You own all the 'Harry Potter' books, the DVDs, and you were the first of all your friends to be officially sorted into a house on Pottermore. But would you spend $450 to be one of the lucky wizards-in-training to attend America's first REAL Hogwarts Academy?
Well, thanks to the crowdfunding efforts of Potter fans across the country, the University of Richmond is offering a continued LARP (live-action roleplay) camp for adults called New World Magischola, which transforms the campus into a fully-functioning wizard school - complete with Dark Arts professors, school robes, and plenty of spells and potions.
The academy had a 'test semester' over the summer, which not only sold out, but inspired them to keep the program going for future witches and wizards wishing to attend. The reaction has been huge - as once their campaign for additional program funding went live on Monday (with an initial goal of $35,000), they were able to reach over $100,000 within the first hour!
That's some serious wizardry!
Despite not actually being a part of the franchise, New World Magischola was founded by two huge fans who really, really appreciate a good wizard LARP, Maury Brown and Ben Morrow. The two were inspired to start their own wizard academy in the States after attending a similar concept school in Poland named Wizard College, but knew they had to make a few adjustments to make the whole idea more 'real'.
"Harry Potter is fantastic, but it's very British. This universe we created is for North America, so we intertwined it with colonialism."
New World Magischola seems to have very carefully created a school that heavily mimics the 'Potter feel' without overstepping any copyrights. For example, instead of being sorted into Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, new students take an exam that will sort them into one of five unique Magischola houses - Obeah, Calisapla, Laveau, Croatan, and Du Bois.
(Personally, I'm down to be sorted into Du Bois - only because the idea of hunting axes and bears excites me.)
Tickets for next summer's semester at the academy are currently sold out, but don't be TOO sad - the school assures that they will be making more spots available closer to the June 2016 semester start. (In the meantime, if you're SINCERELY INTERESTED, keep your eye on the school's official website for future announcements.
So now I'm curious:
Would you enroll in New World Magischola, or is visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal good enough for you? Do you know someone who WOULD enroll?
Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection.