More LARP in the Media

Another quick round-up of LARP related links to share:

  • Jake Rush, the politician in Florida who had done some Mind’s Eye Theater LARPing, was interviewed by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report. (A comedic mock-news show, for those unfamiliar, which largely focuses on making fun of right wing politics. Stephen Colbert, it’s worth noting, is famous for being enthusiastic for geek culture. He has played Dungeons and Dragons and is a huge Tolkien fan.) It’s short and fairly funny.
  • ABC has put out a trailer for its upcoming show, The Quest. As far as I can tell, it’s a reality show inspired by LARPing, though the word LARP is not mentioned in the trailer. I think they put out a casting call among LARPers (which I may have responded to.) I know there are LARPers among the cast.
  • A Dagorhir group was caught by a flash flood, and they lost a ton of equipment. (They’re the “campers attending a renaissance style festival” described in the article.) You can donate to help them recover the gear they lost here.
  • A recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, (season 7, episode 21, “The Anything Can Happen Recurrence”) briefly mentioned LARP. At around 2:40, Sheldon says, “there’s a live action role playing group that meets every Thursday night in Griffith Park and reenacts battles from Lord of the Rings” and Penny quickly rejects the idea of joining them. As a show that celebrates geek culture, I was hoping they’d give LARP a bit more attention (table top RPGs have gotten entire episodes) but this is a start, I guess. Fingers crossed for a future episode in which the rest of the main cast ditches Penny and spends an evening in Griffith Park. 
  • Fox 6 News in Milwaukee did a short piece on LARPing. I’m not a huge fan of this piece; I tend to look a news stories with a more critical eye when they choose to emphasize escape as a reason for LARPing. But it’s not terrible.

 

  • And lastly, the presenter of “Nordic LARPs are Toss,” one of the presentations at the Intercon N PreCon, has compiled his notes and made them available to read online. (Small spoiler — this talk is not actually a diatribe on Nordic LARP.) I highly recommend reading it — it’s both amusing and an informative, thoughtful look at the entity commonly referred to as Nordic LARP.
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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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4 Responses to More LARP in the Media

  1. Rick Pierce says:

    What an excellent post, if for no other reason than it pointed me to so many other fine pieces.

    The Colbert / Rush clip was so close to good. Colbert did his typical (satirical?) job of hacking at his guest while at the same time giving some fine opportunities for Rush to look good. Some of the time Rush’s answers were fine and some he just missed some golden opportunities to shine. I’m glad that Rush is willing to come right out and say that he LARPs. It’s a bold move.

    Even though I’ve barely heard of Dagorhir before, I donated to help them out, thanks to you. Thanks for bringing that to our attention. The LARP community needs to stick together and helping each other out in times like this will hopefully bring us closer together.

    I actually thought the news piece was well done and that serious consideration was given to our hobby by serious folks in a serious fashion. For a short TV news piece they actually made LARPers look good. I would say a piece like that raises public awareness in a positive way. We need all that kind of PR we can get (IMO).

    The piece on Nordic LARP was exactly what you said, amusing and informative. I love his writing style, which sounds like it would very much be his speaking style. I read it start to finish just because of the style of the writing. Awesome!

    • Fair Escape says:

      Yeah, I wish Colbert and Rush had focused more on the LARP issue, but I think Rush saw this as an opportunity to portray himself as dignified (and not opportunity to demonstrate a sense of humor) and Colbert was not going to give up a chance to dig at a Republican’s opinions. But I’m glad it happened.

      I do think the Fox piece is, overall, a positive thing. I’m somewhat oversensitive to the stereotype that LARPers (and other geeks) have lives that need escaping more than other populations. I think a lot of people buy into this stereotype without realizing it, and it leads them to assume escape plays far more of a role in why we LARP than it really does. I do think some LARPers LARP to escape, but it’s not as common as some news pieces aimed at non-LARPers imply, and I think in many ways LARPers escape just like everyone escapes with tv, movies, books… entertainment in general.

      I liked the write-up a lot, but I wish we could have caught the talk on video. The audience was reciting lines together and laughing on cue; it was brilliant.

      • Rick Pierce says:

        I’ll take any positive press from a serious news source and this was one of the most positive I’ve seen. The reason it doesn’t bother me that they focused on escapism is because they only have 2 minutes. They have to capture the audience’s interest, present the topic, provide backup human interest and summarize in a very short span of time. If it were a documentary I’d have issue with its narrow focus.

        However, they did manage to sneak in things like, “We’re more like a family”, which demonstrates that there’s more to it than just a single person using it to escape the problems of real life. It hints at the social aspect, even if just barely. It would be kind of cool if they could get the backing to do a piece each night for a week focusing on the different aspects of it, but that’s probably hoping for a bit much at this point.

        It’s all about little steps right now and I think that news piece was actually a good one for that. As always, thank you for your posts. They’re always so well written and thought provoking. My wife, a devout non-LARPer, has read some of your posts and been quite impressed. 🙂

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