TO WATCH, CLICK HERE: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/my-weird-hobby/on-demand/62775-002
It’s not often you get to see how the ‘real world’ views LARP on a mainstream channel, but our collective war cries and magical chants seem to have got the attention of Channel 4, who followed Morton and Dumby while they were playing Aftermath, a smaller fantasy system based in the South East. AM (as it’s known as by its players) is marked for the high-combat, high-fantasy core of the world, which the players have a lot of say in sculpting. It’s a smaller system, which while it may lack in set dressing, makes up for in plot, as the plot team are usually there every event, and so can tailor the entire weekend according to player action. Something you just can’t get at a big system.
This documentary short reminded us of some of the more poignant parts and reasons that we continue doing this mad hobby, especially in those trying moments of set-up or take-down when the only question circling your brain is ‘why the hell do we do this?’ after a tent pole won’t go up, or it’s raining, or you haven’t got enough beer for the whole weekend because Asda was closing. It’s nice to be reminded that LARP really is about playing pretend, and having a whole gaggle of fun running around a field hitting your friends with fake swords.
The very title, however, does bring it home as to how LARP is viewed by the general population. ‘My Weird Hobby’ is a bittersweet description of it. On the face of it, running around the woods with foam swords, hitting people with facepaint and a tunic on DOES sound a bit weird. And then you go and play. And there’s not a jot weird with it. And maybe that’s why it’s easy to take the ‘weird’ moniker with a pinch of salt. Yeah, to most people, that’s weird. But actually, I think it’s down to a fear of looking weird, rather than being weird, which is why the next time your family or non-LARP friends ask you what you’re up to at the weekend you’re at an event, just tell them. They might even come along.
Thanks to Morton and Dumby for agreeing to be followed by a bunch of cameramen while trying to beat up monsters, you made it look almost sentimental. Good work, Channel 4. Even though you called us weird (which it is a little bit), you’ve shown our hobby off to the general public, which is a nice bit of recognition.
Aftermath have an event running on the 7th-9th October at Hammer Green Scout camp. More details can be found here on their Facebook event page along with booking details. You might event have a run in with the ghoooooost haaaaaands.
Now we’re looking forward to the Lorien Trust’s Sanctioned Event ‘Reclamation’, by the Martial Guilds’ on the 7th October.
AfterMath LARP – https://aftermathlarpuk.wordpress.com/
LT’s Sanctioned event ‘Reclamation’ – https://www.facebook.com/events/517245015133493/