So I’ve just come back from from my third event at Profound Decisions Empire LARP game. It was, in a nutshell, awesome. In a slightly larger nutshell, I can safely say that between the fighting, drinking, banter and geek references (calling out ‘Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru’ while two rabbits roasted side by side) I had the best time EVARRR. If you like fantasy and acting then get involved you geek!
Unfortunately, before you leap in with both feet, I can safely say that there is a real condition called LARP withdrawal. Coming home and hitting reality again by spending time shopping for toilet roll at Tesco is surely one of the most heart crushingly average experiences that you can have in life. What’s worse though is that for the four days that you’re away you get to forget about real world stuff – like the rapidly deteriorating scenario in Ukraine or sinking ships in South Korea.
Coming back to the real world brings back some crushing realities which take some time to recover from. I’ve missed my friends and my wife and naturally the tank that is Monty dog, but other than that I can safely say that the real world is mostly just depressing and dull in comparison to a fake one filled with 1500+ geeks.
This fact should be blindingly obvious to anyone whose ever consumed any form of entertainment. From a two hour film to the entire Game of Thrones series of books, people need to escape from the real world. Empire is my current four day excursion from reality and it is positively healing. I have made some awesome new friends, laughed harder than I have in ages and most importantly, have remembered to enjoy my real life by simply escaping it for a while.
At the end of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Richard Mayhew decides to exit the real world for London Below; a reverse to his intentions while he is lost in the world of Door, Mr Croup and The Angel Islington. I couldn’t help but feel that when I had finished that novel, Richard represented all of our secret desires for something different – something unreal.
Having come back to reality I am comfortable just getting on with my day, happy in the knowledge that if it ever gets too much there will always be a game, a book or an entire hobby waiting to whisk me away from the mundane for just long enough to cope with it again.