“Leaving Mundania “
by Lizzie Stark
A nonfiction story about the crazy folks who dress up like characters from fiction and battle each other. Why do we participate in something so outlandish? What do people get out of this weird thing called larp? Lizzie wanted to know, and this book is the story of her finding out.
As an experienced larper why would I read a book about larping? Well, it is one of the only ‘mainstream’ books about larp. So choices are rather limited. But for someone who has been out of larping for a while, it was a wonderful return to a hobby and a passion. For many of the same reasons I started my Pintrest account and started shifting my twitter feed to notable people in larp, actually.
Reading “Leaving Mundania” I felt a powerful connection to the people interviewed. The kinds of emotional hurdles and challenges facing players in a sub sub culture invoked that feeling of connection. Hearing about their backgrounds and struggles, but the love they share for their experiences together re kindled something in me. It makes me long for a return. That passion and interest helps tamp down the anxiety associated with meeting new people.
If you’ve never heard about larp before there is a great amount of content in this book. You can go with the author on the journey of discovery. She starts with the assumption that outsiders usually have, that players in larps are lacking something and are strange for playing. By exploring and participating she finds that instead of lacking something, players are gaining something the world lacks. A personal connection, a deeper meaning, a relief of stress.
Experience players should also read the book. Particularly if your are tired of a regular larp routine. Sick of doing the same things? Stressed from the usual groups drama? Well there are other kinds of larps out there. There are interesting things going on out there in the world of larp, and it is becoming a ‘World of Larp’. There are new genres and new games to play, new thoughts and concepts. If you are tired of combat larp (or getting older) try a Con Larp. Try something that explores emotional concepts and values.
For me Leaving Mundania is going to become a touchstone for when I lose my spirit. This book explains why we larp, and reminds me of my emotional connections to larp. It will remind me that there are other kinds of larp to try, and wonderful things to embrace. Larp has been around since the 70’s and 80’s, but we’re just getting started. I feel like I am just getting started after 16 years.