Category: Sci Fi, fantasy, & space tourism

Star Wars resort LARP survey on Swagbucks – would you pay $900 for 2 nights?

Star Wars, resort, and live action roleplaying (LARP) sounds like a winning combination to me. It may never happen, but we can be sure someone is considering it because there is a marketing research survey on Swagbucks right now.

The potential Disney resort would feature a Star Wars theme where guests stay stay in a starship. It’s interesting that video games often go with strong science fiction or fantasy brands. I’ve seen games based on intellectual property (IP)s inlcuding Star Wars, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, DC, and more. LARPing is a much smaller business and the business model doesn’t include money for licensing a name brand. There was a magic school LARP recently that was either inspired by or a ripoff of Harry Potter, but they didn’t actually use / pay for the Harry Potter IP.

So a Star Wars LARP would be pretty unique – so far we’ve never seen a LARP based on such a famous IP. What do you say to $900 per person for…

  • 2 nights in a luxury resort that looks and feels like a starwars space craft
  • Rooms for up to 4 people with a galaxy view or a pool/atrium view
  • Meals provided, including buffet breakfast and dinners with entertainment (Jaba the Hut style entertainment?)
  • 1 day of Walt Disney World admission to Hollywood Studios
  • Live character chance encounters
  • Take part in a Star Wars story through personalized secret missions, flight training, starship exploration, and lightsaber training.

Please leave a comment to let us know what you think about a Star Wars LARP. Also, if you’ve taken the survey, please let me know if I’ve missed any important details.

Traveling around the world for Live Action Roleplaying

Long time readers may recall that one of my hobbies is live action roleplaying (LARP). I’ve never traveled more than a few hundred miles for a LARP, road trips from Atlanta to Gettysburg and from NY to Ohio and West Virginia are as far as I’ve gotten. But some people get much further from home for their gaming fix.

There’s an ad here, about a LARP in Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Though lacking in detail, the page says the LARP draws on the region’s culture. Players “join a Pearl Tribe where you will be part of a clan-family and will learn the rituals and traditions of one of the five tribes.” It sounds pretty cool, but also very hands-off compared to some LARPS – there is no mention of character creation or roleplaying themes on the site.

For example, this story mentions a guy from Brooklyn who went to Poland for a LARP. It sounds like a long trip to play a game, but this game took place in a castle, which sounds pretty amazing. It’s kind of like being a tourist who gets to visit the castle in addition to being a LARPer who gets to play a game.

The LARP I play with my friends is called Alliance. It’s more than just a game. It’s a camping trip. I don’t get to enjoy nature much while working on my dissertation so I really enjoy spending a weekend outdoors – usually you sleep in cabins although 20 years ago I used to sleep in a tent at LARPs. Last year I went to a LARP in Gettysburg in October and realized it was a great way to spend hours surrounded by Autumn leaves.

But even better than spending some time in the great outdoors is I get a chance to hang out with friends I have known for years and don’t usually see.

Where the NASA space shuttles are going

The Discovery, which completed its final flight last month, is headed to the Smithsonian, for display at the spacious Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport. The Endeavour, currently on the launching pad for its final space trip, will go to the California Science Center. The Atlantis, scheduled for its last mission in June, will go to the Kennedy visitor complex.

With the Discovery headed to the Smithsonian, the museum will no longer have need for the Enterprise, the shuttle that has been on display there since 2004. The Enterprise, which was used for early glide tests but was never sent into orbit, will now go the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan.

The Museum of Flight in Seattle had already begun construction on a new wing to house one of the shuttles and they were obviously very confident. They seem happy with their consolation prize though:

…A full-fuselage space shuttle trainer.

The trainer is a shuttle orbiter minus the wings. It was used for astronaut training during the 30-year history of the space shuttle program and will stay in use until the shuttle program retires later this year. It’s the only one of its kind and was built at the Johnson Space Center in Texas in the 1970s.

It seems a little silly to ship the Discovery to the Smithsonian and then ship the Enterprise to New York (instead of just sending the Discovery to New York and saving some effort) but all in all it’s nice that we’ll have some options for seeing space shuttles around the US. Anyone thinking of a visit to one of these places?

Sapce tourism update: bookings up for Virgin Galactic

In Feb. 2008, Virgin Galactic had 200 people waiting for a trip to outer space. About a year ago, Virgin Galactic had 300 customers waiting for a brief trip to space. According to this article the number is up to 360 – I’m not sure if that’s a good pace but if you believe the article the pace may be likely to slow down until prices come down.

One reason prices should be coming down is because consumers will have more options.

Virgin Galactic owner Sir Richard Branson and a virtual hall of fame of other wealthy business figures have invested much of their vast fortunes in hopes of gaining a toe hold in commercial space. Budget Suites owner Robert Bigelow, PayPal co-founder Elon Musk and Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos are all developing their own space hardware for traveling to — or living in — Earth orbit.

Apparently many of these guys are working with the US government (NASA) to make space tourism happen. The CNN article I linked to above says this has been planned since the Reagan administration so I may have given Obama too much credit when I talked about this stuff about 6 months ago.

I do find it interesting that all the articles I’ve read are about men signing up for the tours or investing in the companies that do space tourism – is it as simple as more science fiction geeks (no insult intended as I am a sci fi & fantasy geek larper myself) are men?