By Caden Kiedrowski –
On the rain soaked Green this September an unusual thing happened here at RMC. Droves of people flocked to this open field on a Friday afternoon and participated in the L.A.R.P.-ing event Rocktivities put on. In no time at all, the Green was transformed into a mock battlefield, and curious onlookers gathered to watch the spectacle. I soon found myself bombarded by questions from the onlookers and participants alike. Three essential questions came up the most: what is L.A.R.P.-ing, why do you do it, and how can I get into it? This article aims to answer all three.
What is L.A.R.P.-ing? The easy answer to this is that L.A.R.P.-ing is playing dress up with your friends, whom you proceed to fight with foam weapons. L.A.R.P. stands for Live Action Role Playing, and there are a few forms of it, including the one done on the Green this September. The form of it we did is by far the most fun and the safest, and is commonly referred to as Amtgard. SCA and Belegarth are other forms of L.A.R.P.-ing which include grappling and real weapons, while excluding fantasy aspects such as magic. They are fun in their own right, but they are more difficult to get into. Amtgard, and the variations of it used here in Billings, are fun and easy to participate in. L.A.R.P.-ing is a lot like playing out a game of Chivalry, World of Warcraft, or Skyrim in real life, which is why it is so fun and alluring to a full spectrum of people.
Why do we do what we do? They answer varies from person to person, but in general, it is because it is incredibly fun. Whether you enjoy dressing in medieval garb and acting like another person, destressing and exercising through the crucible of combat, or just watching, L.A.R.P.-ing is stupendously fun. I personally enjoy L.A.R.P.-ing for all the reasons above as well as another underlying feature of this hobby. The communities of people you meet are the kindest, most welcoming people I have ever met. If you think there isn’t someone out there like you, who likes the same obscure comics, movies, or games, prepare to be surprised. The community I help manage in the Heights is like a family to me, and outside of L.A.R.P.- ing, we are all friends. We regularly have all kinds of social get togethers, including: fire-side storytelling nights, themed feasts, anime and movie days, long gaming nights, D’n’D sessions, and Magic the Gathering tournaments. If you were ever to need anything, this group of people would there for you in a heartbeat. It is because of the incredible community centered around it that I personally L.A.R.P.
At this point, you yourself must surely be asking, how can I get into this? There are two parks here in town, and the one I would recommend attending is the park in the Heights. They meet every Sunday from 4 pm to as late as circumstances permit, in Castle Rock Park. We are open to all good people of any age. If you need to borrow a weapon, we have plenty of loaners, and if you need pointers on garb, we have very talented individuals who would love to help you. A lack of experience and equipment are not something that should bar you from getting into this incredibly fun hobby. Even if you just want to join in on the community, we are always looking for new friends. If you have any further questions, feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 406-855-5245.