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... Do not look to the horizon of the eye drops.
July 8, 2009 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Pictures from an epic Russian Fallout LARP. English translation via Google.
posted by permafrost (73 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I remember Russians enthusiastically taking the lead in Fallout modding, too. I wonder what it is about Fallout, or perhaps turn-based RPGs, that connects so well to Russians.
posted by ignignokt at 6:49 AM on July 8, 2009


This is really cool. You made my morning!
posted by little_c at 6:53 AM on July 8, 2009


It looks strange because there isn't much green or many growing things in Fallout.
posted by contessa at 6:53 AM on July 8, 2009


what's a "fallout LARP"?
posted by kolophon at 6:55 AM on July 8, 2009


Fallout LARP
posted by jedicus at 6:56 AM on July 8, 2009


LARP = Live Action Role Playing.

Fallout is a video game series:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallout_%28series%29

So a Fallout LARP is when people physically role play as if they were in the Falout universe.
posted by I-baLL at 6:57 AM on July 8, 2009


It looks strange because there isn't much green or many growing things in Fallout.

They've probably been using this mod.
posted by permafrost at 6:58 AM on July 8, 2009


Whoa, that is fantastic!
posted by scrutiny at 6:59 AM on July 8, 2009


There is also a blue sky mod.

The best mod provides additional old-timey music and is essential.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:03 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


That looks like hella fun. I'd love to be able to pull off a game of such scope. Unfortunately, lack of communist era ruins in my neighbourhood.
posted by Jilder at 7:03 AM on July 8, 2009


Yes! BLUE SKY IN GAMES CAMPAIGN!
posted by permafrost at 7:06 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow. They briefly made LARPing cool.

I KID! I KID! Please don't hit me with your magic lighting blots!
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 AM on July 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, if the Dystopia ends up looking like this or this then I might be more down with the whole End Of the World thing.
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 AM on July 8, 2009


"Why did you guys decide to LARP Fallout?"
"Well, we got one of those missing nuclear warheads, and we thought, 'What a great prop! I bet we can totally use it in a game!', but obviously it wouldn't work for Renfaire, y'know? So then we thought, 'Hey! Fallout!' and it totally made sense!"
posted by yeloson at 7:11 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


That was clearly a Fallout 2 thing, you silly Fallout 3 mod people.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 7:13 AM on July 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


I can't not think of Ren Fests. Not sure if that's good or bad.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:22 AM on July 8, 2009


I've always thought LARPING was the geekiest of the geeky - a bare half-step up from Ren Faire sublimation weirdness, but this looked fantastic and I've never even played Fallout 3.

starts scratching at face and whining for new Half-Life 3 to come out.....
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:23 AM on July 8, 2009


In Russia, First Person Shooter plays you!

totally!
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:25 AM on July 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Great pictures but I don't think I could spend more than 5 minutes with any of these people without my eyes glazing over from boredom.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:42 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Chernobyl would make an awesome location for some Fallout LARPing.

Until your eyes start getting itchy and your brain starts getting burn-y...
posted by naju at 7:48 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also (same source?): S.T.A.L.K.E.R. LARP. And yes, they're doing it in the Chernobyl exclusion zone itself.

Such a beautiful, flawed game...
posted by teresci at 7:49 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I came here thinking I'd be really clever to recommend "Do not look to the horizon of the eye drops", but then I saw it was already quoted right up there at the top.

Great post, thanks for sharing.
posted by jragon at 7:49 AM on July 8, 2009


This. Is. Awesome. Thanks.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:53 AM on July 8, 2009


My nascent dyslexia got a hold of me. I clicked, hoping to see the fallout of an epic LARPing disaster. While cool, I was hoping to see riot police bursting into Nerd Thunderdome (as featured on MeTa) to deal with an argument over gameplay turned violent. Nerd Violent.

However, the pictures were pretty snazzy, and the LARPers are some seriously dedicated people. Thanks for the post. (Next time, though, nerd on nerd violence, if you could. "When LARPers get REAL," if possible)
posted by Ghidorah at 7:56 AM on July 8, 2009


I love that they've got shots of players making apparent hack checks and lockpick checks but no apparent combat shots. I wonder if LARPing Fallout is more problematic than the whole swords'n'sorcery thing - LARPing is awkward enough with having to manage projectiles, after all.

Mad props (heh) to those who built the power armor - it looks spot-on. The super-mutant, however, lacks commitment. Needs more lumpiness!
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:02 AM on July 8, 2009


Huh. I have the same wallpaper on my desktop as they do. Made me feel all warm and dorky inside.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 8:03 AM on July 8, 2009


"... Do not look to the horizon of the eye drops."

i was about to make the obligatory google translator/Russian language comment...
and then i noticed the title of the post.

Thunder. stolen. :-/
posted by jadayne at 8:06 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder what it is about Fallout, or perhaps turn-based RPGs, that connects so well to Russians.

Totally. They're all over the Jagged Alliance 2 modding scene too (not to mention in the game itself).
posted by pravit at 8:06 AM on July 8, 2009


Ok I am having a hard time here. Do people dress up, take on roles of the video game in real life, and run around pretending that they are in the game? Really? The kid frosted side in me says "Cool!" but the adult shredded wheat side says "What?"

And of course your standard "In Russia video game plays You!" comment added for a few favorites.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:09 AM on July 8, 2009


This isn't a game the Russians are playing.

It's a cry for help from a toxic and radioactive wasteland.
posted by codswallop at 8:13 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's up withe safety goggles?
posted by pakoothefakoo at 8:15 AM on July 8, 2009


Wow, that machine translation doesn't suck so much at all.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:18 AM on July 8, 2009


What's up withe safety goggles?

There is a good reason.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 8:20 AM on July 8, 2009


I can't say how awesome and cool this is. I have only played the first two Fallout games and I loved them...so it warms my heart to see people taking it to the next level!
posted by Calzephyr at 8:21 AM on July 8, 2009


The kid frosted side in me says "Cool!" but the adult shredded wheat side says "What?"


I've always thought it as an extended improv acting class with fighting or whatever we're calling "playing make believe" when we're adults and can't call it that.
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2009


I would like to see pictures from America's bailout TARP like this.
posted by adamrice at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2009


Dara O'Briain goes LARPing
posted by Acey at 8:33 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


This was great! Very creative, and excellent photography.
posted by Nelson at 8:42 AM on July 8, 2009


First time I have every wanted to go LARPing.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:48 AM on July 8, 2009


what's with the blackface?
posted by 256 at 9:04 AM on July 8, 2009


Needs more mutants, and at least one deathclaw. But the Brotherhood of Steel armor is fantastic.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:13 AM on July 8, 2009


Ooo grab those pre-war documents! The Brotherhood scribe in Arlington Library will pay 100 bottlecaps for them.
posted by rlk at 9:43 AM on July 8, 2009


what's with the blackface?

The Fallout universe contains human characters of different races, and I suspect they had someone in particular they wanted to portray. Russia doesn't have the negative history with and cultural baggage tied into blackface we have, and they most likely thought nothing of it. I wouldn't read any more into it than someone wearing a wig to play a character with different hair.

(fun fact: in the PC version of fallout three you can adjust the camera angle in the first scene to see your mother before she dies, and no matter what race you pick for your own character, she's a black woman)
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:45 AM on July 8, 2009


(Also, I was hoping to see a Vault-Tec Boy bobblehead in one of the photos.)
posted by rlk at 9:48 AM on July 8, 2009


Ahaha, damn. Actually, I'm kinda surprised that it took ten years for this to happen. That's fantastic.

Nobody with a bonsai on their head, though? Damn.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 10:10 AM on July 8, 2009


Ok, I am having a hard time here. Do people really dress up in athletic gear, go out in a public field, and spend the afternoon throwing a ball around? Really? They even divide up into competing "teams" and play some complicated game with rules and scoring and stuff with the ball? The kid frosted side in me says "Cool!" but the adult shredded wheat side says "What?"
posted by straight at 10:55 AM on July 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


If they ever do a Fallout 3 version, I'm going to need to find 53 people that look just like me.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:40 AM on July 8, 2009


I wonder what it is about Fallout, or perhaps turn-based RPGs, that connects so well to Russians.

Or, like, wastelands devastated by nuclear radiation, maybe.
posted by rokusan at 12:59 PM on July 8, 2009


I love me some Fallout 3, but for the way the game seems to have had its budget cut or deadline rushed or something that forced them to release 3/4 of a game is a mortal wound.

The main storyline is ridiculously short, the game has about 1/10th of the "side missions" a sandbox game should have, and the ending(s)... well, really really bad.

Dodging spoilers: part of the game involves a plan to restore fresh water and green life to the devastated region. It would be lovely if, should this plan succeed, the entire world would start to slowly 'green up' a little bit thereafter. It would make almost every location worth revisiting, greatly extending the play-time, and it would make your actions actually seem to matter. Conversely, should the plan 'fail', it would be great to see it deteriorate even further.

As part of my west-coast life, I get paid to review and give notes on screenplays sometimes, to help fix plot holes and other problems that are "obvious"... to fresh eyes. I wish game producers would use me this way.

It pains me to see things fall just short of greatness.
posted by rokusan at 1:05 PM on July 8, 2009


Looks like this guy died before he could enjoy his jenkem.
posted by foot at 1:10 PM on July 8, 2009


and the ending(s)... well, really really bad

Agreed. However, the Broken Steel expansion makes some improvements, and allows you to enjoy the nice clean water of the DC basin.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:32 PM on July 8, 2009


Yeah, it's almost like they had the full ending planned for Fallout 3, but for some funny reason didn't include it all in the main $60 game but saved part of it for a $10 expansion.
posted by Nelson at 1:44 PM on July 8, 2009


rlk: (Also, I was hoping to see a Vault-Tec Boy bobblehead in one of the photos.)

No, but they've got a copy of "Cat's Paw" for you!
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 1:45 PM on July 8, 2009


Do people really dress up in athletic gear, go out in a public field, and spend the afternoon throwing a ball around?

Yeah, I've heard the LARPing to sports comparison before and it just doesn't hold. It's not the dress-up aspect that gets people, it's the "Hey, let's pretend-play like we're five years old...ALL DAY!" part. Because of the circles I used to hang around I've known a few LARPers. Most of them had obvious socializing problems. Some liked it, some had realized the lameness. I don't begrudge anybody for doing it because it's probably better than drinking/drugging yourself silly to escape reality. Or maybe you just like to do it for fun, whatever, but the point is it's taking something to an extreme which most people don't generally enjoy doing. I believe this is more the arena for (specific) geeks & nerds.

And for those of you keeping score on the nerd ladder, this falls below Medieval Re-Creation and above Furries.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:53 PM on July 8, 2009


The main storyline is ridiculously short, the game has about 1/10th of the "side missions" a sandbox game should have, and the ending(s)... well, really really bad.

I was less than enthused by the ending, too, but the devs intentionally made the game smaller than Oblivion or the previous Fallouts -- with a shorter main quest, fewer side quests, and a more limited geographical area -- so as to make multiple play-throughs a possibility (however unlikely), to show off the different possible outcomes.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:09 PM on July 8, 2009


Echo?
posted by The Whelk at 2:09 PM on July 8, 2009


Yeah, I've heard the LARPing to sports comparison before and it just doesn't hold. It's not the dress-up aspect that gets people, it's the "Hey, let's pretend-play like we're five years old...ALL DAY!" part.

How does the sports comparison not hold? Because sports don't take ALL DAY?
posted by Happy Monkey at 2:55 PM on July 8, 2009


"Hey, let's throw a ball around like we're five years old...ALL DAY!"

I'm sorry, but sneering at people doing something creative and imaginative as juvenile while seeing the way people order their lives around *watching* a sporting event as normal adult behavior is just dumb. The fact that everybody else thinks that way makes it more dumb, not less.
posted by straight at 4:03 PM on July 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


How does the sports comparison not hold? Because sports don't take ALL DAY?

Okay let's expand upon this, but first let's note that by comparing these two it is trying to legitimize it in a broader view, rather than a specific interest held by specific people.
Now, we're not talking about kids playing around here. It's adults spending large amounts of time to do this. Sometimes spending extra time and money outside of it for costumes and gear. So let's throw out kids sports as reference, but adults (say sixteen and above?) playing sports is still an apt comparison. I could say that the goal of money is a difference or maybe even scholarship funds but that would only rule out some high-school, collegiate, and all pro players. People also play sports as extra-curricular activity also so it still stands, BUT the big difference is that the majority of people who do sports in their spare time don't subjugate reality so they can be in a fantasy world. I know some of you might think this is a weak premise but seriously think about the difference between what we are talking about here. People don't take on a whole different persona to play a game as you do in LARPing. No adult I know of has ever said "Hey I'm so-and-so, the all time master and smiter at this position!" and truly played that way throughout the game. Now I also realize there are sports where you have to take on a different persona (to an extent) and subjugate your rationale reality in order to compete within it. Say, boxing or MMA, for example. But the large portion of people who compete in those also do it for money or fame, so I don't think you could hold that comparison up there. Last let's say there are people who compete in sports that take on a persona and reality in order to play and "escape", but I think that you would have widdled down the people who do this to a fairly small number and then we are probably talking about geeks/nerds/fanatics in almost the same sense.

So looking at those pictures it's like "oh, those costumes look cool and fun", but really everything I've seen and heard about LARPing points to "no, it's not." Except for having a good Halloween getup.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:13 PM on July 8, 2009


but sneering at people

I wasn't sneering and you misread me.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:15 PM on July 8, 2009


I don't get LARP at all. The closest I'll ever get to that is playing Rock Band in makeup.
posted by zzazazz at 5:23 PM on July 8, 2009


I wasn't sneering and you misread me.

If you don't even realize that this is a sneer:

"Hey, let's pretend-play like we're five years old...ALL DAY!"

Then you're really not qualified to comment about the "obvious socializing problems" of others.
posted by straight at 7:01 PM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't get LARP at all. The closest I'll ever get to that is playing Rock Band in makeup.

YOU TOLD ME THAT WAS A KINK!
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:03 PM on July 8, 2009


I wasn't sneering and you misread me.

You're kind of all over the place. On the one hand, you point out that LARPing is like a thing all of it's own, incomparable to any other adult hobby, and it sounds a little bit like you are according LARPers some respect. On the other hand, you write:

... this falls below Medieval Re-Creation and above Furries.

And you cannot be unaware that by lumping Fallout LARPers in with SCA hobbyists and Furries, you are implying that all the same cliches apply.
posted by Ritchie at 8:20 PM on July 8, 2009


If you don't even realize that this is a sneer:

Then you're really not qualified to comment about the "obvious socializing problems" of others.


If you don't even realize what I was talking about then you don't qualify to even have this conversation.

You're kind of all over the place.

Actually, I was only responding to the LARPing is the same as sports comparison. LARPing is like other things, like SCA, CosPlay or Halloween even, but it definitely isn't a mainstream form of entertainment such as playing sports. So I'm surprised there is so much resistance to the idea that there are people who find the idea of LARPing funny or unappealing.

And you cannot be unaware that by lumping Fallout LARPers in with SCA hobbyists and Furries, you are implying that all the same cliches apply.

We've all seen the nerd charts haven't we?
posted by P.o.B. at 8:52 PM on July 8, 2009


P.o.B.: I don't think they're arguing that LARping is as mainstream a form of entertainment as sports; that would be a ridiculous claim. what they're saying is that this is a social prejudice rather than something inherent to LARPing or sports. There isn't anything particularly objectively more ridiculous about dressing in a weird outfit and shooting at things or whatever or dressing in weird outfits and attempting to move an oblong spheroid across a field.

LARPing is very much not my thing but then neither is basketball and lots of people seem to like that.
posted by Justinian at 8:56 PM on July 8, 2009


I LARPed a lot from 2000 to 2005, and I'm kind of idly entertaining the notion of doing a bit more of it. (Though it's the silly "let's all pretend we're vampires" kind.) I know it's a damn silly thing to do, but it's fun, so who cares?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:18 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


There isn't anything particularly objectively more ridiculous about dressing in a weird outfit and shooting at things or whatever or dressing in weird outfits and attempting to move an oblong spheroid across a field.

Sure, but's that not what we're talking about. You forgot about the Role Playing part. Also sports 'weird outfits' have come about mostly as necessity.

I've find it most interesting as an observer, so I used to grill people I knew about it, but it's something I would never do.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:38 PM on July 8, 2009


Come on now, fellas. Wrap some PVC pipe with foam, put on some tunics and go out back to settle this like men.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:11 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


We've all seen the nerd charts haven't we?

Yes, but those charts are making fun of the kinds of comments you are making here.

On the other hand, when I said: Then you're really not qualified to comment about the "obvious socializing problems" of others. That was a nasty, unwarranted, ad hominem attack, and I apologize. I have no basis for making pronouncements about your social skills from a couple stray comments. If anyone is showing lack of emotional empathy, it's me. I'm sorry.
posted by straight at 8:25 AM on July 9, 2009


I've always thought it as an extended improv acting class with fighting or whatever we're calling "playing make believe" when we're adults and can't call it that.

This.

All the popular bashing of LARP falls apart when you realise it is like improv theatre. LARP also becomes a lot easier to get into, and a lot more entertaining, when you keep this comparison in mind.
posted by Stove at 10:55 AM on July 9, 2009


I think some of you believe I was bashing on LARPing. I wasn't. I was only making the distinction between it and sports. It's like the post the other day with the guy who was reeeaaallly into Captains uniforms from WWII. Cortex said something to the effect of "Now this is how you be a nerd", and he was not stating that in the perjorative sense. It was the idea that this guy was into something really specific and that's what he was about.
I don't know if I would say it's like improv theatre either*, but it is probably a much closer comparison than sports.

*Because you're not performing for someone else, but that's a whole 'nother plate of beans I don't really want to overthink.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:02 PM on July 9, 2009


To me, the most interesting connection between sports and role-playing isn't how LARP resembles an athletic event, but how Fantasy Football resembles a pencil-and-paper RPG. It tickles me to no end to know that there are thousands of men in this country who would likely consider "nerd" to be an insult who spend hundreds of hours on what amounts to Jock D&D.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


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