LARPing around town

It wasn’t marauding and pillaging, it was LARPing on July 17 on the front lawn of the courthouse in Prince Rupert. A live action role play summer camp had kids outside and away from the screens. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions participation was limited to 18, including camp leaders, which is down from just less than 70 in 2019, Rob Gruber, organizer and owner of Good Time Games said. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Vander Doolen and Olivier Lavigne battle it out at summer activities in live action role play games on July 17, on the lawn in front of the Prince Rupert Court House. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Enjoying some time outside on July 17, 2020, are Prince Rupert kids Ryder and Vander Doolen battling it out on the court house lawn while engaging in a LARP (live action role play), summer activity camp. (Photo: Bo Millar/The Northern View)
Gottcha! Foam swords are used in LARP when attacking the ‘frenemy’ at summer camp activities, with Ryder and Vander Doolen in Prince Rupert on July 17, 2020. (Photo: Bo Millar/The Northern View)
Keagan Murphy swings his sword at summer camp activities in downtown Prince Rupert on July 17, 2020. He is part of live action role play games to keep kids occupied and entertained. (Photo: Bo Millar/The Northern View)
Jump larpers, jump. Summer camp participants, Riley Mellis and Owen Verde, dodge, attack and jump to avoid being disqualified from medieval battle style games at summer camp activities in Prince Rupert on July 17, 2020. (Photo: Bo Millar/The Northern View)
Peyton Closter is a warrior princess ready for LARPing battle on July 17, 2020 at a summer-time activity on the lawn in front of the court house in Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Live action role play summer camp participants Owen Davies, Riley Mellis and Vander Doolen, were watched by passersby on July 17, on the lawn in front of the Prince Rupert Court House. The LARPers took time away from their screens during COVID-19 to participate in limited number group activities outside. (Photo: Bo Millar/The Northern View)
Warriors, Owen Davies and Ryder attack the necromancer Jacob Gruber, in a live action role play medieval battle style game, hosted by Good Time Games, on July 17, 2020. The summer camp activities had youth battling with foam swords and shields on the lawn of the Prince Rupert Court House. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Warriors united in an epic LARPing battle on July 17, 2020 in Prince Rupert. The summer-time activities organized by Good Time Games, keep youth away from the screens and enjoying the action play outside. Camps are limited to 18 participants due to COVID-19 health and safety measures. (Photo: Bo Millar/The Northern View)
Battle cries and heroic combatants Johnny Falwell, Ben McDonald, and Ryder, could be witnessed by passersby on June 17,202 in Prince Rupert. The youth participated in live action role play games and summer camp activities hosted by Good Time Games. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Owen Davies claps his empty tankard with his sword in a battle cry while participating in LARPing summer camp games in Prince Rupert, run by Good Time Games on July 17, 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Good Time Games summer camp friends have a blast battling each other in live action role play games in Prince Rupert on July 17, outside the court house. (Photo: Bo Millar/The Northern View)
All are victorious after a LARPing summer camp session on July 17, 2020, in Prince Rupert, run by Good Time Games on the lawn in front of the court house. (Photo: Bo Millar/The Northern View)
Rob Gruber, organizer of LARPing activities for youth during the summer, calls to order with his conch shell participants of a live action role play summer camp on July 17, in Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

It wasn’t marauding and pillaging on the front lawn of the Prince Rupert Court House during the afternoon on July 17 with swords and battle axes, but it was mighty warriors LARPing about in summer-time activities.More than fifteen youth participated in the afternoon camp activity put on by Good Time Games.

Store owner, Rob Gruber said usually they have more than 65 participants. Respecting the COVID-19 health and social distancing protocols, activities are limited this year to only 18 participants, which include camp leaders and staff. Kids can join to play the board or card games and then have fun getting outside sword fighting to burn off some energy. The program runs for kids starting at age five and are held at various times of the day and week.

LARP – live action role play, is the participation in fictional fantasy games where players dress or take on the role of a character while reaching goals in the quest like games. LARP games can range in size from being a few hours in length with friends or take several day with thousands of people.

LARPs surged and became internationally popular in the 1980s, after they were first inspired by genre fiction in the 1970s.

Costumes can be as elaborate or as understated as a player is comfortable in, and can vary greatly from realistic to historical to steampunk and futuristic styles.

Gruber said most kids who participate bring their own gear, but some can be supplied. For safety purposes the swords are a made of a fibreglass core with foam latex forming the sword shaft. Gruber said the swords are ‘super safe and very durable’.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert stores team up to serve hot dogs, and opportunity

The Prince Rupert business which is in it’s 13th year, has been recognized globally by the Games and Manufacturing Association (GAMA) for excellence in organized game play. Last year the store was up against 21 other businesses from around the world for the prestigious recognition of ‘Outstanding Organized Play”.

“In 2019, they recognized our Swords of Sorcery and Heroes of Hawthorne programs as the most outstanding organized play in the world – globally. We got the award, which is huge,” Gruber said.

Winning the award was a feat of accomplishment, Gruber said. Never before had a store from a population of less than 100,000 been nominated for the award, so to win and have gaming stores from all over the word know of us in Prince Rupert was amazing, he said.

“It blew my mind. I’m not one to be short of words, but when I went up to accept the award I was speechless,” Gruber who went to Reno, Nevada to accept the award, said.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert residents jailed for “being a wallflower,” “too nice,” and “not selling enough cars”

K-J Millar | Journalist
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