Friday, 9 May 2014
KWEENY's GUIDE TO LARPING AND HORROR
I've been getting over plague the last little while, hence the no posting. But I figured while I am feeling less like Slimer has made a permenent home in my head and throat, I'd do a little post for folks.
Now, some of you who follow my ongoing saga may or may not know I also LARP. Which doesn't always have to be a horrific event. I have a lot of fun when Horror and LARP collide, but they don't have to be together to influence my enjoyment.
Don't know what LARP is? Here's a quick and dirty explanation from Google:
noun: LARPS; plural noun: LARPs
a type of interactive role-playing game in which the participants portray characters through physical action, often in costume and with props.
"the genre we have chosen for our LARP is fantasy, also known as swords and sorcery"
Origin of the word LARP: 1990s: acronym from live action role playing.
All caught up to speed? Good.
I really enjoy LARPING, because I really enjoy telling stories, of any kind. I am a writer, and the best part about fiction writing is creating a lasting story. One of my favorite things about LARP is you become the story. You don't just write it, you live it. And you're not the only one doing it too! It's a collaborative effort with a bunch of folks, and it combines elements of improv acting, boffer combat, costuming and more! The only real limits are your imagination, and the rules everyone agrees upon before you start. (For safety purposes)
If you've ever been to a Zombie Walk, then you've done a little Roleplaying. Just stretch that out and blow it up a few times until it takes over an entire weekend or 24 hour span, add some more setting, story and other props, and you're LARPING!
So since this is one of my main hobbies, I figured I'd dig up a couple horror themed larps or larp-like activities I could find. Not many are strictly horror based, but some do carry dark undercurrents, so I added them here. I just wanted to give you a taste of what some of the LARPERS are doing with their horror themed LARPS:
If you happen to find yourself in Northern England, you could sign up for Aeon:
http://www.aeonhorror.com/ It seems like a blend of fantasy and horror, run by a small group of passionate folks. A lot of budding LARPS start like this, especially the horror themed ones. We aren't as huge a group as the high fantasy LARPERS. I have played in mostly high fantasy LARPS but I want to branch out into darker themes.
And one thing you will realize when you become a LARPER, is that Swedish LARPS will always be better than ours: http://petterkarlsson.se/2013/10/21/terra-incognita-a-swedish-1920s-lovecraft-larp/
A 1920's LOVECRAFT LARP! YES PLEASE! I wish someone in the NW would make a Lovecraft Larp. I'd be all over that in a heart beat. Oh man...Lovecraft is a great setting for a Horror LARP. And Horror LARPS need to have a wicked setting to draw folks in.
Another thing you notice comes up a lot for Horror LARPS is ZOMBIE LARPS. They make great 24 hour events of full blown survival horror, and if you die you get to play a zombie and rise up! We even have a zombie LARP here in the NW: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zombie-By-Last-Games/166921540067590
(L.A.S.T Games also puts on a World of Oz Larp that has some awesome fantasy, steampunk and horror elements to it! It's gotten quite popular with my friends, and I plan to join the fun soon: https://www.facebook.com/WorldOfOzByLastGames)
One other thing...if you aren't particularly wanting to put all that effort into costuming and character creation, you can find improv groups who will do amazing events like this:
http://geekologie.com/2014/05/no-sleep-the-great-horror-campout-a.php Just get your camping gear, pay your site fee, and get attacked all night by crazed killers! It's not actually LARP, but it's a close cousin, and it sure sounds FUN!
And if you are interested in more LARP related fun, there is going to be a Convention coming up in the NW for all you Gamers, hosted by Northwest LARP Fest! https://www.facebook.com/NorthwestLARPFest
Honestly, you won't know if you like LARP unless you try it. So just dive in. Most LARPERS I have met on the NW side have been super friendly and I consider a lot of them to be good friends now. LARP can be another community to be a part of. A big group of geeks having a fun time. It's no different than horror fans going to Cons and getting their geek-on that way.