Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why I don't LARP. (The Short Answer)

I'm not sure why I'm posting about this.  I guess this blog has stirred up a lot of memories for me. Most of my comments are directed toward World of Darkness LARPs, since I've have the most contact with those. Though, I do understand that there are many kinds of LARPs out there in various genres. See, every once in a while somebody will invite me to go LARPing. I will respectfully decline. The conversation usually goes something like this--

Person: "I think you'd enjoy LARPing. It's a lot of fun. You should come play with us."
Me: "No, I'm fine. Thank you."
Person: "Really? Are you sure? A lot of people are showing up."
Me: "I'm just not interested in LARPing."
Person: "Well, you should at least give it a try."
Me: "I have. I played Cthulu Live twice. I'm just not interested."
Person: "Okay, but we're playing Vampire [or Werewolf]."
Me: "I understand the difference and the answer is still 'no.'"

Usually that suffices. If they keep insisting, I try to avoid telling the person that I am not comfortable with that level of immersion and escapism. That just puts them on the defensive and suddenly they feel the need to argue. (Oddly enough those conversations remind me of my early attempts to convince people to play D&D). I understand that LARPing can be a lot of fun, but it is not for me. There's many reasons not to LARP, all I need is one.

I'm just not comfortable with that level of immersion and escapism. It's one thing to be gaming around a table. It's quite another to be dressed up and acting out a role. The mind gets influenced by what the body does. In a basic sense, if you're unhappy, try smiling and you might just feel better. In a similar vein, I feel that if you start acting like a vampire [or werewolf, or whatever], that will have more influence over your mind.

Who's to say I'm right? But...

I'm sure, though,  that fallout from the "Satanic Panic" has influenced my opinion even before I even encountered LARPers. Back in the early 1990s I had enough problems with certain people thinking roleplaying games were evil. Sewer and steam tunnels, Jack Chick, and all that. There is that stigma.

Yet I know my opinions are based on experiences with  LARPers. I was the president or officer of two gaming clubs, so I had to deal with the fallout of LARPing contingents within each of these clubs.

Well, that's the short answer (which is longer than I had intended). In upcoming posts I'll talk further about my experiences and impressions with LARPing. Caveat: What I'm stating is personal preference and not meant to be taken as canon. I know that people's experiences will differ from my own. 

I'll explore my first impressions about LARPing, and dealing with LARPers. I do know, however, that a lot of it has to do with image, both of myself and the hobby, as selfish as that sounds. Which, in part, may have something to do with this:


  1. "I was the president or officer of two gaming clubs, so I had to deal with the fallout of LARPing contingents within each of these clubs."

    As a non-gamer person, I honestly cannot begin to tell you what part I find most disturbing about that statement.

    1. I can see why.
      First: Why the heck would somebody be a gamer?
      Second: Why the heck would they would they want to be the president of the gamers--twice?

      The answer to the first is spread throughout this blog.

      I still haven't figured out the complete answer to the second. I certainly wasn't in it for power, glory, or fame. It came with a lot of headaches. Maybe when I find an answer I'll post about it.


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