LARPing: Starfall Academy is one blockbuster event you'll want to attend

Are you into LARPing? If the answer is yes, then you're going to want to check this one out.

Starfall Academy - @2023 M.G. Norris Photography
Starfall Academy - @2023 M.G. Norris Photography /

Imagine a place so steeped in galactic tales and lore, it’s as if you’ve stepped through the screen and into the cosmos. Starfall Academy isn't your typical school - it's a haven for nerds, geeks, and everyone who's ever dreamed of saving the galaxy.

For the normies, Starfall Academy is a yearly held blockbuster LARP (LARP stands for Live-Action Role-Playing - an event in which you attend and essentially become a character for the duration of it, staying in character until the game ends). It's a four-day event where players become students in a prestigious Academy where they learn how to become a Guardian of the Light by attending various types of classes (including a combat class taught by real Ludosport instructors) from each of the different five active Sects and interacting with different species the galaxy has to offer.

Nestled on the edge of the known universe (or, you know, cleverly disguised as a seemingly normal campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA), Starfall Academy is where fantasy meets reality. It’s a school, a community, and a playground for the imagination all rolled into one.

Yes, this is me, Camila, as Ouiori Knight Vauda Kang. | Starfall Academy - @2023 M.G. Norris Photography /

Starfall Academy is the perfect place for nerds

Fun and diverse courses: Forget normal history or snooze-worthy math. Here, you can enroll in classes like Herbology, Zoology, Saber Combat, Healing, Philosophy, Meditation, and more. It’s all the knowledge you need to become the hero of your own story.

Fun and immersive quests: Starfall Academy’s practical exams aren’t just tests - they’re epic quests. From having to put their animal-controlling to the test in the middle of what could turn into an ugly encounter to healing fellow students under a lot of pressure, students get to live out their wildest adventures.

Starfall Academy - @2023 M.G. Norris Photography /

Clubs and societies: Ever wanted to join a guild that collects every single rumor or gossip and puts it on a newspaper for the entire academy? Of being in a secret society that loves to come up with conspiracy theories? Or maybe a fellowship that practices the art of Tai Chi every evening? Starfall Academy has a club for every niche interest and passion. It's where lifelong friendships are forged over shared dreams and fun escapades.

The ultimate nerd network: Participants of Starfall Academy become part of an elite network of nerds, geeks, and dreamers who are come from all over the world - world, not just country. Players from Europe as well as from the Americas get to meet and form unbreakable bonds, and these bonds have proven to only get tighter and bigger in the two years Starfall Academy has run.

Starfall Academy - @2023 M.G. Norris Photography /

A Kaleidoscope of cosmic cultures

At Starfall Academy, diversity is not just celebrated - it's quite literally the curriculum. There are currently a total of 9 playable species in the game.

From the adventurous Humans with their boundless curiosity and knack for innovation, to the ethereal Khi’Hinn, who are known for discovering The Light. Then there are the Koleon, with their amphibious selves and quiet wisdom, and the adorable and tiny Lakki, our teeny tiny scholars who bring even more flavor to the story. The Nara bring their knowledge of how not to depend on technology too heavily, while the Rikkan/Tallun combo dazzles with their unique perspectives on culture and traditions. Also, they're known to be a bit cranky.

The Shumi, with their plant-based philosophies, share lessons in harmony and growth. The Solanar, aka the Space Elves, are radiant beings of light and offer insights into the power of the stars. Then, the Vyx slink in with their oxygen-filtering masks and strategy to complete the roster.

Starfall Academy - @2023 M.G. Norris Photography /

Why This Diversity Matters

Imagine study groups where a human, a Solanar, and a Rikkan debate the best way to navigate wormholes. Picture the annual inter-species Hammerball tournament (yes, there is a legit sport that combines dodgeball, a bit of soccer, and a ton of fun into one), where strategy and diversity sometimes win over brute strength. It's one of the most immersive LARP experiences I've had in the decade that I've been attending LARP events.

The mixing of species and sects at Starfall Academy does more than just make campus life more interesting. It embodies the essence of what it means to be a nerd: an insatiable curiosity about the universe and a deep appreciation for the stories and sciences that make it up. Students learn not only from their classes but from each other, discovering the power of perspective and the beauty of a thousand different worlds coming together.

Needless to say, at Starfall Academy, every day is a new chapter in an endless saga of learning and unity.

Starfall Academy - @2023 M.G. Norris Photography /

Beyond the Classroom: The Galactic Melting Pot

Every school year begins with new players being placed in their respective sects - groups with different abilities, affinities, skills, and powers.

The Ouiori, Bellati, Vindori, Medicari, Venefari, and Dominari sects form the backbone of Starfall. The Ouiori, with their deep connection to nature and its creatures, teach us the art of potion and poison-making, animal communication, and nature manipulation. The Bellati, the valorous warriors of strategy and strength, inspire with courses on martial skills and interstellar tactics, proving that the pen and the sword can indeed coexist. The Vindori, swift as the comet’s tail, specialize in history and preservation of peace, making them unmatched in their ability to navigate through life's trickiest situations.

The Medicari are healers and can manipulate beings on a microscopic level to the point where you really don't want to piss one off - you could end up a puddle of gross on the floor. The Venefari, masters of mysticism, have psychic abilities that come in ridiculously handy when trying to manipulate objects and, sometimes, beings. The Dominari are evil and, much to my own heartbreak, extinct - they're the baddies of this universe and the reason why there's a need for Guardians of the Light to begin with.

Each sect, a universe of its own, invites you to embark on a journey of discovery, where learning explodes across dimensions and friendships are forged in the crucible of shared wonder.

Starfall Academy is a nerd's paradise

Starfall Academy isn’t just a "pretend school" - it’s a launchpad for the imagination. It’s where you can be unabashedly passionate about the things you love, surrounded by people who not only get it but are just as excited as you are. The staff truly understands that being a nerd isn’t just about what you love - it’s about how that love inspires you to learn, create, and dream bigger.

Whether you’re mastering The Light within your sect, cracking the code to artificial intelligence, or plotting your next tabletop campaign, Starfall Academy is where you can let your nerd flag fly high and proud. It's more than a simple LARP - it's a community that celebrates curiosity, creativity, and the courage to chase after the stars.

Starfall Academy - @2023 M.G. Norris Photography /

Enrolling in Starfall Academy

If you think this is something you'd be interested in checking out, head on over to the official Starfall Academy website, which is still being prepped to hold all the information for Year 3, which will take place from June 13th through June 16th, 2024 at the Hampshire College campus in Amherst, MA.

In the vast universe of fandoms and fantasies, there’s a place for everyone at Starfall Academy, and the adventures that await and the stories yet to be told are infinite.

Go in the Light.

Please note: Starfall Academy is in no way, shape, or form associated with the Star Wars franchise.