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A few days ago I stumbled upon LARPing, and was instantly drawn in to it. The clothes, the characters, the weapons, the stories, all of it. But, of course, if there were no problems, I probabky wouldn't be writing to you. A, i'm considered pretty young for LARP, so a girl like me among dozens of people in their 20s and 30s fighting or talking with a "tiny" person would probably feel off. B, I have social anxiety, which as most people know makes it a bit harder(sometimes a LOT harder) to be around and converse with people.

Making/buying LARP clothes and gear isn't much of a problem, but i'm also nervous that if I begin LARPing and tell my friends, they'll lock me out and/or ostracize me for doing this. The original reason why I want to LARP is because i'm not me, i'm someone else, whether it be an elusive archer or a perky warrior, and I don't have to play by society's rules.

Am I hopeless, or is there something I can do?

Thanks!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! We want to help, and there are plenty here experienced with social anxiety, reluctance disclosing our hobbies to others, and esacpism. However, I suspect your post may get put "on hold." You seem to have a couple of intertwined concerns, and it's not exactly clear what problem you're looking for a solution to. It may be worth taking the tour and reading a few other LARP-tagged questions to get a sense for what questions work well and tend to get good answers. You could also pop into Role-playing Games Chat where I'm sure you'd find help massaging this post into a workable shape. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 27 '16 at 13:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ In point (B) you mention social anxiety, but it's not entirely clear to me why you mention it. Is it a concern with approaching/integrating with a group of LARPing strangers? If so, these two related posts (1 and 2) may be interesting reading. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 27 '16 at 14:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am upvoting this question in hopes that you register and gather 20 rep required to visit our Chat, which is a safe, inclusive space where we discuss questions that do not fit the site very well. It might be difficult for the community here to answer a question formulated in such an open-ended way, but this is a question that is asked a lot and I greatly hope it could be (finally) answered. I implore you, come, discuss it, see that there are people who genuinely want to help with no strings attached. Many of us were where you are. \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr Jul 27 '16 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey, so I just voted to put your question on hold, and I wanted to explain why. As people have mentioned above, there are a few things that are a little unclear in the question, and having it on hold means we can get more detail so answers are more specific to the problem you're trying to solve. Having a question on hold is not a bad thing at all, and I'm confident with yours that with a few extra details it will easily get reopened. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Jul 27 '16 at 15:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh and but "unclear" we do not actually mean that you should come forward with your anxiety or details about particular social challenge. We would probably be able to answer the question better if we knew what sort of LARP that is, what fears or reservations you have and whether they are speculative or happened previously. \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr Jul 27 '16 at 15:32
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I dabbled a bit when I was in my 20s, but I am not a LARPer. This answer is mainly based on observation of my wife's years in the hobby.

My wife is a LARPer, for about 10 years now. In real life she is often shy and introverted, and even among good friends she remains quiet. I have to be careful in social situations because I tend to be very talkative and I'll edge her out of conversation if I get carried away.

But when she LARPS... she's a different person. I have watched her, live and sometimes on video people shoot at the events. You would not recognize the shy woman. She becomes the barbarian dwarf, shouting insults and challenges at her enemies; or the silent assassin who the entire community all fear for her stealth and her willingness to kill anyone for any reason, especially if money is involved; or the crazy half-fae, traipsing through the village dancing around fights while she shouts cheery nonsense; or the bitter ritualist... or whichever character she's portraying that weekend.

LARPing is her avenue for expression and escape. She makes the costumes, and adopts the persona. It's also helped her with her shyness in real life, as she's become more confident in her interactions.

Regarding your age/gender, most LARPs I've seen - and the fantasy one my wife attends definitely fits this mold - seem to have a more even mix of genders than tabletop, and quite a range of ages. My wife is nearly fifty, and she gives rides to young men and women in their teens and twenties frequently. In fact, a few years ago, she somehow convinced a couple of our daughter's friends from high school to try it, including my daughter's boyfriend, and now they all go regularly.

Regarding your friends... I'm not the best person to give an opinion. I've always been open about my hobby. I get books delivered at work and I tell anyone who listens what I do for fun. Even my shy wife is open about it. Sure, some people think its silly, or nerdy - but you can't live your life worried about what other people will think.

Go out and have fun.

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It seems you actually have two problems:

  1. You are scared that you might have difficulties to do the interactions while larping.

  2. You are scared about telling your friends you do larp.

Interactions while LARPing

As you said, "I want to LARP (...) because i'm not me, i'm someone else". Playing a game, even a LARP, is not the same thing as interacting with real people. If you didn't experienced it you can't already know if you will be uncomfortable while playing.

What I recommend to you is to start with a short LARP, so if it becomes a bad time at least it would be a short bad time. Of course there is no need for it to be bad, hopefully it will be very cool !

Concerning your age, it depends on how young you actually are but the ones organizing should be able to tell you whether it is a problem or not. Some LARP may involve people of any age, while some are definitely not designed for too young ones.

Telling your friends

If you really are scared, you simply can... not tell them. You don't have to tell them every detail of your life. Did you hear about the geek social fallacies ? Play as you like to, and maybe some day you will be more comfortable telling them, for now just tell them "I am doing something personal this weekend, sorry I won't be at XXX's birthday, don't want to talk about it for now." If they insist, joke about being a superhero with a secret identity and not wanting them to know about for their own safety. If they have some social empathy they should understand you really don't want to share that with them.

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