Live Action Role Play (LARP) of the Future in Experience Design Course

Learning experience design through immersive live experience

How can we create extraordinary and memorable experiences for customers? Master students study Experience Design at the Department of Innovation & Management (IMT) in Tourism at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences explored this question in their course ‘Experience Design’ by designing, living and experiencing a LARP.

In the modern tourism industry, the expectations, and demands of travelers are gradually getting more profound and complex. They are seeking more meaningful, motivating, immersive and lively experiences from tourism providers. LARP in tourism is in fact designed as a reaction to these newly emerged demands. LARP, which standsfor Live Action Role-Play, combines Gamification with Experience Design and it is one of the most contemporary innovativesolutions for future tourism development.

LARP as a Five-senses-based Experience in Tourism…Experiences Through Adventures… Through Story Telling…

Idea and Concept of the Student-to-Student Co-created LARP Experience

UN Leader and representatives of multiple nations meet to discuss the ‘last journey of humanity’ in a one day summit. All areas that currently challenge society are discussed. Immersive experiences include technological transformation, the inter-dependency and collaboration between humans and robots, the era of ‘fake news’, resource scarcity, and long-term sustainability for our planet.

Six interactive experiences await the participants letting them deeply immerse and experience a range of topics.

IMTe Master Students 2017 and IMTe Master Students 2018 Cohorts after a successful LARP day!

LARP – the future of tourism and education?

Tourists require new experiences, they are eager to travel and see new cultures, taste and do new unusual things. As a result, someinnovative tourism providers shifted their thinking and started to use LARP and experience design, inorder to step into the experience economy and become peculiar.

LARP in tourism gives tourists a singular chance to learn and experience about their visited counties by playing roles, by storytelling that they are in control of. In other words, learning by doing or the so-called multisensory approach to learning is a keyword when it comes to the LARP.

With the help of this method, tourists acquire new, memorable and unique experiences, which are carefully designed only for them.

If the tourism industry in recent years was designing experiences that had rather a visual and an auditory style, today the multisensory demands from customers come in and give a new image to tourism.

As Pennington foresees, in the near future dedicated sites will be designed for Larpers to explore, complete with caves and magicians’ towers. [1]

This means, Larping will become an effective tool in tourism because it has multifold advantages;

On one hand, it is a great way to start a digital detox, since “[t]here’s no internet,no phones and no bad news. […] The use of phones and other such technologyduring Larp events is frowned upon, as it is not in keeping for the characters”[2]

On the otherhand, LARP is a wonderful opportunity for future tourists to unlock the world at their touch and trigger stories with their moves because the stories will not only be happening around them,but they will be happening through them.


[1] Ray, Peter (2013).  The rise of live action role-playing. BBC News Magazine. .[online] available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23877430 (21.11.2018).

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