Author: Tara M. Clapper

Love, Longing, and Ancestry: Interview with ‘Kurt Seyit ve Şura’ Author Nermin Bezmen

If you’ve known it, you’re fortunate: a love that never ends, even when you’re torn apart by careers or distance or life circumstances – possibly even surviving the end of the relationship itself. This describes “Seyt and Shura” (“Kurt Seyit ve Şura”), a Turkish television drama exploring the lives of a Russian aristocrat and a Turkish soldier from Crimea loyal to the tsar. Set in 1916 and forward, the romantic historical drama begins in St. Petersburg (then Petrograd) and takes the viewer on a tumultuous journey to Alushta, Crimea all the way to British-occupied Istanbul. A few episodes in, I was...

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There’s a Wizard School in England: All About LARPing at Bothwell

Hey, LARPers and wannabe wizards: there’s a new wizard school in town – in England, specifically, and it’s called Bothwell School of Witchcraft. Spoiler alert: if you’re interested in falconry and able to be in England from August 11-13, 2017, this might be the LARP for you. Read on: For those new to this type of experience, LARP (live action role play, often known as LRP or live role play in the United Kingdom), provides participants with the chance to immersively portray a character in an agreedupon setting (in this case, wizard school) with a set of rules for play....

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Shuttering Our History: A Look at National Park Closures in Philadelphia

When you think about national parks in the United States, it’s likely you’re reminded of beautiful expanses like Yellowstone. However, our nation’s parks are various and inclusive of urban sites like Independence National Historical Park in Old City, Philadelphia. On March 14, 2017,’s Aubrey Whelan reported on the closures of two sites in this park: Ben Franklin’s Print Shop, and the Declaration House, in which Thomas Jefferson penned our famous national document, the Declaration of Independence. Whelan’s sources cite the incoming Trump budget cuts and related understaffing as the reasons for the shuttering, and also mentions the related...

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Exciting Changes and Announcements From The Geek Initiative

When I started The Geek Initiative nearly four years ago, I wanted to take a negative experience and turn it into something I needed: a space for and about women in geek culture. Since then, I’ve met so many new friends, contributors, readers, and supporters: the very people who have helped build and maintain this community. We have hosted panels at conventions; we have covered events as press; we have been asked for input as geek culture experts. We’re really damn mighty, and I’m extremely proud of us. Once upon a time, I pressed some buttons in a semi-reckless...

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Farewell, Ceara: How I Said Goodbye to My LARP Character

LARP (live action role play) provides participants to experience collaborative stories and emotion. During my time at Seventh Kingdom IGE (a fantasy boffer campaign LARP set in New Jersey, USA), I had the opportunity to play Ceara, a fairy-turned-mortal character. Over the course of five years, my LARP character Ceara changed from weaponless princess to fearless warrior. Ultimately, I decided to stop playing a combatant character for multiple reasons, the main one being my health. Due to chronic pain, it just wasn’t good for me to spend all weekend outdoors, let alone on a battlefield. However, I also didn’t...

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Marketing 101: Personal Branding for LARP Organizers

When potential players evaluate LARPs (live action role playing games), they may look at the personal values, opinions, and politics of the LARP organizers. As a LARP organizer, it’s not always clear how to navigate this. With an established background in digital marketing and LARP marketing, I’ve learned that most passionate projects and businesses (most LARPs) are delightfully tethered to their creators. In this area, your personal brand strengthens (or harms) your LARP’s brand. LARP Owners and Politics: What Prompted This Post? This has been a hot topic in the LARP community recently. NERO Creator and LarpWorld Magazine Owner Joe Valenti...

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Remembering My Grammy: The Woman Who Inspired Me

I made this site because I believe women in geek culture deserve a space. And while every woman has different feelings about motherhood and their own mothers, I never realized how much liberation I could find in the sheer act of creating this space. This virtual spot means a great deal, even if it’ll never be perfect and it gets attacked a few hundred times per day (sometimes randomly, occasionally not). Elevating women who create art and providing a meaningful, safe space for expression is important. But beyond a need to be heard and a desire to accommodate even more...

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Rolling an Alt: Facing Fears of LARPing as an Alternative Character

Committing to an alt (alternative character) at your main boffer combat fantasy game can be a scary business for several reasons. I’m preparing an alt for an upcoming LARP (live action role playing) event, and I’ve identified a few fears that others may share. Below are a list of these fears as well as my solutions or ways of coping with them: I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on how I RP my main LARP character. What if I don’t do as well as my new character? The compliments I’ve received about LARPing were about my skill and abilities....

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