Cosplay and LARPing: Bringing All the Excitement of Cloud Video Gaming To Real Life
The mechanics behind why video games in general, and cloud gaming in specific, are so addictive are simple to understand. The ability to interact with a situation completely different than those found in normal life, effectively putting any problems or decisions you have on your plate aside for a time and releasing anger and tension while playing, can be intoxicating.
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What if you could take things a step further? Instead of being forced to interact with your surroundings in only a virtual capacity, what if you incorporate them into real-world events? The excitement and freedom felt while playing video games could easily be heightened by an order of magnitude if put into a scenario where it is acted out physically, as opposed to virtually.
Enter cosplay and LARPing.
Cosplay is the action of dressing up as one of your favorite characters from video games, comic books or movies. LARPing, which stands for live action role playing, is exactly what its name indicates: acting out different scenarios based on popular media in a real-world environment.
Both cosplay and LARPing have been around for quite a while. The first instance of cosplay can be dated back to 1939, from the first World Science Fiction Convention. The first instance of LARPing, a game called Dagorhir, emerged in the 1970s and is still going strong today.
The worlds of both cosplay and LARPing have grown into enormous activities, especially within the last decade with the rise of cloud gaming. Initially, the primary focal points were comic books, movies and television shows. However, as more and more video games began garnering huge followings, cosplay and LARPing events and activities associated with this form of medium began to emerge.
PAX East, one of the premier yearly cloud gaming events, will include a contest this year designed specifically with the cosplayer in mind. Wizard World St. Louis, an event associated with ComicCon, also held cosplay contests this year, with participants receiving prizes in many different categories.
Given that a large amount of preparation and planning has to go into them, LARPing events are usually much more localized. The LARP Alliance provides a complete list of national LARPing events, as well as those broken down by state.
Participation in both cosplay and LARPing requires the need for special gear. With cosplay, this means a costume mimicking the specific character you are emulating, thus its shortened name from costumed play. These costumes can be hand made, or purchased from a number of different places online.
With LARPing, not only do you need a costume to participate, many times you will also need specialized and safe weapons. For example, Sabertron, a new Kickstarter project, is a foam sword that acts much in the same way as a laser tag weapon, only with a sword instead of a gun.
No longer are we forced to sit behind a computer if we want to take on the roles of the video gaming characters we know and love. Now, with the extreme proliferation and attention these video games enjoy, you can jump into a costume and take your gaming to a whole new level. Do you enjoy cosplay or LARPing? Let us know in the Comments section below!
By Joe Pellicone