollywood tropes of tall strong men and pretty ladies. Again, we completely understand why these exist, but we can’t help but wish there wasn’t at least “one small skinny dude with a D&D tattoo on his butt” totally in awe at what he’s doing and captured up in the moment. Heck, maybe there is and we just haven’t seen him yet! The average Joe is often missing in these shows.
  • RP or Acting by a Script?
    At this point we can’t tell how much RP will be involved, but from snippets we can tell there is a certain level of scripted conversation in place. Hopefully that stays to a minimum between players, and leaves players the chance to explore the game more naturally.

Information about the show is limited. All sentiments are purely anecdotal. We hope to offer more in the coming weeks.

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Thomas Miller

As Creative Director of LARPing.org, Tom's time is spent doing everything from research, design, development, writing and editing. This Detroit native attends LARPs all over the US, and enjoys everything from Post-Apoc to Modern Culture LARP settings. He currently sits as Lead Plot and Story designer for The Voyage North.

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18 Comments

  1. Danielle Bennett May 16, 2014 9:19 AM

    As a LARPer I’m offended by this. Would have been better if they got real LARPers instead of a group of people who wouldn’t know a LARP if they were standing in the middle of one.

    Reply
    • Raistlin May 17, 2014 6:27 AM

      How do you know that they aren’t?

      Reply
    • Alida May 17, 2014 5:29 PM

      As someone who is closely tied to one of the contestants… well, we met while LARPing 15 years ago, if that makes you feel any better about the show.

      Reply
      • Thomas Miller May 18, 2014 8:24 AM

        I always love to hear stuff like this! Can’t wait to see it.

        Reply
        • Alida May 19, 2014 2:54 PM

          We fight so hard sometimes to not be seen as stereotypes – I have LARPed with doctors, surgeons, professionals of all stripes (I’m one myself), martial artists, personal trainers, even a Constitutional lawyer (yes, a definite by-the-rule-book person!).

          I do not know much about the show itself – that has to wait to be revealed on the show, but it made me glad to hear that the individuals involved run a wide gamut of personalities.

          Reply
    • Matthijs Aalten July 31, 2014 2:18 PM

      I saw an Youtube video today, from Day9, called Spellslingers a show where he challenges people he knows to a Magic: The Gathering duel.
      Today he played against an MMA fighter called Josh Barnett also known as The Warmaster, who played Magic since Alpha, and he knows his stuff, it shows.
      that tells you that yes, Geeks come from all walks of life.
      here is a link of the video, if its allowed:

      Reply
  2. Otis May 17, 2014 6:16 AM

    I don’t think anyone knows anything about who these ppl are. I think it’s a little early to judge.

    Reply
    • Thomas Miller May 17, 2014 9:40 AM

      I would agree with @Otis and @Raistlin – At this point it’s just to early to know.
      The real question is , “Why is it important to pick people who already LARP?”. Wouldn’t it be just as cool to see someone discover a love for it?

      Reply
  3. Thomas Miller May 17, 2014 9:39 AM

    I would agree with @Otis and @Raistlin – At this point it’s just to early to know.
    The real question is , “Why is it important to pick people who already LARP?”. Wouldn’t it be just as cool to see someone discover a love for it?

    Reply
  4. Kim May 18, 2014 3:34 AM

    Not all geeks look like geeks! My husband is a Marine, but he plays D&D, has watched every zombie movie known to man, has a collection of comic books that makes every move we have a pain in the ass, and knows as much about computers as the software engineers in my family. Of course as a Marine he could kill you from 1000 yards away, but he’s a HUGE nerd. Anyone can be a nerd! You don’t have to be ugly and awkward, and I don’t think that stereotype is a part of nerd culture that we should embrace!

    Reply
    • Thomas Miller May 18, 2014 8:00 AM

      Thank you for your families service! Let me first say, By no is there a single size for geeks/nerds. We come in all sizes! But there are 2 that are most improperly represented, and that is the fat guy and the little skinny dude. Having either who can help change those stereotypes would be fantastic! The opportunity for a show to give the community a positive, encouraging, confident “achy-type” nerd is one, I think, many could get behind.
      Side Note – your husband is a capable of crushing most men’s sculls who give him any grief, slightly reducing the likelihood that will happen. =P

      Reply
  5. Nat Mason June 2, 2014 9:03 AM

    I for one am very excited for this show, in fact I kinda wanna audition for next season if I can

    Reply
  6. Pingback: The Quest: A LARP Reality Show | The Myth Wood

  7. Matthijs Aalten July 31, 2014 2:18 PM

    I saw an Youtube video today, from Day9, called Spellslingers a show where he challenges people he knows to a Magic: The Gathering duel.
    Today he played against an MMA fighter called Josh Barnett also known as The Warmaster, who played Magic since Alpha, and he knows his stuff, it shows.
    that tells you that yes, Geeks come from all walks of life.
    here is a link of the video, if its allowed:

    Reply
  8. Katie C July 31, 2014 5:26 PM

    If this continues for more seasons, i would love to do this, as a RP’er and a Cosplayer, this would be the ultimate cool thing to do and i would enjoy it so much!

    Reply
  9. Philip Nielsen August 2, 2014 2:55 AM

    hmm whit blank weapons, the fight will be slow and staged, and not wery safe, seen bad injuries happen at when people fight whit weapons like that…

    if they wanna do a series about LARP they sould make all use the gear they use when doing LARP… just take a look at the german Mytodea, Drachenfest… about 5-7K players for a few weeks a year, now that is larp… also the EU larp versions of weapons look almost real and is safe…

    but nice to see somthing about LARP in the TV…

    ohh and to the thing about being generalised, haha i often get stopped on my way to LARP by people who wanna take pictures, its fun to be diffrent, and and we also have all kinds playing, and most are NOT the what people would call the stereotype of nerds xD
    we got almost it all like
    Martial artists, Chefs, Teachers, officeworkers, shopworkers, Pedagogs (me), even have a few danish selebs playing xD

    Reply

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