In light of recent events (see bottom), I realized, all over again, that there are a ton of reasons people stay out of larping, be it their own choice or the random acts of life. Some of them deserve to be called excuses, though.
Here are just a few, of both varieties. Let’s see where yours fit, shall we?
#1 There’s not enough money in my pocket. Let’s be honest here – will there ever be? Sure, maybe you’ll have to pick the larps you join very carefully, recycle outfits more often than you want, or bring sandwiches instead of fancy period food. Other than that – I did say larping, didn’t I? – ever heard of, say, chamber larps?
#2 There are no games where I live! Ungh. And then some more ungh. Couple of years ago (or decades, depending on where you live), there were no larps where anyone lived. So people got together, started something on their own, got through the first few rough games, re-evaluated stuff they did, read a bit about it, tried something new… We all have to start somewhere. If there is no way in hell for you to join an already existing larp scene (that is, if you live in a seriously remote area or don’t have any geeky friends), I’m sorry, but you’ll have to start one. It’s the way all great tales start – once there was a random, ordinary person, who did something extraordinary for reasons x & y, and now we tell legends about them… even big larping scenes must have started with something along that way. All you need is a little bit of reading, a couple of willing vict-friends, and a huge bit of dare. Start smaller, build it up to the scenario of your dreams, and make sure to have fun and get someone to help in the beginning (at least online) if you need to. Is it really that hard?
#3 It’s just dildo swords, why would I even…? Oh, really?
#4 I can’t get enough free time from work… Tough, but true. That’s why a lot of people schedule their (bigger) larping events a couple of months in advance, and a lot of others (players) make sure to announce those events (no details given) to their employers. Still, sometimes it just happens – and it’s one of the saddest and most serious reasons to miss larping.
#5 My girlfriend/boyfriend/dog doesn’t understand! And I care more about them than about larping… Oh, really? Well, you got at least one thing right – your partner should always come before larping (or any other hobby, for that matter). Still, if that’s the case, did you make sure to not only explain, but show them what larping is, in all its colorful joy? The debate of “larpers dating non-larpers” is not really a thing, at least not among Croatian players, but let’s make things simple – if larping is a big part of your life, and your s. o. thinks it’s the devil’s work, honestly, you have more serious relationship issues than “they won’t let me larp”.
#6 But what if someone sees me in a weird costume…? The only way for someone to see you in a weird costume is a) for them to play with you and b) for you to take photos of yourself in the said costume. Most games, you can control the latter (and if the photographer/s don’t understand, run away from them), and as for the former, well, you and the person you’re avoiding can get together and compare costumes!
#7 I love the idea of that specific larp, but I can’t spare a second to prepare for it, at least not at the moment. Tough. How important is your beauty sleep to you? Oh, sorry. Then – how important is it that you play a character with extensive wardrobe and/or gadgets? If you can’t spare the time to read the intro documents, fine, you’re off the hook. But if the “time” you need is supposed to make your character look better on the outside… how good of an excuse can it really be?
#8 I don’t want to play that type of game, nor that one, oh-that-is-so-boring, thanks, but no… Suit yourself. No GM is going to plead with spoiled brats – it’s better if you don’t play anyway.
#9 I’ve never met a larper before. (Goes to hide somewhere in the bush.) Are you really sure? (I could compare it to the boring old “but I don’t know any gay people” trope, but I would really like to keep my breakfast, thank you very much.) Sure, larpers are not always open with their hobby, and some larpers (like geeks) appear unnaproachable at first sight, but you’ve got a resource on your side that a ton of people have used before – the internet. Google. Find local events. E-mail people who seem like your (potential) type of player or GM. If there’s a sci-fi convention in your area, your chances of meeting a larper – or getting someone to point you at one – could shoot through the roof. And once you find yourself in the same room as a larper… well, we’re all really, really friendly cannibals.
#10 Maybe when the kids are older… This one counts as a serious one, too (see above, under work and other real-life thingies). While almost anything is possible if you’re willing to do it, I’d never dare argue in favour of bringing toddlers to larps. Still, the “older” part of the equation is yours to decide. I haven’t played so far with kids around, but I’ve heard tales of families coming together at fantasy events, sharing a tent, the older kids roleplaying their parents’ page etc… who knows what idea your family might think of?
#11 I just plain simple don’t feel like it. Well, good for you. But sometimes, the “I don’t feel like it” realization is more important than you could imagine. Larping takes a lot of effort, and when we’re not up to our best, it can hurt play both for us and our co-players. You should just make sure not to miss a posibly great event just because you didn’t have a good enough breakfast to start the day with (what is it with me and breakfast today?) – or, in other words, laziness is no excuse.
#12 I have a medical condition. How serious? I have a larping colleague who larps like a pro after knee surgery (just avoids running and the like), I have another one who started larping in the first place to avoid consequences of the sitting geek lifestyle. One of the most run larps in Croatia (the wonderful Love is Blue chamber larp) requires you to just sit and talk for 60 minutes. I’m sure there are larps adaptable even for people with more serious (physical) conditions. Not all of us say “running in the woods with swords” when we say “larping”.
#13 There was a flood and it took away half of the terrain – oh, screw it. Some things just can’t be helped.
Still think your excuse is good enough?