Remember when you were a kid, and you used to pretend? A simple stick was a magnificent sword, fit for a king, and little plastic bricks promised more fun than you could possibly imagine. It's too bad that as we grow up, we become less and less able to pretend...or do we? What if there was a way to be that knight in shining armor again? Would you do it? These people would. They take part in an activity called "LARPing", and it involves a lot more than just hitting each other with sticks.
LARPing, or "Live Action Role Play", is an intricate, fast-paced and creative game. It requires you to suspend disbelief, put your whole self into everything and truly believe that you can be whatever you want. Check out the slideshow below for an in-depth look at the game.
So now that you've seen LARPing in action, thanks to the photos above, let's dive a little deeper. This is an interview with Ryan Sheppard, a student from Cal Poly who takes part in the Saturday afternoon activities at Santa Rosa Park. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and get some insight into why people find a great deal of joy in this fantastical event.
Every Saturday in San Luis Obispo, something special happens. At the strike of 1:00, a small group of friends don robes, swords, shields and armor to partake in fierce combat. Okay, so maybe it's not fierce, but it is combat. With foam swords. Listen in to get a sense of the fighting!
So, what is LARPing, really? This piece explores its origins, place in pop culture and impact it can have on people of all sorts. Give it a read. You just might learn something.
LARPing isn't all about the fighting. There's a fair bit of worksmanship and artistry that comes into play. I had the pleasure to talk to Larry Pena, one of the LARPers at the park, and learn about how he put his costume and gear together. Check it out below!