The lack of accessibility in LARPs

Article written by Meg Schley (That Chronic Illness Life) on Oct 22, 2019.

Hey Larpers,

I hope you’re having a lovely week.  Today, I wanted to talk about an issue that is near and dear to my heart: The lack of accessibility in LARPs.

Now, I can’t really speak for blockbuster LARPs. I’m a college student with limited funds, so I’ve never been able to get to one. I can, however, speak about LARPs in my area. And, honestly? It seems rough.

A lot of LARPs take place in campsites, which I understand. Isolated areas, plenty of room to run around…it makes sense. However, campsites are usually in forests, right? Forests are not known for having paved roads, and for someone who uses a wheelchair full-time, this is a problem.

I have to admit, it makes me feel left out. I want to participate in a medieval or post-apocalyptic LARP, and fight in epic battles. So far, though, I haven’t been able to. The local groups have been more than welcoming, but realistic in the lack of accessibility their sites offer. Luckily, there are a few solutions: I live in a city with a LARP group that’s dedicated to
equality and accessibility. As such, their games all take place in a perfectly accessible building, and they work with me to modify any game mechanics that might be tough to complete in a chair.

I’ve also discovered TikTok, a video-making app. There’s a pretty active OC and LARPing community there, which is perfect for people with disabilities: We can create characters and participate in stories without ever leaving our houses!

As grateful as I am for these solutions, they appear to be the exception, not the norm. If you run a LARP group, I urge you to think of people with disabilities when planning your next game. Just because we need accommodations, doesn’t mean we can’t be amazing players!

If you’d like advice on how to make your LARP more accessible, particularly for autistic people, wheelchair users, and/or people with mental illnesses, I would be happy to work with you.

Please send any business inquiries to thatchronicillnesslife@gmail.com .

Have a great week, LARPers!

-Meg :0)

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