Monster Camp
Monster Camp

I’ve got a big question for everybody – Has anyone out there seen Monster Camp yet?

It’s a doc(mock?)umentary about LARPing, following the members of Nero Seattle as they play one of their games. Here’s the tag line:

“Slay Normalcy, Save the World. MONSTER CAMP is a rare and fascinating glimpse into the world of live-action role playing (“LARPing”), a real-life version of the videogame phenomenon World of Warcraft.”

Now, the impression I got from the trailer was very much, “Hey, look at this odd hobby! The people who play it sure are dorky, huh? Comedy gold!!” (It is listed as a Comedy, after all) I was reminded strongly of the infamous Lightning Bolt kid, who is what most people think of when someone mentions LARP.

On the other hand, the rest of the write-up and bits of the dialogue in the trailer make it sound like they’re trying to put a positive spin on it. They keep talking about escaping reality for a bit and really make an effort to show people having fun.

So, thoughts, comments? Is it worth seeing this movie, or am I going to spend the entire time cringing and yelling at my T.V. “Oh, come ON!! We’re not ALL like that!! Of COURSE that sounds a little strange out of context!!”

News: Posted June 6th, 2008 by Alina

^ 15 Comments to “Monster Camp”

  1. Nov Says:

    From the point of view as a larper from across the pond, yeah when it comes to larping you yanks seem to be a lot different compared to everybody else, done a “whats it all about and the ordinary people that do it” documentry on larping myself but the way these guys portrayed themselves in monster camp was “Hey we’re socially inapt freaks and we made a video for you to laught at- I mean learn from!” try and watch Dara O’brian’s “Tough Gig” a famous Irish comedian comes larping with us! It lurks on youtube somewhere

    Posted June 6th, 2008 at 4:28 am
  2. I haven’t seen any more than that clip. Looks like it has both the potential to be a cringe-worthy mockery of LARPers or a more fair look, but I’d be concerned that it is likely to be the former.

    In terms of fair looks at LARPing, this show which has Irish Comedian Dara O’Briain attend a UK LARP event and do a gig *In Character* is fantastic. While Dara doens’t quite get it, he does try to get into it. Most of the LARPers in my group think it’s fantastic.

    Posted June 6th, 2008 at 6:03 am
  3. wihtgar Says:

    Hi! Long time, first time, yadda, yadda. Maybe this will be like Trekkies where on the surface it looks like a ‘let’s make fun of the geeks’ type of flick, but actually is done with a great deal of love for the material. I have only LARPed once in my life, but it was in a cave in England, so it was about the coolest geek experience in my life.

    Posted June 6th, 2008 at 6:38 am
  4. Eureka Says:

    here’s an other link you might find interesting. not quite a documentary, but funny still:

    Posted June 6th, 2008 at 7:59 am
  5. Laszlo Says:

    It probably won’t be any better than the really bad movie called Darkon about LARPing in the Baltimore area.

    Quote from the Netflix page: “Ordinary folks trade in their street clothes for medieval costumes, faux weaponry and full-contact battles in Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer’s documentary about Darkon, a group that acts out fantasy war games based on complex rules and customs. Neel and Meyer capture the drama as padded swords clash, armies advance and a ruler crosses the line, while off the battlefield, participants open up about what keeps them coming back for more.”

    Posted June 6th, 2008 at 10:24 am
  6. Scott Says:

    Sounds like they’re trying to walk a fiiine line.

    Posted June 6th, 2008 at 12:28 pm
  7. Von W4lt Says:

    Speaking of movies making fun of geeks, has any of youse seen the gamers? not the big budget recent movie, but the independent film. It claims to make fun of geeks, but I watched it and it was exactly how my group behaves.

    Posted June 6th, 2008 at 5:46 pm
  8. RJ Says:

    The problem with many “LARP” videos’ is that it rarely shows the serious people. Examply, lightning bolt was just kids having fun, no different than cops and robber / cowboys and indians, etc. Instead it is knights and goblins or whatever. For myself, while never having a group to actually larp with, view it as a means of improv more than anything. A way to perform and tell my stories often instead done out in DnD or other rpgs without the tedium of strict numerical rules and dice.

    In essence, there truely is no difference between (in my point of view) a larp story and one told on film. Both are that of a fictional story. Only thing is one involves money and do-overs.

    Posted June 6th, 2008 at 7:14 pm
  9. Morag Says:

    Hi, long time reader, first time poster, etc etc.

    I think it looks to be very thoughtful and sensitive. Sure, they’ve crammed all the ‘epic lulz’ into the trailer to try and appeal to a wider demographic, it’s painting the hobby as… actually having people in it, with people logic, rather than strange geek logic.

    I can’t wait to see it.

    Posted June 7th, 2008 at 8:21 am
  10. Mantelli Says:

    What I want to know is how these folks are managing to play cards outside! Where I live in the Midwestern US, the cards would blow away instantly!

    Posted June 8th, 2008 at 7:51 pm
  11. Necro Says:

    Hey, is it me or these guys in coats are just another geek group? I mean, come on! “normal” people don’t gather wearing all hats and coats. Well, it’s just my guess.

    Posted June 8th, 2008 at 7:57 pm
  12. Aelius Says:

    Wow. After watching the trailer I can only assume the worst. From the clips and shots that they show it looks like they are making LARPers out to be lonely losers who need to escape their real lives because they suck.

    I’m amazed that the people who who run that LARP let these people film them… and it seems they didn’t read over any sort of contract or ask for creative benefits either.

    You can bet that it won’t put on a very good image for LARPing.

    I wish I live in Europe…

    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 2:29 pm
  13. Erin Says:

    I’ve seen the gamers! It was awesome. And Dara O’Brian’s good.

    Posted June 10th, 2008 at 8:55 pm
  14. Jokermun Says:

    When most “norms” hear the word LARP, they ask what is that?? or (for the rare few who have) isn’t that where you hit each other with foam swords??
    I personal tell them the diffrence between Boffer Larp and real LARPing. Were not all wierdos *eye peanut gallery* some of us have social lives, come from all walks of life, from white collar to blue collar gals and guys. If they are really intrested I invite them to come out, tell them they can watch for them selves what really happens.
    Have them wear A “i’m not here here” sign of some kind.
    The diffrence between Roll playing and Role playing.

    Posted June 14th, 2008 at 3:26 pm
  15. When people ask me what LARPing is, I ask them if they’ve ever heard of a murder mystery party, where you get a character and dress up and stuff. Most people have, it’s quite popular here. So I tell them it’s like that, except there isn’t always a murder to begin with and it’s not always a dinner party.
    When people ask me what role-playing is, I thank the producers and everyone that last year, there was an Icelandic film about role-playing. And it’s not a documentary, but a real, fantasy action something film and it’s kick-ass. Seriously, it’s so good. I think you can get it with at least English subtitles so if you can find it anywhere, you should check it out. It’s called Astrópía in Icelandic (for some straaaaange reason, it’s called Dorks & Damsels in the US, which I don’t think fits at all and Astrópía works just as well, but hey) and the imdb site is here -> . Okay, done pimping Icelandic movie industry for now. :3

    Posted June 17th, 2008 at 8:49 am