June 30, 2021

Pride Week: Finding Queerness in Larp

Hello! All this week Eurogamer is celebrating Pride with a series of stories examining the confluence of LGBT+ communities and play in its many different forms, from video games and tabletop games through to live-action role-play. Today, Evan offers an introduction to the ever-expanding queer larping scene.

Live-action role-play (larp) is often associated with people in fantasy outfits swinging foam swords, or gothed-out college students pretending they're vampires on weekend nights. But in a modern society saturated in genre fiction and also weirdly restrictive on what we might do with our bodies, larp is also much cooler than you think. This global entertainment medium transcends mere "entertainment": it helps us try out new identities and maybe keep a few bits of what we've tried. Those of us who larp must also engage with queerness and, might I add, everyone should at least try larping.

At the 2019 Intercon S convention, "the premiere multi-genre LARP convention in the world", a friend came up to me, dripping with sweat. "The room was full," they said in disbelief. "Just wall-to-wall queer larpers. There are so many of us now." My friend was referring to a meetup for LGBTQ-identifying larpers at a North American convention that, only a short time ago, required special content warnings for larp events containing "queer romance."

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