Gaming

Larp Life – Drama is not exclusive to Larp

Larp Life – Drama is not exclusive to Larp

No community is without drama or trash people. Not one. Once you start going deeper into any hobby or community, you will find the goblins and dumpster fires of yore that are spoken of in hushed tones that no one wants to admit are really there. Especially the larp community – which is founded on playing pretend and scripted drama.
 

How to change the community, one meltdown at a time.

A friend and fellow larp staffer – raised in a devout Southern home – made a humorous yet accurate comparison; translating the community struggle to a non-larp medium that us from the south are all too familiar with.
Larpers are like a bunch of baptists.
 
We all up here to meet on Sunday and praise the lord, pass the plate, etc. But then Thelma May makes a face at Lyla Sue’s casserole at the potluck, and now there’s beef and now Thelma May doesn’t get invited to prayer meetin’ on Wednesday night.
 
Or the choir director catches hell for singing too many contemporary songs and not enough from the hymnal, because “them old hymns was good enough for us, by God, where does he get off changing the music?” so he gets booted by the old guard and goes to work at the church down the road.
 
Or Brother Gerald doesn’t like the way that the Preacher spends so much time in the New Testament so he goes and starts his own congregation across town, and brings all of his friends with him. Fact is.
 
We’re all here for the same reason, enjoying and celebrating the same thing, and the fact is–you can’t get away from some of the people you don’t like, so you need to either find a way to get along, or find a way to get the hell out.
 
I’m not normally one to quote scripture at people, but I’m pretty sure there’s a verse somewhere about “if your brother has wronged you, it’s up to you to go to your brother and settle it”
-S. Bizzell
 
In the age of social media and call out culture – people are quick to fly to their keyboards to vaguebook, instant message, or tag people in their criticisms of others. I’ve often found myself flip-flopping on “wow, I may go back to cosplay because larp is so dramatic” – then edge back into cosplay and think “wow, I should go back to larp because cosplay is just too much drama”.
 

Protip: Every hobby is dramatic if you get in deep enough.

 
It’s not the communities; it’s the people.
 
There is drama in all nerd communities – and even non-nerd communities. People thrive on it. Drama makes people feel important, needed, and valued. The currency of information is king – and those who gossip are sought out for dirt.
 
How do we change this? Stop feeding your llamas. As my experienced staffer friend said in the quote above – go to your brother or sister and settle it. Privately. We have enough of an audience on social media or in play. We can cull the social media theater of perpetuating negative attention by taking issues straight to those whom the issues are with and not making out of play drama between two or more individuals a community issue.
 

And if your issue is made a public spectacle? Quench the flame. Respond with calm facts. Evidence. Logic. This might seem common sense advice – but in the moment, especially with others weighing in, hot tempers and hiding behind a keyboard can often override even the most civil of discussions.

Toxic people are everywhere, and they have hobbies. Sharing a hobby with a toxic person doesn’t make the hobby or community inherently toxic – but the hobby or community’s reaction to toxic people just might.

 

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About the author

Shatter

Alexis is the lead fabricator and designer for Shattered Stitch Cosplay, based out of Tennessee. She has been in the cosplay community over 10 years and is a familiar face at cons large and small all across the Southeast US.

Alexis is a consummate nerd with her genres of expertise and interest being concentrated in Marvel comics and World of Warcraft. Also on her interest list is Top Cow, Aspen, DarkHorse, and DC, as well as most all videogames with her personal concentration being PC gaming (Master Race).

Her costumes span everything from comics and fantasy books to live action, including: Final Fantasy, Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, Studio Ghibli, and Conan.

If you'd like to nerd cred check, step right up and give it a swing. You'll receive your consolation prize as you exit stage left.

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