Live action role playing has always been derided in the US, even in geek-centric communities. The idea of dressing up as a character, going out into the wilderness and hitting each other with swords has been considered too childish and goofy. I do find it funny that if you grow up as a geek, you almost always come up with the idea independently of LARP culture and try and get friends together to participate in a LARPish game. Something along the way introduces shame and we become concerned what other think about our behavior.
Full disclosure, I have been one of the people who considers LARPers to be lesser geeks. In the past couple of years we have been running role playing games for kids and teens and I have seen the sheer joy and camaraderie of kids playing together in a group without having to worry about what their non-geek peers think. The joy is infectious and the events attract all kinds of people including those who would not normally participate in group activities and those would would never publicly admit to waving a foam sword around with other kids. Once again, kids are awesome and I was wrong.
When searching for ideas for these role-playing events we have come across several adult events that are amazing. You can jump on Youtube to see things like The Bells of Newtown or The College of Wizardry to see of the sophisticated storytelling and play that people are putting together.
What really caught my eye yesterday was a Swedish group that took New England’s own H.P. Lovecraft’s work and wrote a story revolving around this mythos set in the 1920s. We were looking at introducing Lovecraft elements into our stories already but to see the professionalism and commitment of this group is inspiring. Check out the video below and let us know what you think.