LARP Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

LARPing is something that is truly beloved by many passionate fans around the world. Here is LARP’s meaning, history, and more!

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There are few things as exciting as delving into your imagination and being a part of an entirely different world. That’s a huge reason why video games are so appealing to so many people — they open up the door to completely different experiences of life and storytelling. 

You don’t have to be yourself within these worlds — instead, you can be an adventurer, a knight, a warrior, a merchant, or anything else your imagination can whip up. Fantasy is all about making your dreams come true, and role-playing is a massive part of what makes it so powerful. 

While playing video games is often appealing to many people, playing dungeons and dragons for a couple sessions might help fill a person’s appetite for adventure; there is another option: LARPing. This happens when you take the experiences and creativity of RPG style video games and D&D adventures and take that fictional setting into the real world. It’s one of the most exciting and powerful experiences a person can have in the world today. 

This is what LARPing is, where it comes from, and how it works within the real world. 

What Is LARPing? 

According to the English dictionary, LARP is an acronym that stands for “Live Action Role Playing.” This is a kind of role-playing experience in real life where participants use props and related items, cosplay costumes, and roles to role play fantasy adventures. To some people, LARPers look like they’re going to masquerade parties or historical re-enactments, but it’s much more than that in reality. 

LARP sessions are put together by organizers — including a game master — that develops a story, factions, and what kind of genre fiction they will be experiencing. While it may seem a little complicated at first glance, LARPing is something many people invest hours, days, and weeks into understanding. Functionally, the whole goal of the event is to simulate a story and set of actions based on adventures that often cannot be experienced in the real world. 

Many people associate LARPing with nerds, fantasy lovers, and people who want to live out tabletop games. While that certainly is a large part of the group of people who love LARPing, it’s generally an inclusive environment. Many people who participate LARPing connect on social media and help others have their first LARPs with their group. 

If you are interested in the gameplay and experiences that go into LARPing, feel free to search around the internet and social media for groups near you. 

Where Does LARPing Come From? 

There are a lot of comparisons made between LARPing and video games. Both of these tend to rely on experiences that are made up and allow a person to play a role in something more beautiful and fascinating than regular life. The appeal is mostly the same, and you will often find a large amount of crossover between people immersed in video game culture and LARP culture. 

One of the most considerable similarities between video gaming and LARPing is found in the genre known as “Role Playing Games” (RPGs). These games are often set within fantasy worlds, whether in ancient eras or in the universes of futuristic worlds like Star Trek or Star Wars. The player’s actions guide the characters and are influenced by a list of statistics that influence the probability of the success of their efforts. In most cases, LARPing is like a live-action role-playing game. 

LARPing and video game-based or tabletop RPGs share a lot of related terms and rules, so it’s fair to assume that LARPing came from these other forms of media. However, since computers and tabletop games tend to be pretty new, there is also a high possibility that LARPing has existed long before these more modern games. In the contemporary world of LARPing, most of the rules and techniques come from the ideas and patterns found within video games. 

How Does LARPing Work in the Real World? 

LARPing almost always starts with the design of a game master pulling together a scenario or conquest. Most groups will be split up into different factions, and they will begin the quest. In some cases, the LARPers will participate by using fake or blunted swords or other weapons when doing combat, while other groups will use dice to dictate the success of their actions. The rules and methodologies can change a lot depending on the situations at hand and whoever is running the experience. 

These kinds of role-playing games can happen in various environments, including cities, forests, parks, and other settings. The setting will be mapped out, and people will be allowed to travel within these environments to accomplish the various tasks and quests they are going after. The whole idea is to make the game as immersive and realistic as possible, even if they are operating within an entirely made-up world. As long as the participants’ imaginations are strong and the experience is enticing, it should be a good time. 


If the acronym LARP is just one of many words that you don’t know, maybe you want to expand your vocabulary! Of course, it can be hard to learn the words that you want to or need to know if the only information sources you have available to you are boring word lists that only give basic definitions. That’s why The Word Counter exists — to provide people with an exciting and dynamic understanding of language at large! 

If you want to figure out how to understand words and communication differently, feel free to check out our blog here at The Word Counter! We’re always providing new information on using language in the most effective and relevant way — check out our latest posts on our website right here


  1. Larp Definition & Meaning |
  2. LARP definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  3. LARP | Cambridge English Dictionary