“[S}ome players do not like to discuss their hobby for fear of ridicule. Those with high-responsibility jobs – teachers, doctors and government employees, for instance – can even worry that misconceptions about Larping might damage their careers.”
That’s right, RP online isn’t the only hobby some (many?) individuals prefer to enjoy anonymously. Larping, or Live Action Role Playing, however is even more difficult to disguise, which in some cases is part of the fun. Several LARPs, notably Vampire: The Masquerade, even include “hiding in plain sight” as part of their plot.
Role playing, whether traditional, table-top, card, online or live action, has suffered from bad press and misconceptions for a long time. It may even be part of the genetics of the games, players and plots to be among the society’s outsiders. After all, if we liked reality that much, we wouldn’t feel the need to change it as much or as often as we do, right?
The world may be changing. Events like ComicCon and other comic book and pop culture conventions have, for years demonstrated that role players are a large, significant and growing market segment. Geeks, in fact, have ascended to some of the highest ranks of society, creating and running not just companies but entire industries. Makes it had to sneer at them when they can buy and sell the common man hundreds of time over. And, finally, the media seem to be catching a clue. Where once role players where comic relief, or worse, sinister forces that turned otherwise good kids into killers, they are increasingly being seen as society’s visionaries whose creative impulses and driving films, books, tv shows and businesses. This rather serious article from the BBC illustrates just how the media’s, and the world’s, view of roleplaying and LARPing are changing.
RP may not be mainstream but thanks to coverage like this, at least we don’t have to hide quite as far in the shadows as we used to. And that is a very good thing, for everyone.