In a sure sign that all of the world will larp at least once before the apocalypse, I recently learned that muggle quidditch may be played alongside more quote-unquote ‘normal’ sports at the 2012 summer Olympics in London.
How do I know this? Last weekend I went to Salem, MA to gawk at Goths with black lace parasols and visit the woman who introduced me to larp. As you may know, Salem has a witch-based economy — it’s rife with magic shops ranging from the cheesy to the earth-goddessy to the sort of bone-strewn BDSM-based prop shops that your grandma warned you about.
I ventured into The Broom Closet, a licensed Harry Potter shop selling everything from candy to custom wands and sorting hats, and sporting at least customer in a Hogwarts uniform with matching robe. Naturally, I had to chat up one of the people working there, particularly because my friend, a registrar at Emerson College, informed me that our alma matter has a banging quidditch team. (Emerson apparently faced my undergrad alma mater, Tufts, in the 2010 World Cup semifinals. Weird and awesome.) The shop worker let us know that quidditch is coming to the 2012 summer Olympics in London.
So first of all:
- Muggle quidditch is apparently a real thing with beaters, chasers, and keepers wielding broomsticks and chasing quaffles and bludgers. A neutral player with a physical representation of the snitch tucked into his or her waistband runs around and players from both teams give chase. In the books, capturing a snitch is worth 150 points, but in muggle quidditch it’s only worth 30.
- That guy at the shop wasn’t kidding about quidditch as an Olympic sport. Multiple media outlets confirm that the International Quidditch Association is organizing an expo game that will take place during the opening ceremonies.
- What the heck does muggle quidditch look like? YouTube and CBS News to the rescue…
Surely the larpocalypse must be around the corner.
I also wanted to draw your attention to US larper and organizer Aaron Vanek, who has a Kickstarter up for his nonprofit company Seekers Unlimited. Seekers Unlimited is developing a larp called Hit Seekers, designed to teach kids math. So check it out!
HIt Seekers is an educational larp to teach at-risk kids math. Our playtest run is going well!
Also, UCLA has a Quidditch team. I tried to get them involved with a Harry Potter larp I ran for a library (another edu-larp), but they weren’t able to make it due to CARMAGGEDON, a Los Angeles event that resembles the apocalypse because the 405 freeway is closed for construction. But that’s LA for ya.