A Salve for LARP Burn-Out

Life has been getting pretty busy lately.  I’m a student, and I’m nearing the end of my program. And it’s the LARPing season. There’s Intercon, of course, in early March. Dice Bubble, a LARPing weekend at RPI. Brandeis’ Festival of the LARPs is sometime in April. Boffer LARPs will soon be running, including the Steampunk Lovecraftian LARP Lost Eidolons, the one I attend. There’s a weekend of Misktonic LARPs and a musketeer-themed weekend long LARP coming up. And there might be more besides that I’m missing.

I’ve heard of other LARPers mention this phenomenon of burn out, which I guess can happen in any hobby.  I thought I was somehow immune. Which might have been naive, since many people in the community have been LARPing a lot longer, and are a lot more active than I am. But suddenly finding time to costume became a struggle, and then all of a sudden, all of the LARPing  I’ve signed up for felt more like a obligation than a hobby.

I’m also a member of the Con Committee; I’m the raffle coordinator. (I also usually make Intercon’s posters, does that count?) And yet, as I’m currently living outside of New England, I’ve missed every concom meeting so far this year, up until the last one. And when a LARP at Templecon I was going to NPC got cancelled, I decided last minute, dangit, I’d make it to the last meeting before the convention.

The meeting was held at the hotel where Intercon happens, the Chelmsford Radisson. We had a meeting in one of the boardrooms, then did a walkthrough of the hotel. Last year, Intercon was held at a new hotel (the Westin in Waltham), but the Radisson was where the first Intercon I attended was held, and all the rest, up until Intercon K. I’m a sentimental person, very much so, by nature, and the Radisson holds a lot memories for me.

If you’ve attended Intercon, you’ll know what I mean when I say… we went up That Staircase. And I spotted those grandfather clocks in the hallways. I recognized the rooms, places that were once foreign lands to me, a tavern at the end of the world, the wild west, Gotham, the future, outer space, the afterlife, fae-infested woods, an opera house, under the sea.

And I had this sort of vague memory, not of one particular moment, but of a type of moment… all of the time I’ve spend between LARPs, wandering the common area of the con. Usually, I’m still in costume,  but the least comfortable pieces have been shed. Bulky weapon props, sweaty masks. Often high heels or boots. And I’m too lazy to go back to my hotel room, but also, I don’t want to waste this time wandering the hotel halls, I’d rather be here, so I’m padding around the common area in socks, dropping down at a random table, nibbling on MnMs and the remainders of the veggie platters, having the chance to chat with LARPers from all over. And I’m staying up way too late, even though I know I have a LARP in the morning, because I don’t get this opportunity often, to see LARPers from all over, people I don’t see enough, all in one place, all here to enjoy the same hobby, and all excited about it.

And suddenly, I remember why I love LARPing.

March can’t come soon enough.

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About Fair Escape

I've been LARPing for years in all different styles, including both boffer and theater. I love classic LARP but I'm always happy to try something new. I have a sort of "gotta catch 'em all" attitude towards experiencing LARPs. I'm currently serve as a board member of NEIL, a member of proposal com for Intercon, the largest all LARP convention in the US, and as en editor for Game Wrap, a publication about the art and craft of LARP. I was also con chair of Festival of the LARPs 2017, and I'm on staff for NELCO, the first all LARP conference in the US. I'm
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