Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In Defense of LARPers

The other day, Brianna's friend Nicky was asking me about "Vampire," and how the game works. One of the questions she asked was whether or not we dress up and act out the parts. I told her no, we don't do LARPing (Live-Action Role-Playing).

"That's one bridge we don't want to cross," I said.

Suddenly (and quite unexpectedly), Brianna told me that I was being unfair to LARPers, and should stop making fun of them. She told me that I'm constantly ridiculing LARPers for their passion, and that since I spend my Wednesday nights pretending to be a vampire (who spends his time in the library, no less), I didn't have a rhetorical leg to stand on. I confessed that I hadn't realized how often I denigrated LARPers, but that they were just "weird", and "way too into it."

Brianna's first contact with the phenomenon of LARPing came from the movie Role Models, so she approached LARPing from a more positive angle than most people do. To her, LARPing and traditional tabletop RPGs are just different points on a continuum of nerdyness. In fact, she said, LARPers always look like they're having a blast, doing what they love, and getting sunlight, fresh air, and exercise. Who am I to ridicule them for doing what they love?

The intensity of the verbal drubbing I received forced me to open my eyes. I realized that I was not only being unfair to LARPers, but to all nerds, and even to my personal philosophy of nerdyness.

Brianna was right. I am being unfair to LARPers. They've never done anything to harm or hurt me, and they don't bother anyone. All they do is have fun with their friends, in the way they most enjoy. And there's nothing wrong with that.

So from now on, I will do my level best never to make fun of LARPers again. They've done nothing wrong, and all nerds must stand together if we're going to gain any kind of widespread acceptance of our passions and hobbies.

1 comment:

  1. Good job not looking down on LARPers...which, by the way, I actually think looks super interesting. And guess what? The Renaissance Fair is basically that exact thing. The ultimate LARPing experience is being one of the actors, because people PAY to come see you joust, or be the queen, or whatever you're doing. Even if you're just a visitor who dresses up...that's pretty darn close.

    P.S. Being a nerd is trendy. If you hadn't figured that out. I don't think there's a huge problem with widespread acceptance, unless you're locking yourself in your room and not taking a shower.