Soon-to-be-participants in the most recent addition to the rec services’ collection of intramural sports, Live Action Role-Playing (LARPing), are shaving their foam swords and digging out their medieval armor in preparation for their first game. “I’m so glad Chad Barman has finally responded to my biweekly petitions for a LARPing club,” said sophomore Casey Schilling.
“Now I’ll actually have something to fill the evenings when my friends on World of Warcraft are busy.”
Previously unknown student LARPers are, according to Barman, “coming out of the woodwork” in order to sign up for the scheduled weekly battles.
“We’ve already had to start a second sign-up sheet,” he said. “We’re thinking about booking the Green for two nights per week instead of one.”
The already-enrolled student athletes are, according to sophomore Trey Heid, “thrilled” to bring their basement-honed crafts to a more natural arena.
“I’m excited to role-play on the Green, because LARPing outdoors makes me feel alive,” he said. “When I don my costume and grasp my custom-made foam shield, I feel that I truly am my chosen character, ‘Dhonlessargnor of the North’.”
Senior Amanda Johnson, a role-playing veteran, says that LARPing is about more than just assuming an alternate persona.
“Though I find choosing names with an online fantasy name generator to be an exhilarating experience, LARPing, to me, is more about improving my self-image,” she said. “When I become Warrior Princess Aekhanduilce on the battlefield, I am so much more significant than I am in my everyday life.”
The club seeks to welcome experienced role-players and newcomers alike to the weekly games.
“Though stepping into fictional battle for the first time can be intimidating, we want to make everyone feel comfortable right away,” Schilling said. “We’ll probably have a few practice sessions before the serious games begin, just so no one gets hurt.” Heid is offering to loan out seven of his practice-quality costumes and five of his foam swords to newcomers, provided that they are returned unscathed.
“[My weapons and costumes] are pieces of me, so I hope people will respect that when they borrow them,” he said. The Augie LARPers’ first game will take place Sunday, April 6 on the Green, immediately following the annual scholarship luncheon.