I think the gaming group or event organizer matters a lot, especially for RPG or LARP. I won't sign up for an event unless I've researched the group and other people have had good experiences in the past.
I've personally had a great experience with:
Novus Ordo Seclorum
You Too Can Cthulhu (is that the same as Novus?)
Iocane is legit, absolutely. Their BSG larp was great, I'm upset I missed it last year. A ship needs it's security chief! They are great players too, we (BYOV) hit each other's games a lot :) I've always heard good things about Skulls, YTCC, and Rogue Judges too. Been around a long time with good word of mouth.
I hear great things about BYOV! I need to try one of your events!
Heck yeah :) We've got tickets available -- Sci-Fi, Contemporary Fantasy, B-Movie Madness, and Fey games this year. I'm in on the writing for the Sci-Fi and Contemporary Fantasy (Breath Before the Gallows/Pacts and Prophesy), coming together nicely.
Huh, GenCon's forums don't like embedded links to a search from their event lists. Here's the ugly version of a BYOV event list:
I pick my larps based on the group running it more than the game itself. I love Iocane, Mu Skulls, and BYOV! There are some other larp groups that I know aren't my style, so I avoid them. Even if the game sounds right up my alley, I won't have fun with certain play styles.
Thanks :) You're right, there are a lot of different LARP styles, rule sets, moods, etc. There are some that I know are well done but aren't up my alley as well, and I've gotten similar feedback from a few people in the past about my own games - "Glad I played, but it's not my style." It's cool. There are tabletops play styles I don't enjoy as much as well.
We just try to help you have fun regardless. Usually it works. :)