A New Spin on Role Playing Games
By: Shawna Summers
I've always been something of a geek. I love sci-fi and fantasy books and movies; I can recite countless bits of useless trivia back to you about all kinds of movies. So, it was no real surprise that I took to role-playing games, or RPGs, as we like to call them. You know the kinds, Dungeons and Whatnots, all that kind of Tolkien-esque stuff. I had a couple of groups that I gamed with in high school, and it was fun, but it was never anything too serious or crazy. No, that waited until I got to college.
It took a little while to find out that there were other gamers at school. I think most of us had learned to hide being an RPG geek since that was usually a pretty good way to kill any chance of getting a girlfriend, or at least limit your hooking up options. But there were several groups, and I made my way around to them, trying to find a group I liked. I just never seemed to gel properly gel with any of the groups, but I did have some fun gaming sessions, and even made a couple friends. In fact, it was one of these friends, Roy, who first alerted me to some of the gaming groups that were off-campus. Since we were at a big state school, it was a pretty heavy party school, and big on athletics. So a lot of the hardcore nerds stuck to being off campus.
I found there were a number of groups that were associated with the big hobby shop right at the edge of town. The big problem was that they tended to be very private, and didn't really like taking on fresh blood. Roy suggested trying out LARPing, to see if that could help me work into some of the private groups.
"What the hell is a LARP?" I asked, Roy thinking he was messing with me.
"Live Action Role Playing," he responded matter of factly. "It's playing out some of the RPGs, but in real time, and with our actual selves as the characters."
"Live action? Seriously?" I shook my head. "Gaming isn't nerdy enough, we had to find a way to make it worse?"