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Some People Don't Get Us. Do We Really Get Them?
[03/11/2009] [Chekers]

I was reading over the Sakura Moon Empire talk page the other day, and I think I have come to the realization that some people just don't get us. By and large, Amtgard is a welcoming place. We have members of all shapes, sizes and colors. Fat, skinny, tall, short, black, white, Asian, gay and lesbian. Not once have I ever seen someone turned away because they didn't like the way they looked. A person has never been banned from playing except under the most harsh conditions.

When I hear of someone coming to my park as a visitor, I get very excited. I actively want people to come out. It's exciting to have more people to play with! To think, even for a second, that someone else coming to play a game with me is unwelcome is a foreign concept. To think they wouldn't want more people if I go to play with them is also unthinkable. But sitting right there in front of me is my answer: people actually think this way.

Thinking back, I remember I have actually come across this. I went to another local larp and tried to get involved with them. They seemed so similar that I felt I should fit right in. Not so. The games were very similar, but there were key differences: I swung too hard, my weapons were too light, I was too fast. What I really think the issue was that I was trying to force my way of playing on them. I was very proud of my ultra-light, and I wanted them to see the future! To them, though, I was some random guy interrupting their game and trying to force my style of play on to them. As far as they were concerned, it was not fun to play with me. I get that now... but back then I really, honestly did not see it that way. I thought they were jealous.

Right now, I am seeing a big push for cross-gaming. I believe we have seen the future and it involves alot of cooperation with games similar to our own. I am actively seeking out other larps (35 so far!) in my area and I will be trying to get cross-gaming interaction. I believe we can have alot more people to hit with sticks if we can keep a few things in mind:

1. When playing their game, you are playing their game, not ours.

2. When you first go out, ask to borrow their weapons and fight with them. Showing them the future that is ultra-lights can come later... much later.

3. Be mindful of unintended slights. Just because we do it one way does not make it better.

4. Find out if they actually want to play games with you. Some people just want to play with their own ball.

5. After you get to know them for a while, figure out how you can start cross-gaming. If they are more focused on roleplaying, make up a storyline and bring it up to their leadership. If they are much more interested in fighting, figure out how you can have a friendly war. Determine where your games are similar and build the rules from there. If you have already shown you are willing to work with them, they will be more open to working with you.

6. Do not go to other games to recruit. Go to cooperate with them.

7. We all really want the same thing: go out on weekends in funny clothes and beat up our friends. They can be your friends too.

Please, if anyone has anymore ideas about how we can cooperate with other larps, feel free to post your ideas. This is meant as the start of a discussion. Cross-gaming can be a great boon for Amtgard if we can do it correctly. Brennon has already shown that we have the means to do this. I already see it starting.

As it stands, some people won't like us. Hell, I don't like us sometimes. We might not even like some other groups. But if we can cooperate then maybe, just maybe, I get to smack some more people around. That's all I really want.

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