I Teach Monsters. From Czocha College of Wizardry to Witcher School.
I teach at Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz. English Studies and Game Studies & Design.
I also happen to teach Monsters.
The monstrosity began in November 2014, when I was invited as visiting professor to another academic institution: Czocha College of Wizardry. They wanted me to take the position of teacher of Care of Magical Creatures. That's how my monstrology career started.
"COMIN' TO TEACH YA!"
Czocha College of Wizardry, 13-16 Nov 2014, Poland.
This game was like landing on the moon. A small step for a participant, a huge leap for the Polish larp community. After CoW, the scene will never be the same. A big budget larp for internationals (me being the only Polish full-time player) set in a breathtaking castle, with 140 players and 50 NPCs inter-immersed in a Harry Potterish fiction for three days? This itself had been unheard of, verging on unthinkable. Now, with the immense media coverage it got across the world, it's become a thing everyone has heard of. News got viral not just online but also on TV, radio, and the press of all kinds, Teen Vogue to Business Insider. Tickets (280 euro each) for the second run sold out in two minutes. I can't afford a second run myself, neither financially nor in time commitment (which is epic huge!), but I'm still lurking in the information loop and keeping my fingers crossed.
Now CoW is turning into a cash cow, with more editions planned for financing through crowdfunding - 1 mln $ needed to actually buy a real castle! The Polish larp conference KoLa, organised since 2012, in January 2015 for the first time was truly international. It's not difficult to see that at least part of this success can be attributed to worldwide attention drawn by CoW. KoLa #5 in 2016 will be held in Warsaw, and we already know it will be even larger and more international. In February, the Polish squad invading the Knudepunkt conference in Denmark had as many as 15 people; again, the largest Polish presence at KP ever. And now the unbelievable idea coming from the Nordic larp community: hold the 2017 Knutepunkt in Poland! No, it's not decided yet. But the very fact that it is being taken into consideration tells much. The dam has been breached for good. The Polish larp scene has been irretrievably colonised by the West.
I was teacher of Care of Magical Creatures at Czocha. I actually ran classes about monsters and with monsters, i.e. with monster crew NPCs interacting with my Czocha students. What's ahead of me now is a similar adventure: another quality fantasy larp set in a Polish castle. Let me invite you to the Witcher School, an immersionist-simulationist game aiming at 360 illusion in the Moszna Castle, based on The Witcher saga created by Andrzej Sapkowski and popularised internationally by The Witcher video game from CD Project RED.
Photo from the official Witcher School website.
Like Czocha, it will be a magical school with classes and training. Unlike Czocha, it will focus on the real acquisition of skills: tracking, horseriding, fencing etc.
Again, I'll be teaching as expert on monsters. I'm also bringing three Gamedec students with me, who will be on the volunteer crew. Should they happen to play monster roles, my words "I teach monsters" will acquire a new meaning. :)