On the last day of the semester, I took my ENGL 115 H: Literatures of the Fantastic class out to do a little live-action role-playing and padded weapon fighting. They spent the semester reading literature from Homer to Harry Potter, as well as watching two documentaries about LARPers. Since we talk about the role and place and critical value of fantasy in American culture and about the stereotyping of LARP players, I thought it would be fun and illuminating to put them in someone else’s boots. Though we only ran around the field behind Seminary Hall for an hour or so, I think everyone had a really good time. It makes me miss my LARP classes at the University of Washington. Maybe I will have to figure out a way to run a similar class at Drew.
Published by edmondchang
Dr. Edmond Y. Chang is an Assistant Professor of English at Ohio University. His areas of research include technoculture, race/gender/sexuality, video games, RPGs, and LARP, feminist media studies, cultural studies, popular culture, and 20/21C American literature. He earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of Washington. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on queer American literature, speculative literature of color, virtual worlds, games, and writing. Recent publications include “Drawing the Oankali: Imagining Race, Gender, and the Posthuman in Octavia Butler’s Dawn” in Approaches to Teaching the Works of Octavia E. Butler, “Playing as Making” in Disrupting Digital Humanities, and “Queergaming” in Queer Game Studies. He is completing his first book on algorithmic queerness and digital games tentatively entitled Queerness Cannot Be Designed. View all posts by edmondchang