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Archive for the month “August, 2012”

The Joys of LARPing

 

Once a month in southern part of New Jersey, a magical occurrence happen for three suns and two moons. During this time the steadfast brick wall between reality and fantasy crumble  peeling away of preconception of belief and the unknown. As the dust settles and the earth lays to a rest a new land is formed. This land  is full of nefarious necromancers and wise wizards. This land is full of  elegant elves and ominous ogres. This land is safe haven for the weak and the strong, the fast and the slow, the fearful and the fearless with every other imagination of being ever to be spun on the spinning wheel of creativity and wonder.

This land is Evermoore.

 After  two painful months away from the South Jersey based LARP( That’s Live Action Role Play Playing) Mystic Realms, I finally found my way back to the Glory of Guildenhall. I had picked out my  deep elf costume(always a work in progress) and made the heart wracking decision of what kind of ears to purchase (halfing, regular,  or incredibly long anime ears)  and was set for the weekend. On the first night, I was able to experience a side of LARPing that I have never touched before. I was able to NPC. 

NPC stands for non player character. A non player character is a person or thing that helps the storyline and is not character that earns status or point for completing tasks. This can range from being a happy mushroom that throws spores to a hero from an era long gone that needs the players help in fighting spirits.  NPC’s help characters earn gold/items and move the storyline along. They are the framework of the mighty building known as The Story. On friday was given the opportunity to play an ogre. The experience was incredible. It was as if I was able to finally see the wires behind the computer. Needless to say, I plan on doing it again.

In under 80 hours I fought killer ants, became a gypsy hunting ogre, and evaded semi sentient moving lava. I was able to experience a different world from different eyes and truly suck the marrow from life.  LARPing is not the an escape from reality, as many people are led to belive, but an augmentation of existence. Live Action Role Play for me is a portal to experience different people and emotions that would be difficult to imitate in my regular life. So far, I have only attended two events, so take my word with a large shaker of salt. Maybe I am completely wrong and I am still in the honeymoon phase, with the stress of reality of cold hard truth eventually bearing its fangs me.

I don’t think so though.

I have spoken with people, both older and younger, who have been  LARPing for years. It seems to me that going to these events have made their regular lives not fade into shadows, but brighten to the height of a million suns. One day I hope to be able to look back at this post not just with fond memories but also with the same enthusiasm that I have now.  I look forward to writing more and more about my adventures into this brave new world.

                                                                   -Grant
Live Any Good Adventures lately?

 

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Pictures of Possiblity

Oh God, I hope you are radioactive!

Today while I was walking home from the library(uphill none the less. SoCal is very hilly) I came across a spider hanging from its web, enjoying a freshly prepared fly for dinner. Beads of swear tiptoed across my face as a shoved my left hand into my pocket, fishing for my small grey camera. I almost never get pictures of bugs, especially arachnids. Like a zebra being stalked by half-starved lion in the plains of Africa, spiders seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to me wanting to take pictures of them. As my fingers clumsily changed the settings of the camera to adjust for the ever falling sun, my mind began to wander as my soul began to wonder.

What if this Spider is radioactive?

I know what you are thinking.   Get your nose out of the comic book and find yourself a girlfriend you damn geek(or boyfriend, we don’t judge). Just bear with the ramblings of a growing geek. What if the spider was a radioactive escapee from a lab?

What if it bit me?

What if it gave me powers?

What would I do?

I have come across many people who have wondered why Ben Parker had to die and why Peter has to go through so many hardships so early on. Very few heroes had such hardships after their back story was told. Being called a menace, getting turned down by the Fantastic Four, and so many bills. Would it not be better for him to just be in the right place at the right time and the sky’s open up for him?

Well, no.

Daydreaming as I took amateur shots of a spider in the dark led me to the conclusion that Peter Parker had to go through these hardships. If I received amazing powers without a reason to act, I would probably have done what he initially did. I would be taking the easy way out and cashing in on the success( I think in one episode of the 90’s show we meet a  Peter Parker who des just that). I came to the conclusion that although we don’t always need a reason to do good, sometimes a good push is needed to take the plunge.

Satisfied with my average photo and delightful daydream I walked home. In the dark. Apparently I don’t have the power to stop time while I day-dream. Who knew!

-Grant

(with great power comes great action shots. Nooo, that’s not right at all)

Under the Covers

 

Under the vast canvas of a slighty worn black comforter, the characteristic light from a chipped silver gameboy advance sp illuminated the darkness of my prepubesent room. The screen was blank though, an odd thing for any gameboy held in the slender hands of a boy to be. No, this gameboy had more pressing duties at end. Yes, this console was the lantern that lit the way towards knowledge. Under those covers late at night I read books about magical beings an places. Hudden from a candid world( and a mother’s after bed time rage) I would dive into a sea of wonder.

More than a decade (and many strong prescription glasses) later, I find myself still diving into the paper dreams that I found at a younger age. I found myself recently at the other side of the country and found myself(lets face facts, I was drawn to it by some mystical force) at a local library. At that library, a magician was doing an event based on the national summer reading programs theme for the summer, dreams. This magian was not only entertaining, but insightful. He pointed out that there are two types of dreaming. Dreaming when you are asleep, as in dreams, and dreaming while awake. Magic and getting into an amazing book is the latter. During both experiences, belief and reality are locked on suspended animations. Dangerous dragons and magical movements happen right before the eye and in the head. We are dreaming while wide awake.
I know that I talk about this alot, but I cannot stress this enough. Hug a librarian. They are the gate keepers and the  key holders and the sandmen to dreams and fantasies beyond your wildest dream. I have been involved some way or another with the library system for as long as I remember, and it has benifited my a thousan folds over.  The library is truly a place full of dreams and dreamers.

Dreams are todays answers to tomorrows questions- Edgar Gayce

-Grant (I dream of a world where a good live action Last airbender movie is made)

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