Dark shadows over Val Sinestra
What is Live Action Role Playing like?
Well, I didn't quite knew until I was invited to one. It was a superior experience and a sensational setting: A therapy curation center in 1941. But not just one simple recreation house, no. Val Sinestra is a REAL recreation center built in the early 20th century now functioning as a hotel. It is located the middle of the swiss alpes – picturesque, frightening, scary and imposing.
One weekend with spa guests, doctors, nazis, underground fighters, desateurs, ghost whisperers, formative converters, village idiots, criminal investigators, miss housekeepers, ... The main character was doctor Nadig who became famous through his arsen therapy far beyond the borders of Switzerland.
The setting has been very close to the historical constellation. As soon as you arrive, you are playing your role already. I was assigned to play the role of Alice Sutter. A Swiss student and member of the Zürich communistic cell. You try to imagine the roles charakter, you dress like 1941 and use accessories of former times. You are thrown back into a whole different time. All the other participants as well are dressed differently and talk like they were talking in the second world war. Only the official gameleaders and their appearance according to the 21st century was a constant reminder that it was only a game.
I found it difficult to find out during the two days what the game was really about. The game and its progress is shaped by the actions of the other players and not set.
Even though I have been brutally murdered on a suspension bridge and died a honoring heroic death - Alice Sutter had a glorious time. It was interesting how hard it is to let go of ones own behavior, where yet the assigned role is characterized so differently.
Whether role playing or not. Val Sinestra is certainly worth a visit for hiking, relaxing and creepy feelings.
(This old building and its surroundings are so amazingly special that they have done a whole horror movie there recently: www.fensterzumjenseits.com)