Over the weekend Minneapolis was besieged by wizards, goblins, fairies, and all sorts of creatures from fantastical lands during the Soap Factory's nerdiest event of the year, "The Amazing Adventures of the Corporate Wizard in the Land of LARP." Conceived by artist Erik Ullanderson, the live action role play (LARP) game was mainly housed at the gallery, although a large battle took place at Walker's Open Field. There were also numerous sightings in Minneapolis of people dressed as if they were from Middle Earth.
Highlights of the weekend included a big feast on Friday night, where the Corporate Wizard invited adventurers (LARP-ers) to join him, and ended up trapping them. A big battle took place at Walker Open Field early afternoon Saturday, followed by LARPers trekking back to the Soap where side quests took place. In the evening, there was dwarf karaoke in the tavern. Late Saturday night, a Corporate Wizard "board of directors" meeting took place, as well as another huge battle.
Brent Woodward, a participant in the event, has been active in role-playing games for the last six years (since he was in high school). He participates in games regularly, and estimates that the biggest LARP events in Minnesota draw in 60 to 70 people. Woodward says that he came to the Soap's event with an open mind. Though it appeared to be more political than are normally to his tastes, he says the experience exceeded his expectations.
Though the game concluded over the weekend, you can still check out the exhibit when you visit the Soap Factory from August 4 through 7 during regular hours (Thursdays and Fridays from 2 to 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.). Here, you can go on your own imaginative adventure in the world created by Erik Ullanderson. Wander through the front room filled with shields, maps, and other-worldliness. The back end of the gallery features silvery, almost futuristic-looking pillars that provide hiding places for creatures seeking to get away from evil wizards. Plus, there's cool video installations and a tavern where secret meetings can take place.
Check out the video below to a glimpse into the action that took place this weekend.