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Live Action Role Playing to be Hosted on ESPN


Live Action Role Playing, or “LARPing,” is serious business.

Or at least, it’s about to be.

While LARPing has always been considered more of a game than a sport, ESPN began to take an interest in this imaginative fantasy game after noticing the large, if not scattered, following the game has obtained over the years. The rules and styles for LARPing vary greatly between groups of players, but the main idea is that the players each act out a character in a fixed setting, such as medieval, Victorian, western, etc…, and play the game as if they were that character. The most common form of play is the medieval LARPing, where the characters battle each other with foam weapons of all kinds.

Last Sunday, ESPN announced that they were throwing their hat into the ring with this so-called “sport.” Since then, debates have spread like wildfire over whether or not the game could be even considered a sport, and if so, if should it be commercialized and broadcasted.

“It will take a good deal of shoring up,” said ESPN representative David Hatch. “There’s not nearly enough rules as is, and we need to make sure it is marketable to the general public.”

While this is seen as a boon for many serious LARPers, other long-standing players have serious complaints.

“It’s becoming WAY to commercialized,” said LARPer of five years, Ethan Hawthorne. “Everything becomes less awesome when the general public gets involved. If [it] keeps going where it is right now, I’m going to sound the retreat to my mom’s basement. I hope she has cookies ready for me when I get home. Oh! Those chocolate chip ones! Or maybe the white chocolate macadamia nut. Thems are good!”

But commercialization isn’t the only problem. Even those who wholeheartedly welcome the media attention are beginning to show some concerns, mostly with the level of violence that will be involved in the games.

“They better regulate it!” said six year LARPer Elizabeth Gem. “I don’t want someone throwing a frickin’ tomahawk at me.” In addition to this, one of ESPN’s own employees, who chose to remain anonymous, said that they were concerned that the days of Roman gladiators were being resurrected through this idea, slowly but surely. In response to comments like these, ESPN announced that they had no intentions of making this a blood sport, and that all weapons would be regulated and made of foam-like materials.

“We don’t want people getting seriously hurt,” said Hatch, “but in all honesty, this will be far safer for the players than many other sports, especially football.”

ESPN announced that it would take some time, probably the rest of the year, to get everything setup for the first broadcasted LARP competition. Until then, LARPers are encouraged to form teams and sign up to be involved.

“We really hope for a big turnout,” Hatch stated. “But we may have to find a way to coax the players out of their basements, dorm rooms, and computer chairs.”

Dandabear, Panda Press, May 31st, 2011.

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Categories: Breaking News
  1. Molly
    May 31, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I’m willing to get a team together. Hopefully I can get FunNoodle to sponsor us.

  2. Jon Wolfe
    May 31, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I’m getting Terex to sponsor my team and supply us with steel trebuchets.

    Unhand thee foul nave and prepare to have thine own buttresses besieged!

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