The Out of Character project is an experiment for me in actively listening to what other LARPers are thinking, what their experience is, and how they look at LARP. The process of interviewing and posting the results of those interviews is a way to place some structure around that process. And, of course, I hope that a few other people might find it interesting.
As I was editing the video for NELCO Question 1: How do You Define LARP?, I was questioning who the audience for this video was, and who the audience for the Out of Character project was in general. I thought in general that the content I would be producing would be of interest to kind of person who attends NELCO or Intercon, as well as other LARPers. Additionally, though, each question might have content specific audiences. For the first question – How do you define LARP? – that audience might include people who might never have heard of LARPing.
So, one day during a snow storm, I went and got stuck at a Stackbucks. It was very quiet, mostly empty due to the snow. There were still a few people coming in, but few enough to be remarkable how slow it was. The people who did come in, and the staff that was already there, were being quite friendly and commiserating over the snow storm situation. And they had a few extra minutes, as they dallied in the warmth.
I used this opportunity to ask a few people if they had ever heard of LARP. Most had heard of it, but only had a vague impression of what it was. One said that she had a “very pretty” girl friend that had gotten into it – and that it was surprising to find that out. After talking for while, I asked if they would help me out and take a look that the video.
The reactions were positive, in general. A couple people said that they might want to try LARP – that the video changed their impression of what LARP was. This was gratifying in a way, and helpful in making a few small changes to final edits. It also left me with the impression that I might want to seek out a few people from the non-primary audience for each question and see what they have to say. And the thought that I should film it… but maybe I should just do one thing at a time.