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Fantasy factor 

Street Smarts

As TV shows like The Walking Dead rise in popularity, the fandom community breaks out to re-enact their own versions of popular comics, historical eras and games in fantasy role-playing situations.

click to enlarge Ashley Eberhardt
  • Ashley Eberhardt

Ashley Eberhardt of Rockrimmon works at Zeezo's.

Are you familiar with live action role playing? Yes, I've done Dungeons & Dragons role playing, but not mixed with cosplay. I've gone to a lot of conventions and competed in cosplay contexts.

What's involved with cosplaying as far as hair, makeup and costumes are concerned? It's really up to the cosplayer. With Rainbow Dash [My Little Pony], I saw a little girl in a blue tank top, a tutu and some ears. When I was Rainbow Dash, I did a full body suit with makeup and paint. As long as you find somebody at the convention who knows your fandom, they're going to know who you are.

What are your favorite fandoms to cosplay? For sure Star Wars, just because everybody knows it. Pokemon, a lot of things that kids really enjoy, superheroes because you see a lot of other adults and that's fun. But when a little kid is left speechless because they saw Thor, that's the coolest thing.

Why do you think LARPing is an appealing pastime? Our heroes are what we relate to. You see something going on in the world, Captain America makes it better. You could be stressed out beyond belief and sit down with a comic book. We all see parts of ourselves in our favorite character. I feel like we're not hiding ourselves under a costume — we're showing the best parts.

click to enlarge Albert Welch
  • Albert Welch

Albert Welch of Fountain is a student at UCCS.

Are you familiar with live action role playing? I'm aware of it. I've talked about it with friends but never done it myself.

Would you ever participate in a game? If I had friends who were interested in doing it, and if the content of the session was interesting, I would.

What character would you choose? Probably a paladin — it's more of a lawful good/lawful neutral character. It generally tends to be in medieval or fantasy things, but it could be applied to anything. As a history major, I would definitely do a medieval game because the values and traditions get lost and abstracted in modern, futuristic settings.

Why do you think LARPing is an appealing pastime? If people are more active, traditional role playing can be extremely cerebral. I had some friends who did some, and it was a good excuse to go roaming in the parks.

click to enlarge Nick Gochas
  • Nick Gochas

Nick Gochas of Security-Widefield works at Ka-Pow Coffee and. Comics

Are you familiar with live action role playing? I am. I've done some of it in college. I went to Iowa State University, and we used to go and play.

What type of games did you participate in? They were a modified Dungeons & Dragons scenario where you got to choose from five different classes. We had colored balls, so it was basically like a color dash where we would throw them at each other and if you got paint on you, you were hit by a spell.

Who was your favorite character to play? Warriors were the most fun because I had the most ammunition that way.

Why do you think LARPing is an appealing pastime? I think it's appealing because you get role playing in a more public forum. It's positive for the geeky community to meet other people in a setting that's entertaining.

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