Media coverage about LARP (live action role playing) has picked up a lot in the past few years. I got into LARP when I met my husband several years ago (although I’ve been a lifelong geek, actor, writer, and role player). Like many LARPers, I would have been LARPing long before I started if I had known about it.

The first LARP I went to was dominated by men. The one I go to now is about equal as far as gender representation. I think different games appeal to different people.

That said, the recent increase in interest about LARPing presents LARPs, organizers, directors, and writers with the opportunity to get the gender issue right the first time around (or, even better, make it not so much an issue at all).

Previous Examples

Other matters of media, like TV shows about space exploration and comic books, have been evolving with the times. Back in the day, both TV and comic book writers did some progressive things as far as racial and gender equality, but we can still look back at old episodes and issues and find ourselves appalled at the differences between then and now.

LARP doesn’t necessarily have that problem. The acronym has only recently become semi-recognizable in mainstream culture in the United States. Instead of having to continually re-vamp characters and archetypes like major comic book publishers have to do, media about LARP can start off properly, reflecting an accurate, gender-equal representation.

While there may not be as many women as men at every Warhammer game or LARP, I have been to tabletop sessions and smaller LARPs that are more heavily populated by women. I participate in an online role playing group which is almost entirely female, although written entirely in a formerly male-oriented comic book universe.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you agree that LARP as a hobby has a unique opportunity to start off on the right path when it comes to gender equality?

Recommended representations of women in contemporary LARP-related media:
Realm of LARP (web series)
LARP: The Battle for Verona (book)
Role Models

LARP-related sites, organizations, and products featuring female writers and staff:
LARP Alliance