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"To arms!" These Singaporeans gear up and battle in a real-life RPG, an activity known as "LARP" or "live-action role-playing". Photo: WK Wong; Facebook/@SGLARPTalesofEredyn

Got Such Thing In Singapore Ah: Live-Action Role Playing

"Got Such Thing In Singapore Ah" is a series that explores cool hobbies and interest groups that you might not know exist in Singapore.

Have you ever imagined after sinking hundreds of hours into an epic fantasy RPG that the battles could, well… come to life? No, just me?

Well, some Singaporeans take it beyond imagination. In fact, they literally take up arms and meet up in a real life RPG sesh called “LARP”.

LARP (Live-Action Role-Playing) is a game where the participants dress up in costumes and interact in a real-world environment, all the while in character. In short, LARP is what you get when the art of improv meets video games. For the gamers, there’s actual “combat” and you even gain EXP and Levels.

Think "Lord of the Rings" or "Game of Thrones"... in Pasir Ris park.

Interestingly, LARP isn’t a new thing. It actually started overseas in the '70s and grew in popularity in the '80s, and played mainly in the US, Europe and Australia.

Here on our Little Red Dot, there's a group called "Singapore LARP"!

According to one of the group's founders Khairuddin (or Din), his interest in LARP was sparked off by a love for RPG video games, martial arts, and "Dungeons and Dragons" (D&D).

“It was after I played a few battle games and did regular weapon sparring that I started to think about doing games with RPG elements in it," adds Din. "That’s when I and my co-founder started researching about LARP and started [a group] in Singapore.”

The amount of commitment that goes into a LARP sesh, sibeh respect wei, and Din was happy to share more about what it's like being a LARPer in Singapore.

I want to be a LARPer too! Can I join you guys?

Yes definitely. As long as you’re above 18 years old. LARP is a mix of role-play and combat sports. Hence, it is not safe for anyone below 18.

How much do you need to spend to get into LARP?

For starters, we have LARP-safe weapons and some costumes for rent (from $5 to $20) depending on what character build you’re going for. After you’ve played several games and would like to have your own gear, you can purchase it from an approved LARP store or DIY your gear. That would range from about $50 to $200, depending on your build.

What is the best part about LARP?

To be able to be part of a friendly community that doesn’t judge you for what you want to be or any way you want to express your creativity.

What are some of the challenges you face in pursuing this passion?

Finances and manpower. As we are community based, these two factors are usually the problems we face. We look up to and contact overseas LARP communities to better improve our LARP games and community.

What are some misconceptions about LARP?

The main misconception is that people tend to view LARPers as different (nerdy, weird, child-like), and that LARP is only for kids - that's not true. As it is a mix of role-play and combat sports, it is not safe for anyone below the age of 18. There were some players who viewed LARP as something weird before trying it out. And after trying one of our games, they were hooked!

How and where can I enjoy LARP in Singapore?

Check out the Singapore LARP Facebook page to get the latest updates for our events.

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