I've been a part of a bunch of weird hobbies over the course of my life. I've been a brewer and a radio DJ. I've done theater and raced a Junior Dragster. I've been in weird acapella groups. And of course, I've been a LARPer and Table Top roleplaying gamer.
All of these groups allow you to make friends. I wouldn't discount any of them for making new connections or finding a group of people who you really like to talk to and hang out with. I still talk with kids I drag raced with a million years ago, and I still see some of my radio buddies. But there is something intrinsically...weird about LARP and relationships. Something I've never been able to get an answer on for what it does to build friendships and romance like no other hobby I've ever experienced. There is something legitimately weird about the whole thing, and I don't know why.
The friendships I've made from LARP have lasted my whole life. I started when I was 14, and the people I've met through LARPing are people I consider my closest and dearest friends. To this day, I still hang out with a good share of people that were at my first game. We don't play those games together anymore, but there was something about surviving things together, even fake things, that brought us together to form deeper friendships.
I have found love at LARP. I don't know how or why, but I got really lucky and found amazing people that want to spend their lives with me. I've found friends that I consider family now. And it's all because of this weird and fun hobby where we pretend to be other people.
We find each other while pretending to be someone else.
This all kind of distilled for me, this weirdness, at a friends wedding recently. I was honored to be a groomsman, and I had watched their relationship blossom at a LARP. They met through it, and then they found things about each other that allowed that love to blossom everywhere. And I looked around that wedding, and saw so many people I love that were all there for this strange confluence of moments. People meeting through a hobby, and their friends from that hobby coming together and supporting them as they set off on a new chapter of their lives.
As the night closed, Frank Turner's "The Ballad of Me and My Friends" blared through the speakers, and we all got together on the dance floor. There wasn't so much dancing, but more of this rhythmic wave as we all sang along and rocked back and forth. And then all parties involved got together to hug the new bride and groom. And at any other wedding, I wouldn't know when I'd get to see all these people in one place again. It would be months or years until we had a reunion. Probably another wedding or a funeral. But in this moment it was all perfectly clear. I'd see them all again next weekend. We'd all be together for the next LARP. And there is something amazing about that.
We found each other while pretending to be someone else.
Congratulations Michael and Catie. To many more games and many more years.