|A random picture of LARPing, this is from 'Epic Empires'|
"A live action role-playing game is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters' actions. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character." Just in case.
I'm never sure whether to quantify LARPers as the highest or lowest form of geek culture. The position on the geekery scale obviously depends on your point of view as insider or outsider, and how seriously you take your hobbies.
For some, the act of dressing up in an either hand-made or expensively-bought costume and running around In Character in a field for a weekend is either the most immersive, expressive and ultimately awesome way of role-playing, or it's just one too many sad-and-crazy steps away from the sitting around, rolling dice and jotting down notes version of role-playing.
Is it 'better' or 'worse' to sit there in your Green Lantern t-shirt, swigging a Mountain Dew and saying "I cast Fireball at the Orc!", or stand in a field of two hundreds-strong armies in a set of robes, wielding a polyurethane staff and yelling an incantation that results in a 'fireball' and people falling over.
For me, this is one of those times when the more-geeky activity is, perhaps strangely, the more social activity. Yes, it's cool to sit around a table with a few friends and take your party into the depths of evil dungeons all within the confines of your dining room, but it's so much cooler to be with hundreds of people who are completely in character from head to toe, acting and re-acting to everything going on around them.
The perceived problem is that because of all the extra time, effort and expense required to have that immersion, the LARPing hobby is often considered to be the worst form of geekery that is only for the truly dedicated RPers. Which is exactly why it's the best. Nobody is there to half-ass it or take the piss, because it's Serious Business (well, sometimes).
It also explains why I've not had time to blog in the last month. Too busy researching, purchasing and making (yes, I picked up a needle and thread for the first time since 6th Form Art lessons to get this costume made) my character for Profound Decisions' new game, Empire. This weekend will be my first LARP event and, bar the thought of a cold tent for three nights, I couldn't be more excited.