Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich interviewed “Leaving Mundania” author Lizzie Stark about the rules and intricacies of live-action role-playing, or LARP.
Larp is a sort of make-believe for adults, one in which participants not only dress up in “silly costumes,” as Stark puts it, they bring themselves to a place where they can explore emotional terrain. “I feel comfortable in my own skin, more accepting of my own idiosyncrasies, more confident that I can handle myself in most situations, and comfortable with the community context larp has given me.”
“Is there really so much difference between playing fantasy football and creating a space-smuggling crew with your friends? Is the grown man dressed up in chain mail really more ridiculous than the football fan who has painted his chest in his team colors, or the dude who showed up to your Halloween party dressed like a keg? Maybe it’s just me, but I think participating — trying, making effort — is way cooler than sitting on the sidelines and trying to look mysterious and disaffected while smoking a cigarette and criticizing. Talking is easy; doing is difficult, and therefore way cooler.”
“I see a lot of media converging around larp or larp-like activities. You have interactive theatrical productions like Sleep No More, alternate reality games tied into movies with larpy live happenings as components, and zombie and steampunk culture gaining traction.”
— Lizzie Stark
AML and Stark participated recently in a live-action literary game recently. They both were readers at Literary Death Match, Boston Episode 7. Read more about that, see photos of the two of them, and see who won the literary gold medal of Olympic proportions.