LARPing: What It Is, and How to Get into It

    If you spend time on Reddit and other popular message boards, you might start to hear about all sorts of niche or alternative lifestyles. Sometimes you might encounter a term you’ve never heard before or a lifestyle that intrigues you. For instance, maybe you’ve heard the term “LARPing” online, and you want to know more about it.

    LARPing is certainly an interesting modern phenomenon. We’ll talk about it in this article, and we’ll tell you how to involve yourself with it if you want to try it out.

    What Exactly is LARPing?

    LARPing is an acronym that means Live Action Role Playing. You might know role-playing as being something like Dungeons and Dragons, the popular 1980s game that still endures today. Later versions included World of Warcraft or Magic the Gathering. These activities sometimes start as role-playing games and then become video games or vice versa.

    LARPers go from playing these games in their basements or online to portraying their characters in real-life campaigns. In other words, a LARPer dresses up in costume, perhaps depicting an elf, dwarf, dragon, cleric, etc., and they battle each other somewhere like a public park.

    It might seem strange to you to see someone who makes six figures a year and is an enterprise network automation expert putting on elf ears and charging across a field with a plastic sword. However, these activities are more popular these days than ever before.

    Why Do People Get into LARPing?

    The first thing you might think when you see a bunch of LARPers in action is that it’s pretty silly. If you approach one and talk to them about it, they will probably agree with you. Dressing up in costume and having mock battles isn’t the sort of thing that most adults do.

    For many LARPers, though, that’s precisely the appeal. They might have grownup jobs, and they may feel like they’re under a lot of pressure sometimes. They need to make mortgage payments, schedule dentist appointments, and pay their taxes every year.

    Dressing up in elaborate costumes and crusading in mythical kingdoms is the antithesis of all that. It’s like Halloween, where you can be something or someone that’s apart from what you are in real life. However, you can engage in LARPing any day of the year, as long as you have some buddies that will engage in the activity with you.

    It’s like playing pretend, as so many people do when they’re kids. After a spirited LARPing session, though, they can have some beers, unlike the chocolate milk that’s probably waiting for you at the end of a kid’s game that’s more or less the equivalent.

    How Can You Try It?

    If this sounds interesting, you can go on Reddit, or you can simply Google “LARPing” or “LARPing near me,” and that should reveal some like-minded individuals who live close to you. It might seem like few people would be into such a niche activity, but many fully grown adults like the escapism this provides.

    Some LARPing groups have rules where you roll dice to determine what happens when you try to take a particular action during the play session, like if you’re trying to wound or slay another character. Other groups have no rules, and you simply dash about and proclaim whatever it is you’re doing. It’s like Game of Thrones, with 30 and 40-something web designers or stockbrokers donning the mantle of chivalrous heroes.

    If this doesn’t sound like it would be for you, that’s fine. However, most people would admit that being an adult is not exactly easy. You might have to get up in the morning to go to a job that you don’t care for very much to pay the bills and put food on the table.

    LARPing hearkens back to a time when you could be a kid and play pretend all day with a stick as your sword. Some LARPers even find their significant others this way. Many adults like to meet others who don’t mind casting off their adult mantle and who enjoy nothing better than to act out epic quests for a couple of hours.

    A rich fantasy life might even help you if you take yourself too seriously. Being an adult is fine most of the time, but if you can’t put on a pair of elf ears or a plastic hauberk and run around in a circle occasionally, some would argue that you’re limiting yourself.


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