Leaving the Larp Closet

Come out of the larp closet in three easy steps: explain it to non-gamers using analogy, own it and forget about the haters, documentation doesn’t hurt. Advice from seasoned gamers.

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Ethan Gilsdorf on Gamer Shame

When I spoke to Ethan Gilsdorf about his new book, Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, we couldn’t seem to get away from the idea of gamer shame. Basically, many gamers feel guilty and ashamed of their obsession with LARP, World of Warcraft, etc.

In my own research on LARP, I’ve encountered a couple cases of gamer shame — a long-time LARPer who hides his hobby from friends he’s known for years, for fear of ridicule; a woman who doesn’t want people at her office to find out about her weekends in the woods, because LARP is hard to explain and at first blush, sounds like a child-like past time; gamers who treat other forms of nerdularity — massive multiplayer online games, Cosplay, and Rennaisance Faires — with ridicule. Continue Reading →

Review: Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

When I discovered that journalist Ethan Gilsdorf had written a book about gaming and fantasy culture, my first reaction was to curse his name for beating me to the punch. But if anything, Gilsdorf’s Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks proves that the topic of why people chose to inhabit imaginary realms is so meaty that a single book couldn’t possibly cover everything. Continue Reading →

Celebrities: Gaming Nerds Like Us

Gamers have officially entered America’s zeitgeist. World of Warcraft had more than 11.5 million subcribers — the same number as the total population of Cuba — at the end of last year.

It’s old news that Ted Raimi of Superman and more importantly, Xena: Warrior Princess fame is set to direct a WoW movie.  But more and more celebrities are coming out of the closet as hardcore gamer geeks.

This Daily Beast gallery (full disclosure: I contribute to the Beast’s Cheat Sheet) of famous gamers has a few surprise appearances — Dave Chappelle, Robin Williams, Curt Schilling — as well as well-known gamers such as Vin Diesel and Elijah Wood. Continue Reading →

Yes, I Want to Date Your Avatar

The inestimable Felicia Day, star of such fan-boy bait as The Guild and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, recently put out a new music video “Do You Want to Date My Avatar?” And the answer to that question is, yes, Felicia Day, I do want to date your avatar. Continue Reading →