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Why Every Geek Should Try LARPing

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LARPing – To LARP

  1. A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters’ actions. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world while interacting with each other in character. –Wikipedia
  2. the closest internet addicts get to reality Urban Dictionary

While I will admit that LARPing is one of the few activities that ranks at the bottom end of the nerd hierarchy, it is an incredibly fun pastime for anyone who enjoyed make-believe as a kid and wants an excuse to wear costumes outside during months that don’t start with ‘O’. Some have argued that ‘reenactments’ can be considered LARPing, so maybe call it that when you explain it to your girlfriend once I win you over with:

Ten Reasons Every Geek Should Try LARPing

  1. Most LARPs are essentially one huge game of rock, paper and scissors. We’re not talking a high entry level bar here.
  2. If you have EVER played an RPG, you will understand most of the stats & abilities instinctively. You won’t need to read hundreds of game manuals.
  3. Most costumes can be cobbled together from last year’s con haul. You won’t need to buy master replicas or the like (although there will always be that ONE guy there with full handcrafted chainmail).
  4. Creativity is rewarded! Write a good backstory? Point! Customise your shield? Point! Let those juices flow.
  5. Always wanted to be English? Elven? Wookie? Put on your best impression and roll with it.
  6. Good GM’s; LARP groups over all, want you to have a good time, so they give a lot of leniency to new players even if they do something stupid. Don’t think you’ll be killed 5 minutes after rolling your first character.
  7. You will not be the geekiest person there. Remember chainmail guy? Yeah, you’re not him. Doesn’t that feel nice?
  8. It’s a cheap night out. Seriously. Mostly just a beer or two and it gets you out of the house for a few hours, that has to be a good thing, right?
  9. You’ll meet people who probably also like gaming or comics or whatever your primary geekdom is. Friends, IRL!
  10. And finally, there is nothing more satisfying then leveling up, making allies, fashioning purpose-built equipment, setting an elaborate trap, taking on chainmail guy and SMASHING HIS FACE INTO THE DIRT IN FRONT OF EVERYONE! //OOC// Buwahahahahahaha! Who’s the noob now? What!? What!? Say something. //IC// Thou hast been defeated, Lord Chainimus Maximus. Does thou yield? //IC//

 

  • Since this article seems geared towards people entirely unfamilar with the concept, I just want to point out that not all LARP is fantasy live action campaigns, and I don’t really think any LARP I’ve done is simply rock, paper, scissors. Many games don’t have stats or advancement, not all require costumes, it’s very frequently not a cheap hobby to get into.

    But I definitely agree that it’s a great way to make new (geeky) friends and that creativity is rewarded and it’s a great way to stretch your acting chops and try out being English, elvish, a wookie, etc. And it’s way better than fantasy football. LARP involves actually /doing/ exciting, fun things. 🙂

    • Amanda Fox Rosowski

      Fair points! I was never part of any more pro groups, so my experience was cultured by that sort of low budget enviroment. I did really love the back story and social aspect and wish the UK groups were as accessible as the ones I remember from university in the states.