LARP game has players cope with the expectations placed on different genders

It’s not hard to understand the appeal of LARPing (live-action role playing). A player can both cosplay and let go of their inhibitions in a safe space by acting out a character-driven narrative. Though I’ve never LARPed before, actress Felicia Day convinced me of its potential for sheer fun in an episode of Supernatural where her character got to be the Queen of a popular LARP and was practically worshiped by the other players. Definitely appealing. But perhaps the best aspect of LARPing is that it is a medium entirely shaped by its players backgrounds and intents, and can be…


LARPing for Social Good: The Power of Live Action Role Play

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Fantasy entertainment once considered only for children has evolved into a social tool for diversity. LARPing inspires empathy and understanding for gender identity and oppression issues. When Anna Anthropy created Dys4ia (2012), an autobiographical game about her experience taking hormone replacements as a trans woman, she sought to give players insight into her unique perspective. Anthropy knew that shared experiences can raise people’s awareness and even inspire compassion for diversity. The power of empathizing with others could ultimately lead to kinder behavior and a better place for society as…


Final Fantasy draws a line between games and high fashion

Fashion is basically LARPing at scale. You decide on an identity to take on for the next few hours—a functional person, a grown up, someone loveable, Matt Bomer’s character on White Collar—and then you give it the old college try. Results may vary. The connection between LARPing and fashion is apparently a two-way street. On Tuesday, Louis Vuitton and Square Enix announced that Lightning, the protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII, would appear in the promotional campaign for the former’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection. The two images released thus far show Lightning holding (“holding”?) purses (“purses”?) at the end of her outstretched…


Florida Republican nerd-shamed for LARPing as a vampire

Among the qualities I look for in a candidate, live action role-playing as a vampire straight out of a White Wolf game doesn’t make the list. But maybe it should. On second thought, it probably shouldn’t. But that’s the hobby of a conservative GOP candidate in Florida. Jake Rush’s political opposition has dug up some dirt about his LARPing history, when he ran with a group called Covenant of the Poisoned Absinthe, who hosts games such as Vampire: The Masquerade. Yes, this is another prominent example of games being treated as something to be embarrassed of. No one should have…


Public play meets magical realism at insane Australian event

A live-action, interactive parade into the spirit world is being hosted this weekend in Melborne as part of Pop-Up Playground’s Fresh Air Festival. Called Spirits Walk, the gist of this otherworldly street game is that participants will take to the streets for some good old-fashioned LARPing, but with a fascinating scenario inspired by magic realism, ditching the traditional association with middle-earthen stereotypes.  Spirits Walk is more about surreal theatrical exaggeration, or doing weird stuff in public and feeling weird doing it—i.e. the story of my life. It also involves wearing gorgeously strange masks and handing out tokens of “distilled energy.”…

Hipsta Big Daddy

What playing a first-person shooter in real-life tells us about our squalid mortal coils

Possibly the only live-action role-playing game (long for LARP) cool enough for me to actually consider playing, IRL Shooter (short for in-real-life) is the popular game native to Australia that blissfully unites laser-tag, a haunted house, and the campaign mode of first-person shooters. If the prospect of spraying invisible bullets at circus performers painted as zombies sounds appealing to you, this is your game. – – – The good folks at PC PowerPlay extensively interviewed the showrunners, and buried within the pages and pages of talk was the admittance that the designers had embedded moral dilemmas into the chapters, much…