Photograph taken by Kirsten Barrett, August 2017
For me LARP is about character interactions and role-play, but a lot of cues can be gained from costumes. As you can tell, costume making has developed into an interest and forms an integral part of my hobby (ask my OH about my fabric haul …). You look for insignia, you take in whether the kit is rough and ready or fine and fancy. We are a visual people, a social people, and costume forms part of that unspoken language. If you see insignia from your unit you’re more likely to interact with them over the “others” who aren’t part of your unit, or Church, or group – almost unconsciously.
Costume is great! It helps with our immersion as a group and it’s always wonderful to see someone go from being a 21st Century citizen to being a scout or wizard or futuristic warrior (depending on your system) by putting on some different clothes and doing something with their hair or make up. Isn’t the whole point of this game to be something other than ourselves?
So why is there an unspoken snarkiness about kit? What gives us the right to judge people for the costume they put together, that they have spent time thinking over and developing and working hard on preparing?
The short answer is – none. None what so ever.