Keep your eyes out for the tentatively-titled Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role Playing Games, American journalist Lizzie Stark’s account of the stateside larp scene. The book, which is aimed at a mainstream audience, takes readers inside long-running convention and boffer larps in the US, and explains terminology, history, and game mechanics. She profiles many gamers, from the long-haired Republican who runs one of the eastern seaboard’s most successful boffer campaigns, to a retired military man and devoted larper whose every hobby involves war. Due out from Chicago Review Press in spring 2012.
Leaving Mundania tells the story of adults who put on costumes, develop personas, and interact with other characters over the course of hours or days as part of a larp, or live action roleplaying game. A larp is a hybrid of games like Dungeons & Dragons, historical reenactment, fandom, and good old fashioned pretend; it’s well-organized make believe for grownups.This diverse subculture is just beginning to enter the mainstream imagination in America.
Leaving Mundania looks at the hobby from a variety of angles, from its history in the pageantry of Tudor England to its present as a training tool for the US military. I profile a diverse range of larpers, from a dad who ran his kids through nightly D & D mods with morals instead of reading them bedtime stories, to a police detective terrified his office will discover his hobby. Along the way, I duel foes with foam-padded weapons, let the demon Cthulhu destroy my parents’ beach house, and survive an existential awakening brought on by Scandinavia’s avant-garde larp scene.
Web: Leaving Mundania
Photo: Kyle Ober, from Knight Realms which Lizzie recently visited
Article by Ole Peder Giæver