How to, theoretically, earn a living with Larp.

This is entirely theoretical, as I have a day job. Most career advice is ‘follow your passion’. What if you passion is constructing fake weapons out of plumbing supplies? What if your passion tends to have more to do with leather, chain, and plate rather than spreadsheets and office work? These days there is not much call for larp as a career choice. But there just may be some tangential career paths that could be relevant to larp.


Become a Cosplayer

Building armor, props and costumes for other people can earn an income. Bill Doran of Punished Props can do full time work as a cosplay builder. But he’s posted a video ‘reality check’ about the difficulties in running a small business. So with some skill, determination, and maybe a day job for a year or two, so could also design and build for the cosplay and larp communities.

Join or start a Not-for-Profit Organization

In my mind the sense of community over cash makes not for profit perfect as an organizational structure for a larp. Unfortunately there are a few non profit larps out there to work for. You could start a non profit organization geared towards something that could align with larp. Perhaps getting young geeks to exercise. Or ‘community interdisciplinary arts’. However, with Larp still far from being main stream this is still a risky proposition. Too few participants might result in too little funding. Running a non profit larp could probably be a good side job, but don’t look to it to pay the bills.

Become an Educator

Larp is increasingly used as an after school activity and educational activity in the U.S. There are larp schools in other countries (well Denmark). Being an educator means that you can suggest using techniques from larp in the classroom or in after extra curricular activities. Schools are increasingly looking for ways to keep kids engaged and learning through physical activity. As well as ways to help them fight the obesity epidemic.

Become a Writer

Follow in the footsteps of Lizzie Stark. After discovering the world of larp as a reporter interested in the topic, she has gone on to write her own larps, and spread the Nordic Larp tradition in the U.S. Additionally Lizzie writes about non larp topics. If you’re going to be writing and designing games you may as well get a book out of it.

Work in a related field.

There are a few careers which would be really beneficial as day jobs for a larper. Event hosting, and running work retreats provide skills which can be put to use in the organizational development of a larp. They may actually be pretty fun as well. This option may have the most potential monetary reward because companies are always looking for ways to build teamwork, leadership, fun and engagement. What better way than with a larp?

Buy/Run a campsite.

There are increasingly a number of larps which purchase their own locations. Owning and running a campsite could earn income from non larp activities. When running a larp you would never have to worry about finding a host. There is advice online about owning and running a camp site. There are a few U.S. and Canadian camp sites devoted to larp, with kickstarters for more on the way. The Larp City Project is one such effort to find a location and create a park.

Become a Film Maker

There are a rising number of documentary films being made about larp. Youtube seems to have two or three web series about larp. Additionally it would be pretty cool working in stunts for motion pictures could be an avenue. Imagine begin an extra, stunt person, or even just working a set for the next Lord of he Rings or Game of Thrones.

Do you think there are any ways to earn a living with larp? Tweet me. Or post a comment with Google Plus. Practice is on hold until spring, but you can join the conversation on our Facebook group.

Status update

My experience of job hunting has been true to the old adage “Finding work is a full time job.”  My dream of game design does not seem to be turning into a career in game design.  But you know what, that’s not a terrible thing.  Perhaps ‘hobby game design’ would be better for me.  Or maybe even just ‘gamer with inside knowledge’.  Besides Financial Services pays way better and helping people with their financial troubles is really rewarding.

So if you know anyone looking for a Fund Accountant, Credit Analyst, Underwriter, of Customer Service Representative let me know.  Actually I’ll take just about anything entry level in financial services at this point. Probably not sales (unless it has salary plus commission).  Got to update my worker bee resume on the Zorts page.
At some point I do want to have enough time to be able to blog more.  Thank you all for hanging with me (all 30 of you).  And my G+ followers (of which there seem to be many more).

Jobs in computer games, where are they?

Having watched Gamasutra’s career developer newsletter, and a couple other sources, it seems there is a trend in the jobs posted.  Most of the work is in code or art.  Having forsaken coding many years ago in order to favor business it’s becoming apparent that if someone’s goal is to get a job at a computer game company quickly they should have a coding education.  In that light was it a mistake or a good choice to go with business as a degree?

What we all see posted are the jobs which require people in the seats right now either because someone left or because the company needs to get work done faster.  Are those jobs really in the position to move up the chain?  Well yes.  But they aren’t in the position to be higher up the chain now.  Technical knowledge gets your foot in the door and you can work your way up in the business.  But where are business jobs posted?

An interesting throught occurred to me today…  The kind of jobs which require leadership are never posted.  Existing companies don’t post open jobs for the creative person who started the company.  That job was already filled before a company could exist to post the job.  You cant search for the kind of jobs I really want to look for, because they don’t exist.  After a couple months of doing this has brought up a different thought…  Maybe they are never posted because they are impossible to fill.  Or perhaps they are never posted because they are the easiest job to just DO, and by jumping in and just doing that job you can make a place for yourself.

Ultimately I love business as a study, and it is universally applicable to any jobs at any time in the future.  I would not and could not make any other choice and do not regret my decision.  Likewise I will always be making games in some way.  Looking back there has always been a game that was getting some design effort, so that will continue in the future irregardless of any job in the future.  This helps make me realize that being a game designer is not my ultimate goal…  Working in the industry in some capacity is my goal.  It’s worth spending time doing the networking and learning the industry for that.