Most people think the type of people who attend LARP, or enjoy other role playing games, are social outcasts. “Nerds,” “Geeks,” “Thirty year old guys who live in their mom’s basement.” I’ve heard it all. The terms nerd and geek have never really bothered me and quite frankly maybe some of the thirty year old guys playing do live in their mother’s basement. So what?
I’ve played with all types of people at the LARP I attend. Two of them have three kids and just got engaged (they actually met at our LARP.) One of them is a successful lawyer, another works in the fast food industry. Oddly enough, a lot of them seem to be engineers. People come from all walks of life to spend a weekend in the woods battling with foam swords.
To me, that’s the magic of LARP. For one weekend a month I get to become everything that I can’t be in the real world, and so does everyone else who comes. All of the deadlines approaching, papers that need to be written, bills that need to be paid, societies expectations that need to be met, all of that fades away and is replaced with the fantasy world we’ve created for ourselves.
To say that LARP isn’t for you, or that you won’t fit in contradicts what LARP is in itself. No one cares where you’ve come from or where you are in your walk of life, they only care that you’re a decent human being when you arrive. Actually, you could be decent human being, or a decent orc, or elf, or dwarf… as long as you treat people with respect.
I’m tired of people judging others based on their interests. I’m tired of people holding themselves back from things that interest them because of the judgement. I can’t think of any person who wouldn’t want to get away for the weekend and be someone else. That someone else doesn’t have to be the opposite of who you are in the real world, but that someone else can be whatever you want them to be.
You could conquer foes, search for riches, be bold, be meek, be deceitful, or stand up for what you believe in, the possibilities are endless. You don’t have to come to LARP with a background in theater or with years of playing Dungeons and Dragons under your belt. There is no prerequisite that needs to be met before putting on a costume and having fun.
LARP accepts all, even when the real world doesn’t. That’s what makes it beautiful. It’s a place where everyone can belong.