“I must make use of this opportunity to thank you, dear Sir, for the very high praise you bestow on my other novels. I am too vain to wish to convince you that you have praised them beyond their merits. My greatest anxiety at present is that this fourth work should not disgrace what was good in the others.”
– In a letter to a Librarian
The Austen Experience centers around four groups – Heroines, Heroes, Company Employees and Staff.
Heroines are the paying customers at the theme park. Women of means who don’t see anything morally ambiguous in soliciting robots and Androids to make their fantasies come true.
Heroes are the pleasers of this larp. They have been modified to take on the qualities of certain Austen tropes like the dastardly officer, the embarrassing priest or the aloof, wealthy gentleman. They will spend their days trying to follow their internal story arcs, and if they mess up, be subject to ”reprogramming” by the Company. They are Androids, AI units and humans.
The Employees are the people in charge of running the theme park. They consist of Company employees who are in charge of the Heroes, trying to make sure they function well, follow their programming, as well as improving the AI units to one day completely replace the less predictable Androids. There is also the theme park Staff, who have applied for jobs at the theme park specifically. They assist with things like cooking, hair and dance workshops.
The Austen Experience is a theme park where women come to live out their own Austen romance with men inspired by the classic Austen heroes and villains. The goal of the park is to provide each guest with a romantic storyline that would fit in an Austen novel. The men are played by robots with AI technology, Androids and maybe one or two humans.
The Company runs the theme park and, with their on-site team, try to steer the individual experiences of the guests, for example by holding strategy meetings with the men and “reprogramming” them if necessary.