Larping in the media: Seven-Eleven Commercial
The media is slowly, but surely, beginning to notice the ever growing culture of larping in America and around the world. Much of this is used to stereotype and poke fun at larpers and larping in general. Movies such as Role Models use larping as a tool to propel the plot forward, yet mock it for being a bunch of socially awkward, dorks in the park. There are many other films, TV shows, commercials and documentaries that exist that don’t shed larping in a very good light. One example is VH1’s “undateable” where it’s stated that larping is among the activities that will not only keep a man from being boyfriend material, but apparently it will also keep you a virgin for life.
In general Larping has been given a bad rap by the media. But recently this has begun to change. With the announcement of the upcoming “Knights of Badassdom”, larping looks to be given a bit of a better outlook. Only time will tell what happens with the general culture’s view of larping. However, any exposure is probably good exposure and we should relish in the fact that our little niche activity is growing. Let’s take a look at a recent example of larping in the media. A 7-11 commercial:
Overall this is an entertaining commercial. It’s well shot and it gets the point across. What that point is, is up for debate. While they were hoping to highlight their delicious food, they more or less kept the typical larping themes alive. These include: larping is rediculous, larpers are socially awkward, larpers can’t speak to girls (nor date them), and it’s only grown men who do it. Let’s take each of these in turn.
First, Larping is made out to be ridiculous. What’s interesting is that they admit that having good food isn’t good enough to bring people in to eat it. They have to “Kick things up a notch” by adding Live Action Role Play. The commercial ends with the announcement, “This was a really lame idea, our lunch is exciting enough.” Oh, how wrong you are Seven-Eleven. The fact that the combat, and the men that are fighting, look completely lack-luster nearly goes without mentioning. But, it all fits with the theme that “larping is ridiculous.”
Second, larpers are made out to be socially awkward. To start, the guy leading the charge is the lamest looking 50 year old dude I’ve ever seen. Squat, fat and balding does not represent the average larper. Then there’s the crazy dude behind the counter throwing “fireballs”. Which is a total ripoff of the Lightning bolt video we all know so well. Basically, all the dudes in the video look like they just crawled out of their moms basement to run into a 7-11 for a crappy commercial. Or is that exactly what happened?
Third, the oft beaten to death theme that larpers cannot speak to, let alone date, a woman. The tiniest socially awkward dude gets up the courage to speak to the super model in the 7-11 (side note: when was the last time there was an attractive woman in a 7-11?). And this is what he has to say, in case you missed it, “Thou hast weakened me with thy level 5 charm spell, my lady….” She of course responds with a quick, “Ew…” and walks away. Now, I don’t know about you, but any guy with half a brain is going to break character to speak to a woman that isn’t playing the game. But, here, they smack larpers again with the “never get a date” stick.
Lastly, they only show men larping. Now, I’ll readily admit that larpers are probably heavily outweighed by men, but there are definitely plenty of women larpers. And some of them are the best role-players around. They bring a lot of balance to the game, but we’ll save that for another post.
In summary, definitely dissapointed by Seven-Eleven’s portrail of larpers. Hopefully, in the future larping will start getting a better rap.