Armed with a weapon sitting concealed inside a abandoned house you shoot your friends for fun. The world is filled with role playing opportunities, and not all of them scream “LARP!” at you. Take airsoft as an example of a popular hobby. In order to participate in a made-up “war” scenario, one must don military garb and brandish a weapon capable of discharging harmless plastic pellets. The competition has you fending for yourself in a free-for-all, or pits you against two or more groups vying for the same objective, like capture the flag. However, if you refer to someone playing airsoft as “larping,” you should be ready to be shot.
Airsoft was created for Japanese gun enthusiasts who were not legally allowed to own firearms. Since it is now possible for more people to take part. Take the flag, rescue the captives, and territorial battles were only a few examples of how the game’s rules and structures evolved over time. Several players, as the games progressed, added little details to their outfits in order to stand out more clearly on the battlefield. As time progressed, so did the game’s complexity. So, for instance, “Dr. Kowalski is being held in an abandoned factory, and you must break into it and free him. The doctor will next give you directions to the compounding pharmacy.” The LARP community missed an opportunity to embrace airsoft when it had the chance, when role playing and NPCs were initially introduced.
Regardless of where you grew up, most people played some kind of “army” game. Older larpers might remember playing games like “cowboys and indians,” or another type of pretend war game as kids. You were LARPING before you even knew it was a thing.
Live Action “Army” Role Play or just MISLIM
There are two main types of Airsoft games: speed-based games called “Speedsoft” and “Milsim” games. As a company, Speedsoft cares largely about bottom line results. Kill the competition with a volley of bullets. Milsim, on the other hand, may include intricate weekend-long imaginary operations with ranks and goals. Like real military soldiers, players may choose whether or not to obey instructions. LARPers make up the Airsoft Milsim community, whereas athletes make up the Speedsoft community. Greater numbers of Speedsoft than Milsim gamers may be found. However, they are both known under the umbrella term “airsoft.” If you ask, “Isn’t airsoft simply LARPing army?” you may expect to be shot, with a BB. Check out a popular MISLIM game at Borderwar.cz
What if there was a LARP where the emphasis was on building a plot and introducing Airsoft guns to the mix? One such organization is the WASTE airsoft LARP in Michigan, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting. They use both foam and airsoft firearms. This style of LARP adds fiction to a MILSIM. for example zombie survival scenarios.
Should you ever find yourself debating this with friends, whether or not those who play airsoft are role-players at the end of the day you are all larpers!
If, you like to know more about airsoft, check out airsoftcanada.com