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LARPers – A Culture Finally Worth Mocking

I’m pretty familiar with the LARP world. I run a game that’s been around for a while now (Eldaraenth), and I’ve been writing a LARP blog off and on fLarpers4or about six months. I myself have been part an active participant in LARP culture for about twelve years, and was surrounded by it before that. I’ve played a lot of different games ranging from pure combat boffer and re-enactment style games to paper-rock-scissors playing vampires. I’ve even airsofted it up from time to time. For some people, the idea of a LARPer is a joke to be mocked. It’s why you laugh at Augie the first time you see him in Role Models. That’s okay. For the majority of the world, we’re just those weird guys with foam swords and funny costumes in the park.

You can laugh at us.

But, for me, there is more to all of this than just the jokes you see in movies. There is a culture. A thriving community of people that come together for the love of a mutual hobby and escape.

It’s about camaraderie. It’s about honor. It’s about learning how to be more than the world’s punching bag.

It’s something I take seriously.

Which in and of itself is pretty damned funny:

 

Enter LARPers

LARPers1I’ll admit, I was a bit awestruck when I was contacted by the guys behind LARPers. I wasn’t entirely familiar with what they were doing at the time, but it only took me a quick look into their website to gain the kind of excitement that is rare in my life. In my mind I knew what they were doing was going to be huge and golden. I felt a little bit like I was being given the chance to go back in time and talk to Felicia Day or Sandeep Parikh just a few months before The Guild took off. I just had the impression that these guys are going to be HUGE names in the Geek Culture.

Then, I got an opportunity I wasn’t expecting and I just about pee’d myself with joy.

They asked me to do a write up on their show, and even gave me and some of my LARP friends a chance to ask them a few questions on their Twitter feed.

It was like a dream.

Their official Press Release Reads:

Immersed in a world where knights still battle foes, witches still craft spells, and everyday people can still imagine, “LARPers” is a comedic foray into the world of Live Action Role-Playing. Observed from the outside perspective of a documentary crew, the show follows a handful of colorful characters in their not so day-to-day lives as they don homemade armor and venture forth on imaginary quests while still dealing with very real problems.

 

Each episode covers a single day within the context of an extended LARPing event in which participants from different walks of life have come together to spend a couple weeks playing as their characters. The camera crew focuses on a small group of central characters that find themselves banded together as a team. Throughout the event they must work together to accomplish their quests and advance their characters. As the event progresses this becomes increasingly difficult. Real-life relationships, grudges, and motives begin to permeate the line between reality and fantasy.

 

While on the surface, “LARPers” appears to just be an observation of a some-what obscure, yet quirky activity and the out of the ordinary people who participate in it, its true focus is something really much more universal. Beneath the cardboard armor and war paint lies a common want – to be something more than what they are. While these characters aren’t literally looking to be elves or witches or dwarves (well, most of them, anyway) they are looking to be courageous, powerful, loved, or feared in a way that they cannot be in their regular lives. At its core, the show is not about pretend battles between knights and wizards, but rather the struggle between who these people wish they could be and who they really are.

 

The creators of this show are self-proclaimed geeks. We live geek life, are well versed in geek culture, and understand geek psychology. It takes a special kind of writer to immerse himself in a particular sub-culture and then bridge the gap back to mainstream audiences. We do that in every episode of LARPers. Our setting borders on the surreal, but our characters prove to be touching, funny, and most of all real. This show captures a big part of who we are and we put a piece of ourselves in every character, scene, and line.

 

We can make this show because we can live this show.

I admit, on the surface it sounds a bit like a LARP take on The Office, but as I started to get into the press they had available and talk to them on twitter, I began toLarpers2 get more and more excited.

Yes, it’s a comedy that makes fun of LARP players. That’s just how comedy works, but here are guys that aren’t so much focused on making fun of the culture as spreading the inside jokes we all share to the masses.

They don’t want to mock my most beloved hobby, the want to humanize it. They want to take the world of Live Action Role Playing from the geeky backburner of things that even other geeks make fun of and turn it to the forefront as it’s own standing culture.

They plan to do that with some laughs along the way.

Questions and Answers

When the guys over at LARPers asked me if I had any questions about their show, they caught me off guard. I wasn’t really ready for an interview and as far as I was concerned my main question was, “Why haven’t you been picked up for network syndication yet?” I scrambled, and they were gracious. They love what they’re doing, and it shows in how they interact with their fans and followers.

Me: Do you guys have a particular system you’re based on, or are you making it up as you go along for the benefit of the story?

LARPersTV: We draw inspiration from NERO but we modify it to fit our story. We wanted to use a familiar system, but mold it into our own.

M: Will the show focus more on the overall culture of LARPers or the On Site behavior?

Larpers3LTV: We will show LARPers on site and in game for most of the show. We want to show relationships and the subtle comedy of LARPing

M: What type of audience rating are you planning on the show having? Like Primetime TV or more mature?

LTV:There is no hard profanity, but situations can get a bit racy. We are hoping for a wide audience of people who like to laugh.

M: What type of audience rating are you planning on the show having? Like Primetime TV or more mature?

LTV: It depends on the situation and character. We’ve scripted some intense fights and some silly ones.

M: Do you guys have a Facebook or G+ page I can send my followers to as well?

LTV: Not as of yet. However, everything we post is on our indiegogo http://t.co/Wb4RoUN6 We will be exploring G+ and FB

M: What would you really like your audience to know about the show, above anything else?

LTV: We care about LARPing and about our show. We think that will mean characters and situations you’ll care about too.

 

 

Give them Your Money

LARPers is going to be huge, but they can’t do it without funding. Right now, they are running an Indie-Go-Go campaign trying to raise the dough to get this show offLARPers5 the ground. I know that it will take off once it’s in production, and I know that all of you will watch it and laugh.

I’m sure that by the end of the first season, my guys will be sitting around the campfire at events laughing and quoting this show.

None of that happens without a bit of help from all of use though.

So, if you have a dollar or five, or five grand, head over to their site and donate.

You won’t be disappointed, and I’ll love you forever.

Every little bit helps, so please, spread the word.

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

2 thoughts on “LARPers – A Culture Finally Worth Mocking”

  1. Cassie says:

    Love this. Already donated. SHARE THE LOVE!

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      Everyone should donate if they can. I’m pretty excited about this show.

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