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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

A 38 hour break from reality

Larp+requires+participants+to+stay+in+character+for+almost+48+hours+while+preparing+for+the+next+zombie+attack.%26%23160%3B+LARPers+come+from+various+backgrounds%2C+leading+to+a+unique+atmosphere.%26%23160%3B+Scenes+differ+each+month%2C+encouraging+creativity.
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Larp requires participants to stay in character for almost 48 hours while preparing for the next zombie attack.  LARPers come from various backgrounds, leading to a unique atmosphere.  Scenes differ each month, encouraging creativity.

A post-apocalyptic world where zombies come to life and sword fights occur with no way out.
For 38 hours, this is the world of Dystopia Rising.
Dystopia Rising is a national Live Action Role-Play, or LARP, organization. There is a branch in Texas run by Dystopia Rising and more than 100 people from across the state drive to Belton,Texas for the event.
Andrew Hoertt, nuclear engineering junior, said Dystopia Rising has events in states other than Texas, including Oklahoma, Arkansas and a new branch opening soon in New Mexico. The local LARP group in College Station is called Live Another Life.
“[Dystopia Rising] has directors and storytellers for each state branch,” Hoertt said. “These are the people who choose what game the event will be. The current game we are doing is Dystopia Rising, a post-apocalyptic horror zombie event.”
Hoertt said the monthly Dystopia Rising event consists of camping out and staying in character from arrival on Friday until Sunday afternoon.
Bryan Conlee, mechanical engineering senior, said a bell will ring at 10 p.m. on Friday signaling everyone to change personalities to the character they have chosen to become.
“Aside from not being able to break out of character for 38 hours, the game really does feel like its own universe,” Conlee said. “If I am at the event and I want a new weapon, I have to go find somebody who I can buy it from, then somebody who can make it and then somebody who can get the materials to make it.”
According to Conlee, in a LARP scenario, you create your own character from scratch and utilize the theme of the game to build up your character traits. You research what the world is like and then build on that.
“You can have weapons, an accent, and create your own costume,” said Conlee.
Morgan Weaver, wildlife and fisheries sciences junior and member ofLive Another Life, said she watches YouTube videos of people with the attributes she wishes to embody in her persona to prepare herself to be in character for extended periods of time.
“It can be very tough to stay in character for 38 hours,” Weaver said. “It is constant improv and you never know what could happen while you are there. It could be 3 a.m. and zombies may come attack your tent.”
Hoertt said because the event is widely popular, participants, by choice, all remain in character upon entering the campsite, leading to an atmosphere that is entirely unique.
“When you’re dressing up in these ridiculous costumes and having to role play, it is hard to do it with 10 people but when we go to these events with over 100 people and everyone is in character, that is when it feels very real and makes LARPing enjoyable,” Hoertt said.
Conlee and Weaver said they heard about LARP through their friends and decided to give it a try despite hearing misconceptions other students had about the activity.
“You don’t have to be good at costume-making or talented in acting; once you go through your first LARP event you will get a hang of the world within LARP,” Weaver said.
Hoertt said he feels the main misconception people have about LARP is that LARP is nerdy.
“We aren’t just a bunch of nerds who go out in the woods and hit people with swords,” Hoertt said. “I love the game, but I go back for the community because everyone is so welcoming.”

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