Question & Response: Hashtag I Want To Larp

Recently I’ve become slightly more active on twitter.
I’ll get over the shock and the horror in time. Until then I’ll just keep giggling over the notion that I’m one step closer to being an Officially Recognized Twit.

Of course this lead to the uncovering of what hashtags and trend topics are exactly and once I understood the theories… i think…  Naturally, I had to look up #larp.

Know what I saw? (the tweets of larp ‘industry’ people aside)

Variations on this:
“I want to #larp before I die. #bucketlist”
“I really want to try larping #larp”
“I want to #larp #NerdProbz”

So I have only one question: What’s stopping you?
No. Seriously. I am beyond curious on this line.
What gets in your way so much that you can’t grab a few friends to just run around in a field, a park or even to pretend that your basement is a musty and dank cell that you’ve been confined to in order to accuse each other of murderous pasts?

Is it money?
You don’t need weapons or garb or even a full kit to get started. A few simple rules, some good friends and a basic concept for interaction and you’re golden.

Is it the rules?
There are more then one system/style/realm/era out there. Find one that you do enjoy and if you don’t like someone’s system talk to them about it. If they’re not willing to listen or explain, then keep looking or… Create your own!

Is it fear?
We all started out somewhere. Most of us are still prying out secrets and lessons and trying to look like we know it all anyway, so why not join in?

Is it admitting to your friends that you even want to try?
They’re not all gonna laugh at you. Okay they might… but who really cares?
And personally? If they actually have instant access to a bucket of pig’s blood…
in my book, that’s just an invitation to a good time.

But I’m just making things up now and I really WANT to know.
Seriously. What’s stopping you?

You’ve Lost That Learning Feeling

Most of us have stumbled into a game that we’ve gotten sucked into at some point in our lives. I’m not talking time wasters, no.  Nothing that is simply helping you bide the time so that you don’t have to make eye contract with strangers until your flight/name or serial number are called and you get to interact with the steward/doctor or guard of your ‘choice’. No. Not those. Those generally, can be put down at anytime and you’ll be free of any niggling ‘need’ reminders chiming in the back of your brain.

But if you think about it, I’m sure you can find something that you’ve at least lost a few hours of your life to, anything that’s shoved a chore, deadline or an interaction aside in pursuit of that one last item/level/plot point.  Something that’s actively stolen time/energy and study in order for you to upkeep your game.  Personally the most sleep I’ve ever lost has been at the hands of Play-by-Posts(PbP) and Multi-User Dungeon(MUD) games.

But I digress…
Picking apart those games and their (& my) “issues” are not what I wanted to write about today. Quite frankly, we’ve all wasted enough time on them already.

Yes, I do mean wasted.  While fun in the extreme, what do we actually gain from those games?  Where does knowing that the special combo move for game X is “Back-Back-B” actually get you, other then extremely specific in-game dominance & accusations of spamming?

Do you see where I’m heading here people?

But what if there was a type of game, where your levels, skills and good old fashion, hard-earned, know-how, translated across all platforms and incarnations? Something where you don’t have to spend the time to become a level 100 crafter/fighter/ expert in (__blank__) all over again? Well hey there friend, looks like you might want to be a larper!

Know why? Because practice makes perfect especially with larping.
Because larping is mostly a huge free-for-all of practice.
Especially when you consider that more and more larps, are moving towards a, “If YOU can do it, then your character can do it” model of rules through action.

Wanna be a warrior? Great! Come practice your sword/staff/bow/shield work!
Wanna be a crafter clothing/fashion designer?  Beautiful! People will actually pay/trade you for your creations as you learn and hone your crafting skills.
How about An Actor? A Sneak? A Writer? A Tracker? An Artist? A Chef? A Pompous Orator? (That last one’s mine. But I’m willing to share.)  Guess what? All can be practiced, built upon and perfected when you larp.
There’s very little in life that can match the warm thrill of a genuine complement from a friend or foe, who has noted your improvement or now lays beaten in the dust.

So come out and play. Practice your skills with us.
Once you know that you can, I don’t think you’ll ever want to stop.

We Don’t Talk About LARP Club

I look around, I look around and I see a lot of new faces.
Which means some of you have been breaking the first two rules of LARP club…

Which is GREAT!
Those were some crap rules anyhow. I don’t know who in America decided that we shouldn’t speak of our hobby. Or that if we did, it should be in hushed tones parceled among the trusted few already within our circles… Or why for that matter, some want to keep it that way. Are we ashamed, still? Really? Especially since this self-imposed silence brings with it a swarm of other issues. But namely, it’s hindering our growth.

So. This ‘rule’ of silence, hasn’t served us well and while I’m pleased to see American bloggers/communities coming out of the woodwork to toss this one out with the bath water… I’ve also started to hear a notion of dissatisfaction… murmuring from around the communities and it threatens the growth and serious recognition of our hobby. An old, knee-jerk lament in new wrapping: The ‘old school’ vs ‘new school’ whine of “things were better before.”

While I’m convinced this is mostly just a wistful and a deliberate miss-remembering for that first tightly knit LARP group in the long-long-ago.  Another thought occurs… Is it a resentment at being ‘dragged’ kicking and screaming into the public eye? Do we feel that we would lose something special, something ‘ours’ if we actually began to fully embrace the lime light that’s just beginning to shine?

Is this why we continue to hide ourselves, our opinions… sometimes even from each other and continue to mumble that we were ‘camping’ when a co-worker asks us what we did over the weekend?
Why do we clam up and insist, still grumbling to ourselves, that ‘they’ just wouldn’t understand?

Why put back up the wall of silence?
Why the attitude? Why are there so few willing to extend a hand of welcome or criticism unless we’re being asked first?
Why do we hoard our own lessons of trial and error like they’re so hard won or worse meaningless? Who does that benefit? No one. So why keep doing so, when all that is required for us ‘old schoolers’ to lend a hand in continuing to move everything and everyone forward and onto something better, into something greater, is that we speak up and share these lessons and actively  invite others out there to join in?

So I’m calling out my attitude, culling the nonsense and instead picking up the chalk, clapping the dust from the erasers and out my brain and taking everything back to the blog-board in the hope that I can start to turn this around.

Welcome everyone. Please don’t hesitate to speak up.
I promise, you won’t even have to raise your hand.