Although no one else in my family actually plays D&D, we've got a pretty fantasy-oriented family culture. My wife loves the Renaissance Festival and Baldur's Gate, my sons both play Oblivion, my daughter loves Harry Potter. So, if there's a loud crash from the kitchen, you're likely to hear someone shout, "Failed my saving throw!" or something similar.
Every year, we go a few times to the Texas Renaissance Festival, which is a really huge and sprawling renfair. It's the largest one in the country, and I have to admit that it is slightly (not a whole ton, but slightly) more commercialized-feeling than other renfairs I have seen. Granted, that's not many, but I've seen a couple of others.
Anyway, we got the little brochure for this year's festival, which will be in October and November, in the mail a couple of days ago. And I am looking at it with skeptical eyes. There is now a "king" whose picture shows up, like Burger King or some other trademark, on the program cover for each of the themed days of the fair. He's smiling in a pirate costume for "Pirate Adventure" weekend, he's smiling in a great-kilt for the "Highland Fling" weekend, etc. Each weekend has a theme. That's questionable enough, but having the same guy modeling each one has a decidedly "brand name" feel to it that wasn't there back when the covers had crowd scenes of regular people on them. He's front and center on each one, too.
I have a bad feeling about this, although possibly it's just a more corporate skin to it, and the fair itself won't have an increase in the commercial feel. If it keeps creeping closer to Disneyland, it's eventually going to lose us.
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