Is LARP like ‘Role Models?’

LARP armor helmet

LARP organizers and experienced LARPers have heard this question more than once: Is LARP like Role Models? Those new to LARP might have a genuine interest in this topic.

In the hit film Role Models, the two main characters (Wheeler and Danny, played by Sean William Scott and Paul Rudd) are ‘condemned’ to community service at an organization called Study Wings – not entirely unlike a Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter.

At Sturdy Wings is Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a teen with parents who are concerned about his primary social activity: LARPing. The movie explores LARPing as it relates to Augie’s life.

LARP in Role Models

Yes, there are boffer weapons. There are also cheesy costumes and funny costumes; people who take the game too seriously and other players who clearly use it primarily as a power trip. While there is some role play, it is seen primarily as a war game-type setting with an emphasis on post-game feasting and social discussion.

There are elements of regular LARP present in the Role Models version of L.A.I.R.E. Real LARP absolutely contains whiny and entitled players and some LARPs are unfortunately limited to small parks and parking lots, especially here in the United States.

LARP in Role Models isn’t about being LARP accurate, and many LARPers have been concerned about this facet. LARP in Role Models is about self-acceptance and understanding others and their reasons for being who they are…even if they are hidden beneath a ton of odd fantasy clothing.

The reason this topic has become so much of a discussion is likely due to the fact that it is one of the only LARP representations out there – and certainly among the first to be presented in a more mainstream format.

What do you think about LARP in Role Models? Is it like or unlike your LARP experience?

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About Tara M. Clapper 288 Articles
Tara is a lifelong geek and the founder and publisher of The Geek Initiative. Her interests were forged in an early appreciation for "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Jurassic Park," and many historical fiction and fantasy novels. Tara is a game designer, LARPer, and frequent convention attendee. The author of over 1,000 individual blogs, her content has been featured on HelloGiggles,,, and The Billfold. She holds a B.A. in English from McDaniel College and has attended many events as press (including New York Comic Con). Tara has a professional background in marketing and publishing. She lives in the Philadelphia area. A Marvel fan, her favorite superhero is undoubtedly Thor. View her portfolio at:

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