So the weekend is rolling up to meet me and I’ll actually be busy… though some seem to question the validity of my plans: Running through a forest dressed like a Renaissance Faire worker while hitting people with foam swords.
For slightly under a year now, I’ve spent one weekend a month in the forests of New Jersey with 30-50 other people ranging from the ages of 17-50 while we dress up, hit each other with fake weapons, pretend to be other people and get regularly stabbed by the Undead.
… I’m almost ashamed of myself.
Ok, not really. I’m not ashamed of it. It is actually quite fun, involves physical activity, is held in a very nice wilderness setting and is a social activity. All my years of laughing at videos of people yelling “Lightning Bolt” should make me feel guilty for enjoying this game so much.
I will admit to originally having an unfounded bias against the concept based of stereotypes, misconceptions and ignorance. Which is very unlike me.
A good friend of mine badgered me for a year straight to come to the LARP he had been attending for years. It was something that I felt was too deep into geekdom for me… some form of invisible line would need to be crossed whereby I would be venturing into the deep, dark underbelly of the geek subculture from which I could never return without the obvious stains on my soul. His counter argument was that I played tabletop RPGs, he’s seen me in rules light RPG/Improv acting games and that I had been attending the RenFaire for practically 19 years straight so it was no different. A female friend of mine countered my argument with “Chicks in corsets” (her exact words, I swear). So I attended.
Let me say that LARPing is nothing like the Renfaire nor is it anything like Improv acting – though I use those to explain to people what it is I do in that forest. It’s a strange form of escapism… my character is not some powerhouse barbarian, stealthy rogue or master of mind-bending dark arts. I actually play one of the combat light, social/intellectual classes. I’m a geek going to the woods to play a medieval geek in fantasy woods.
My character even has a job that I’ve grown to despise… town tax collector. Sounds easy enough, right? Except when you’re the guy with no combat skills surrounded by awesome warriors it is kinda hard to say “Hey, you owe the crown 2 copper. Pay up or I’ll bleed on you as I die.”
Yet I keep doing it and it is quickly coming up on one full year of attending regularly.
Now, with geeky medieval LARP action in mind, I would like to introduce to you a funny video from Shelby Films involving some sexy, geeky medieval TV related roleplaying… Sex Game of Thrones.