Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's LARP Resolution

Winter gives us time to catch up, rest, and prepare for spring. It also gives us time to take a deep breath and reflect both on the previous year and what we want to do in the coming one. Thus New Year's resolutions!

While most of us will have various real life goals, now's also a good time to think about what you want to do with your LARP career. I believe Bill had a post on this last year, but I think it's a great idea.

What do you want to do in LARP in 2012?

Maybe you want to make a new costume or reps, or maybe you want to hone your skills at fighting or throwing. Perhaps you've always wanted to come into game with a book of period songs, but never got around to looking them up. Now's the time to do all that crafting, research, and practicing! And in Ohio, we have a lot of different games, so if you want to try something new, keep an eye on their websites for the year's schedule and block it into your calendar.

Are you bored with your character? Think about creating goals that will keep you invested. Start sending feelers out to your plot people about what you want to do. Whether you want to get involved in plot, start up a personal quest, get involved with a faction, or anything else you can come up with; start working with someone to make it happen. They may not have anything for you until closer to the season, but plant those seeds now!

Sometimes, though, it's just time to retire an old character whose story is done. Don't hold on to a character that's not fun, this can just create a feeling of obligation and burn you out faster. You've got time to create a new persona that taps into an aspect of the game you haven't explored before. You could even bring some friends along! :)

Speaking of obligation, maybe you've been thinking about giving back to the game in some way. Get involved! They need you :) Even if it's on a small scale, the game probably has some way you can help.

Or, on the opposite end, maybe you're burnt out already - in that case, re-evaluate what you want to do with your play time. If you're just not interested in playing as often, that's okay. The community and constant momentum of a LARP tends to create the attitude that you'll let people down or get left out if you don't come to every event. Don't get me wrong, this is a good business model :) And it's also a little true - the world will move on if you're not there, sad to say. But if you just don't get the same kick out of using all your weekends to LARP; cut back. Maybe it's the heat or cold that gets you, or your characters don't mesh in one of the towns; you can start by holding back on those events. You can still stay involved by keeping in contact with other players and staff, and continuing goals for your character. But don't ruin your weekends by forcing yourself to go to games where you won't have fun. Play at your own pace.

On the staffing side, LARPs will always need volunteers, but if you are coming to think of each event with dread, maybe it's time to find a replacement or scale back your involvement. Be honest about it. It's better to be upfront than to gradually just stop contributing without telling anyone, or to quit suddenly when the game's in full swing.

There are lots of things you can do to improve your game. After all, it is still a hobby, and the point is to have fun!

So what's your 2012 LARP resolution?

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