While many Albertans dream of escaping to their cabins or to the lake in the summer, some Calgarians are taking daydreaming to a whole new level.

Live action role-playing, or LARP, is an interactive experience where people build a fantasy world, dress up like characters and interact with others in immersive storytelling.


Participants in Alliance Calgary LARP immerse themselves in a weekend event. (CBC)

Cory Fliegel is part of a group of Calgary residents who transform themselves into other-worldly characters once a month for an entire weekend as part of the role-playing group Alliance Calgary LARP.

"We are a bunch of geeks, I freely admit it," Fliegel said. "I'm the king of all geeks.  I own a games store so I’ve got to be."

Welcome to Parson's Breach

In the most recent LARP weekend, volunteers turned Lions Youth Camp in Cremona, Alta, into the fictional land of Parson’s Breach, starring ogres, heroes and villains.

Andreas Zimmerman, a writer for Alliance Calgary LARP, said a lot of planning goes into creating their imaginary world.

"We get together with the plot committee, we discuss what storylines we want to do, not just on an individual weekend, but for an entire, say one-year plan, two-year plan," Zimmerman said.


A woman takes part in a live action role-play event. (CBC)

Breaking stereotypes

Others into "larping" admit they were surprised by the wide variety of people who take part in the creative hobby.

Former professional wrestler J.P. Parsonage said he takes the occasional teasing about LARP in stride.

"All of my jock friends like to call me a geek, but I like to point out to them that they like to sit around with all of their friends with their pens and papers for hours making up their fantasy football teams, fantasy baseball teams, fantasy hockey teams," he said. "It's all different kinds of fantasy, kids. You're geeks just like the rest of us."