LARPers – we, as a community, are often viewed by the general public and media as a set of oddballs and strange people when we give voice to our hobby outside of those involved in it. Let’s face it, we /are/ at times odd and strange when dressed up and running around public spaces – we just accept and own our oddness, and at times cultivate it with gleeful abandon.
When we explain it we often draw blank looks, and I find I often have to liken it back to other things that are known about by a wider audience – “it’s like playing a computer game, but we’re out in the fresh air” or “we’re playing something like Lord of the Rings, but with our own stories”. It satisfies most causal enquirers and when telling kids about the hobby it gives them a reasonable basis to ask more questions – these usually range from “are those real?” asked when pointing at our LARP weapons to “can we watch?” or “are you the baddies?”
But I’ve noticed an improvement recently in how we as a community are being portrayed, and thought such musings were worth a blog post in this contemplative season. So here is a brief look at the ways we, as a community, have been and are portrayed in the media – both the good, the bad and the downright ugly – as always taken from my own perspective.