?

Log in

No account? Create an account
[PUBLIC] The Economics of LARP (or, Are We Willing To Pay What LARP costs?) - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
 
 
Sun, Oct. 20th, 2013 11:18 am
[PUBLIC] The Economics of LARP (or, Are We Willing To Pay What LARP costs?)

7CommentReply

londo
londo
A fool who should know better
Mon, Oct. 21st, 2013 03:11 am (UTC)

I have run through this math several times myself over the last decade, and come to similar conclusions.

But, in my observation, people will do much, much more for no money than they would for a medium amount of money. A hearty thank-you and the social status that comes from being a Person Who Makes Things Happen is (to judge from people's behavior) more rewarding than significant sums of money. Also, IME, when you start paying people for things they were doing for free, "I do this for the love" can rapidly turn into "they don't pay me enough for this shit."

So on the one hand, this is thoughtful of you on many levels. And on the other hand, in a perverse sort of way I'm not sure it's productive.


ReplyThread
bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Mon, Oct. 21st, 2013 12:36 pm (UTC)

I definitely understand the argument, and I think it is applicable to a wide swath of current-generation LARP writers. That said, even if we ignore the time and effort put in to write the game, I'm quite positive that GM's would welcome recompense for the material costs of game. Our hobby slays fel printers, and many a tree in its wake.

I don't think everybody who writes for Intercon would find contentment in being a full-time LARP writer, but I do believe there are those who would be happy doing so. I also think there are those who would welcome the supplementary income ("supplementary" in this circumstance being all but a euphemism for "mitigating".) Maybe there needs to be some intermediary step, such as having a con that pays for games. Maybe we suddenly see a spike in linked and re-runnable game like Tony Mitton's Linfarn series, spreading development cost thinner over the players.

I have no doubt there will always be people who write and run LARP at their own expense for love and glory. I just think there should be another option.


ReplyThread Parent
elenuial
elenuial
A. Nakama
Mon, Oct. 21st, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)

Also, IME, when you start paying people for things they were doing for free, "I do this for the love" can rapidly turn into "they don't pay me enough for this shit."

That is, in fact, a well-documented psychological phenomenon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchoring

There is a hoary anecdote about a famous psychologist who had noisy kids playing soccer outside his window everyday distracting him and keeping him from getting work done. One day, it got so annoying that he went outside and promptly paid them each a dollar and told them how awesome it was for them to play soccer there.

He did this for about a week, and then one day told them that he had run out of dollars to pay them all, that his wife was getting mad that he was spending all that money. "Screw this!" the kids said, and went to play soccer somewhere else.

...

Speaking personally, as someone who has never made a lot of money, but would love to get paid to be creative and feels like LARP is a good medium for me, I would be *all about* people pitching in some money.

If I already had a salaried full-time job, I would see it as an obligation that I had to fulfill (which, for me, means better delivery and some amount of excitement rather than a burden when working on something I enjoy), and would try to sink the money into setting/props/etc., which is something I would LOVE to do.

If I were working as a freelancer and amalgamating other work, I would literally see LARP writing as paying work and could *actually* do as good as job as I do my day-to-day work.

If I could earn a decent wage full-time LARP writing, I would be eyeing you suspiciously and wondering what kind of con you were trying to pull on me--but I would be *all over* that if it were the case.

At any rate, I've done enough scrambling for money in my life--with some of that as a working creative--that I would see having substantial cash flow towards me for doing LARP work as an amazing opportunity to grow on more than anything else.

I do think our generation is largely making enough money that it's not unreasonable for most folks to pay at least a little to help defray the costs. I don't know if I'd want to make it mandatory, but a suggested scale of payment might not hurt.

Also worth noting: there is something of a small industry for non-larpers to run larps for other rich non-larpers. Most of the people at the top in it come from TV and high-budget media production, I'm given to understand.


ReplyThread Parent
etherial
etherial
Gregory Pettigrew
Mon, Oct. 21st, 2013 03:10 pm (UTC)

Fundamentally, our system operates on a "Pay It Forward" model. Uncle Don spent tremendous amounts of time and money writing and running games that I played in when first LARPing. Then I spent significant amounts of time and money writing and running games that other people enjoyed. Soon, I look forward to playing in more LARPs and getting back into the writing cycle.


ReplyThread Parent