There has been many accusations of LARPing (on Twitter) of late, and in their accusatory tone, I found an odd cultural symptom that begs articulation.
A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play. – Wikipedia
The sphere within which I find myself, online and intellectually, is full of people who attach themselves to political movements, philosophical movements and neologisms as a way to form an identity. I don’t think this is a bad thing, far from it. Someone telling me they’re an ‘Anarcho-Capitalist Duginite’ is far more helpful than saying they are left or right wing, or God forbid, liberal or conservative – those terms are so far gone, that for all practical purposes they’re meaningless. But the question of LARPing is a strange one, wrapped in fiction, fact and identity. Let’s take this definition apart.
A ‘role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters’. We’ve all played DnD, pretended to be the jacked Warrior Dwarf, or sly Elf etc. It’s fun, but there’s no real commitment, not in terms of one’s life. Yet, people are accusing others of being LARPers with regard to their real beliefs. The current assault is largely on traditional Catholics (trad-Caths) and other factions of the ‘traditional right’ (think Evola) and on ‘tradition’ in general. This comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention. Now, one reason I see that people are making accusations of LARPing is that modernity inherently disallows an original or fundamental belief system to be attached to one’s being or self. From the get-go modernity strips you of practically everything it can so you can be re-modeled into an atomized lump, who now has the ability to jump from belief to belief in a contradictory malaise without any repercussions.
This brings me to the question of fact and fiction in relation to both modernity and belief. See, the problem with modernity is that anything outside of its systematic forms of atomization is seen not as different, but as a fault, as incorrect…a glitch. Not believing in Democracy isn’t an opinion, it’s just plain wrong. Wanting a King is not seen as a legitimate idea, but has been subsumed into the world of Fantasy. Even Futurist ideas are being subsumed into the idea of fiction, everyone has become so complacent that this exact present is all they ever want, and anything else seems so odd and strange to them, that it comes across as incorrect, a fracture in the way reality should be.
As I see it, this is an assault on difference, it is an assault on belief, and worst of all, it’s an assault on sincerity. Let’s take the traditional Catholic as an example. The traditional Catholic believes in a multitude of things which are in complete opposition to modernity. No sex before marriage, subtle ascetic ideals and general sacrifice. The trad-Cath example reveals exactly what it is modernity loathes about all ideas other than itself, the individual is altered from the stereotypical cliche idea of the individual into something more sincere.
Modernity’s individual is not sovereign, even though they think they are. They are a 2-dimensional machine of consumption and production whose individuality is related entirely to what one consumes and what one produces. The actual sovereign individual, the one which modernity hates, is one wherein their chosen belief system is consciously targeted at something higher, better, greater or beyond themselves, which of course means, their feats aren’t targeted solely at the improvement of their own physical comfort, which, if you’re a materialist subsumed into modernity, is practically you’re only outlook.
This brings me to the fictional part of LARPing, the part which allows modernity to decimate and belittle all other beliefs. See, modernity is actually pretty simple. Machinized libidinal desires are assimilated into an auto-catalytic system of assumed infinite progress unconsciously vectored towards pseudo-Utilitarianism. At least, that’s what man gets. Anything that doesn’t fit into that is either destroyed, deconstructed and brought back into the system or taken as a fiction. This last one is actually the most difficult to retrieve anything from. Destruction allows a rebirth, that which has been deconstructed can be reconstructed; but that which has become a fiction when it used to be fact, how does one retrieve that which is no longer – apparently – real? The atomized customers of modernity – its citizens – make accusations of LARPing, because that which they perceive is (to them) outside their perspective, and as such becomes a fiction.
To modern man the idea of not having rampant, thoughtless, promiscuous sex is so alien it leaves the world of sincere ideas and becomes fiction. He cannot stand that someone would adhere to such an idea so much that his only conclusion is that is must be fiction. These beliefs, traditions and cultures, in transforming into fiction, lose a lot of their potency. They can now be taken alongside children’s ideas and silly stories. Their sincerity is removed, and any actual partaking in these ideals is now seen as an ironic gesture.
Whenever you see someone make an accusation of LARPing, all you’re really seeing is someone come into contact with a belief or ideal which is more than 50 years old, which to them is ghastly. So ghastly in fact, that they simply cannot believe it can be or could have ever been ‘real’, and as such, they assume it’s fiction, and the person believing in it is LARPing.
There’s a way out of this of course, it’s actually quite simple. Believe your beliefs, stick to your principles and think about what it is you actually want, for yourself.
‘Are you a real Catholic?‘ is a meaningless question, for the person asking it already doesn’t understand what belief is if they have to ask such a thing, so forget about them, there’s only one answer that matters, the one you know to be true.
“Are you a real-”
“Let me stop you there. This entire conversation is now reliant on your definition of real and by extension, reality. Which is more than likely synonymous with the majority of people’s reality. A brazen, systematic, calculated and hyper-rationalised materialist lie, which is the metaphorical equivalent of someone smothering their senses and praying to their TV.”
Are you a real Catholic? – Yes.
Are you a real Druid? – Yes.
Are you a real Occultist? – Yes.
Are you a real [insert anything other than mindless hedonistic consumption here]? – Yes.