I Won’t Grow Up

One of the most enjoyable aspects of children is watching their imaginations run wild.  I am sure you have many fond recollections of the good old childhood days of dressing up and playing crazy games like cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians or for the females, it was a tame game of house.  As fun as these times are, you soon realize that they don’t last forever.  At some point, we all must become adults and get a real job and pay bills.  Alas the days of child’s play are no more!  However, do not despair, for there is still an outlet for those who desire to dress up and play!  Known as LARP (live action role playing) games, these events gather together a group of participants who physically act out their characters’ actions in a fictional setting, representative of the real world.  Players set goals and interact with one another as characters, complete with costumes and accessories.  As with any game, there are certain rules to adhere to, which are moderated by event coordinators called game masters.  Basically, you can think of LARP as an adult “child’s play”.

LARP Dagger Scabbard:

LARP Dagger Scabbard

Rooted in childhood make believe, improvisational theatre, historical reenactments, and military simulations among other influences, LARP developed from tabletop role playing in North America and Europe.  These players decided that it might be more satisfying to actually act out their characters and situations physically rather than merely sitting around a table role-playing with chips and dip.  While the exact date of LARP emergence is not clear, the first record of a LARP group was the Dagohir in the United States in 1971, which centered on fantasy battles.  This group generated quite a buzz for LARP activity and many groups followed.  Influence was widespread and eventually landed in the United Kingdom in 1982 where their first recorded game, Treasure Trap, transpired.  After this event, LARP began to seep into Europe and Australia, where it is still going strong.  Today, LARP has become its own industry, with for-profit organizations running large games and many merchants offering costumes, armor, and weapons specifically for participants.

Chaos Axe:

Chaos Axe

Like a theatre or film actor, LARP players embody the speech and movements of their characters in an imaginary environment.  Unlike stage and screen actors, players do not stick to a script and their games are not intended for an audience, but for their own enjoyment and enrichment.  LARP games vary in many ways.  They may be held in either a public or private venue, consist of a small group of people or thousands of participants, and may last a few hours up to several days.  LARP games are headed by game masters (GMs), who act in a mode similar to directors.  They make the rules and regulate them, as well as setting up the structure of the environment, and managing the players and crew during play to ensure smooth operation.  The primary purpose of LARP games is entertainment, although some events may be crafted for educational and political purposes, as well as to test theories in social fields.

LARP is a one of a kind activity that blends fiction with reality like no other.  It reminds us that no one is too old to explore the realm of the imagination.  And though you may feel silly in your LAR attire and with your LARP equipment, keep in mind that you are not alone!  Be sure to check out our LARP armor and weapons at:  http://www.armorvenue.com/

 

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