Conventional LARP wisdom declares that a veteran player (IE Cool Kid™) is worth a dozen newbies because a veteran can do the roleplay legwork to attract or retain a dozen newbies. As a consequence we allow storytellers to devote a staggering amount of time to insular, in-group, fan-service plot to keep a select few players interested. But if resources are devoted to veterans at the expense of newbies, is that veteran still valuable, or are they worthless?
Trick question: if you have to assign numerical value to a player, the game is already over, and so is your LARP. Go home and abuse your buddies with a good old fashioned tabletop game of Paranoia.
In part 1 of this post, where I explained why you can’t stop smiling lest you be singled out like a sick wildebeest, I said that tone policing is a roundabout way of saying we LARPers demand positivity because, psychologically, it’s less painful than addressing whatever is actually plaguing our hobby.
Let’s talk about some things that are wrong with our hobby, that positivity won’t fix.
Safe spaces are integral to sanity within a LARP. They’re also patent, transparent bullshit.
Below is a safe space as you might know of it, courtesy of thelarpforum.org:
I’m glad that as 21st century LARPers on the cusp of a bright cyberpunk future, we can agree that assault is not appropriate at our events. It’s sad that we still have to EXPRESSLY state policies like the one above, but all of us know someone who was assaulted, sexually or otherwise, at a LARP event. Beyond the legally agreeable definition of safety, how do we categorize verbal attacks OOC related to playstyle, in-game choices, in-game morality or in-character disputes? Continue reading “Safe Spaces: The Illusion You Have to Preserve For Sanity’s Sake”→
This makes sense but is extremely discomforting to read
This never happens and boy, is this dude bitter
I had a post about safe spaces prepared, but first I’d like to clear up some of the imbecilic fog that’s accumulated.
To those who have experienced the absurdly catty and socially manipulative underworld of LARP, thanks for having the balls to post in agreement. There’s so much overwhelming pressure to be positive at all costs that as a hobby, LARP resists scrutiny in all but the most rarefied academic circles. Continue reading “How to Shamelessly Self Promote: Part 2”→
Have you ever gone to afters and finally worked up the nerve to talk to that cool kid? The cool kid with the awesome plot items, close repartee with storytellers, three separate photo shoots for one character? How did the conversation go?
Did they spend the entire time talking about themselves? I’ll bet they did.
You were probably locked in war-story purgatory, forced to listen to someone else babble on and on about how awesome their experiences are, with zero if ANY accommodations for you to talk about yourself or your character. And you looked about the table and noticed, with some alarm, that everyone else seemed equally transfixed, clearly SO interested!
“Fuck that guy,” you mumble, referring to that shlub whom no oxygen-breathing, food-eating, born from a womb person could like. The braggart. The thug. The condescending ape. The bully. Maybe his hygiene is questionable, maybe he’s got ugly shoes. Maybe he’s just mean. You saw him your first game, maybe in the registration line, telling people about how strong he was. You watched other people nod in agreement and encourage him to continue. You saw him metagame, swing too hard, cheat with items or lie about his HP. He argues and bullies incessantly on Facebook, and runs with a pack of equally merciless primitives, ready to embarrass and harass you into silence. Continue reading “Playing Favorites”→