Larp is such a special thing in the lives of a player. We buy clothes for larp, we plan weekend getaways for larp, we cook for larp, we love larp and sometimes we even cry for larp. Larp is like having a partner. I don’t want to dive to far into the rabbit hole of metaphorically talking about larp as a boyfriend, but there is a similarity there sometimes. And I think that each larper has felt it. What I do want to talk about is when it time to walk away from a relationship that isn’t right for you. Some people find their true loves with the first person they partner with. While others have to take a slice of different pies to get a taste for what they like. In a lot of cases people have multiple partners that fill special needs. I usually refer to larp as a video game or a book. Sometimes I want to play something different. I’m a gamer, but that doesn’t mean I’m modding out Fallout 4 all day, sometimes I love me some Sailor Drops (Sailormoon Bejeweled). Each of us gets something special out of larp. What larp I love, is not the larp that you love and that is perfectly fine! So many larps exist to be played and unlike a partner we don’t have to stay loyal to one that doesn’t fit our needs. It is important to remember that some larps mean very much to other people, and if you chose to leave a larp, its best to do it quietly.
What I enjoy at larp is roleplaying. I make complex characters meant to be unraveled by the people around me. I play these roles that are meant to be engaged. Another part of larp that I enjoy is the problem solving. I love figuring out what needs to be done and doing it! It is so rare in life that we get that much control over a situation. So it is a huge part of larp that appeals to me. I also love meeting new people, eating food and pretending that my cream soda is mead.
Recently, I went to an amazing larp. I left with such a trans-formative experience. Before I go into details about this new larp relationship, I want to talk about one I am walking away from. I wont give details on what larp, but I will say I have been playing for awhile and couldn’t get what I wanted out of it. This larp meant a lot to my friends. They grew up playing this larp and I wanted to experience it. This relationship meant a lot to them. Long story short, I did not have a good time. There was a group of people the rejected playing with me. They plotblocked me at every corner. They wouldn’t let me get involved. It wasn’t just me, it was the other new players as well. I was vocal about it to my friends and they would tell me “thats just how it is”.
I tried for months to get these people to budge, but as I did, they took their mistreatment out of game and it became really hard to even look at them. I was hurt and the only reason I kept going was the hope that I could “fix the problem”. Sometimes we get into relationships thinking we can fix the problems of others. After a long road of being hurt by their actions, it isn’t until the end we realize we can’t. These people really ruined the larp for me. It became such an issue that when I would engage in a plot line, I would be able to see straight through the story. Almost like I had the plot notes in front of me. A lot of the plot lines were just “so obvious”. Time after time, I would resolve the issue but people would laugh at me, turn their backs to my suggestions and wouldn’t take me seriously. It was frustrating. It broke my heart time and time again.
I internalized everything I was feeling. I figured it was my fault. I had larped so much I knew how to see the end of the plotlines. Maybe I was jaded or acting like a total b****? I thought myself to be the problem. That I was what was wrong with the situation. Everyone else seemed to have a good time.
We ended up getting trapped in a situation. We kept getting attacked by these people who could come and go out of the trap as they pleased. I asked if we could go through their portal and a group of players just laughed at me. They wouldn’t even pursue the thought that maybe leaving was as easy as jumping through a portal. For months we tried to break out of this trap and at the final event… the players got out through that portal. I cried that night. I was so upset. I couldn’t believe it! I had been saying it for months that we should do it! I would have done it to myself but no one was interested enough in helping me that they would tell me where the location of the portal was.
I told myself that was it. I wrote a farewell letter to the staff and removed myself from the groups. A bit dramatic but I did it quietly so I wouldn’t give people a reason to ask why. It was clear from the beginning that I didn’t fit in. The players didn’t like me, staff was recycling plot lines, and honestly.. it just wasn’t a good fit. I’m a little overdone on Fantasy larp. I’ve done so much of it that I’m not interested in playing that genre for awhile.
It’s important to note that I came to this realization after almost a year of mistreatment and a beautiful weekend of people welcoming me at a different larp. At this other larp, I was welcomed into the hearts of so many people. We all played against each other in a huge war game. Though when it came to the night, we were still able to party together. All of this while remaining in character. When I left that day I wanted to cry. The 100+ people had welcomed me. They wanted to play with me. They enjoyed playing with me.. and the best part? They all couldn’t want to play with me again. Everyone was so inclusive that it made me realize… I am not the problem.
Sometimes people fall into a deep depression when they roll over in bed and look at a partner that is not the person they saw themselves with. Sometimes its the other way around and they are extremely thrilled to be by that person’s side. When I wake up at this old larp of mine, I lay in bed for sometime. I wait for more of the event to pass, so that I can prepare for the continued rejection I get. When I was at this new larp, I didn’t want to sleep I was having so much fun! Real relationships in my life have taught me to communicate. To voice when I am hurt and what it is that has hurt me. Larp has taught me the strength that is needed to be honest. To know what is actually causing me pain and prepare me to adapt. I communicated to this larp about what was bothering me. Staff didn’t know how to handle the situation.. maybe they didn’t even know how much it truly bothered me.
The best we can do is try. Try out best to make things work. There isn’t a larp compatibility test in Cosmo magazine and there really couldn’t be. Like I stated before, some people can play one larp and that is all they need. Other people try many larps, searching for what they want. I enjoy many larps for different reasons. I learned that this one isn’t for me. It’s okay to hang up this costume and find something that fits better.
If a larp isn’t treat you well, tell the people who are directly causing the problems. Ask them to include you. If your problem is with the plot lines, invent your own. If you can’t find satisfaction there, its time to move on. Breaking up with a larp isn’t going to be easy. You might have to pack up everything from that larp in a box to the left. (Thank you Beyonce.) Consider donating those belongings to someone who could use them? Treat it like a real relationship. Give yourself some time to think about what you want out of a larp. Eat some iceream, join a gym? Give yourself some time to heal. The worst thing you can do when starting a new larp relationship is bring your baggage from the last one. I love new experiences and new larps.
What really motivated me to walk away was that I was taking up some of this larps time. I knew of a plot line that was going to be written from me.. I think I was told in hopes that I would keep playing. Its kind of like when a bad partner realizes you’re about to leave and they pull out all the stops to get you to stay. I don’t think that is fair for the other players. If I took on that plotline, it would have encouraged me to stay, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. There is a player out there that deserves that good time. That deserves the reward of that story. I don’t want to rob that from someone else like so many chances have been taken from me.
I can’t say for sure if anyone will be impacted by me breaking up with this larp, but its something I had to do for myself. If you are someone from the old larp and has questions, I’m willing to talk. If you’re someone who is from the new larp, thank you for giving me the relief that I can find happiness at larp again. Thank you for listening to me sad breakup post. My final thought on this is, “It’s not me, it’s you and that’s okay.”<3