Hello interwebs! Today, we will be delving into the world of LARP, well not LARP its entirety but you will see what I mean later. I know this is a somewhat controversial topic, meaning that most people associate LARPing with nerds beating each other with foam weapons in the park and RP with perverts online pretending to be 15-year-old girls with pink hair. Hopefully, I will break some of those stereotypes in you today.
LARPing or Live Action Role Play has been around for quite some time, starting as a larger subculture sometime in the late 90’s. LARP is the creation of a character to a specific world that someone has created inside our own. These worlds can be post-apocalyptic, medieval or steampunk. These worlds are then placed inside ours and are grown by the addition of more characters of people like you. For anyone who has played Dungeons and Dragons, It’s very similar to that, but instead of rolling a D20 to take out that elemental, you have to physically take out that elemental. LARPing in this way is very creative but is also very real too. You are a character inside this world that exists in a physical place, and whether or not you live is up to you and your actions.
As for my experience with LARPing, it has been very limited, unfortunately. My friends and I spent a year creating a world known as Etria, set in a medieval fantasy time period. We spent a good half of a school year and all summer coming up with all of the details with what would be our own LARP. However, once the school year started we quickly realized that our busy schedules couldn’t accommodate meeting at the nature reserve near my house to play grown up pretend for a few hours. Naturally, I was very disappointed. I had spent a year creating and pouring over documents of history, races, geography, and character creation only to have none of it used.
This is where the RP comes in. After deciding we couldn’t find time to do it in person I thought of turning to a more readily accessible source, the internet. With the help of my friends and my boyfriend, we took Etria to the realm of Online Rp. Rp or roleplay is basically like writing fanfiction live. You say what your character is saying and doing, then the other people present react to whatever you said or did in a way that their character would. To be perfectly honest, It was really weird at first. I was fine with doing it in person, throwing what shreds of nerdless dignity I had to the wind, yet doing it online seemed almost wrong.
After a short while,I realized how fun it was. It was like reading a ‘ choose your own adventure novel’ where you write and choose ( for the most part). You really get into your character and start to make decisions as if it were second nature. For some people, like myself, it was easier because I just made a more awesome version of myself. But for others, they make their character the complete opposite personality to their own.
In short, if you are thinking about getting into this sort of thing, do it. There is so much fun and creativity waiting if you are more willing to step out of your comfort zone.
Tal’ Avath ( Good night in Etrian)