Students participate in live action role playing

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Seniors Kelli Gamel and CJ Richardson practice shooting a bow and arrow Richardson made for the Baker Vniversity Lifeless Langvage Association’s LARPing Sunday on Mabee Lawn.

Seniors Kelli Gamel and CJ Richardson practice shooting a bow and arrow Richardson made for the Baker Vniversity Lifeless Langvage Association’s LARPing Sunday on Mabee Lawn. Photo by Rachel Dannen.

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John Richards discusses benefits of LARPing

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Live action role playing

The Baker Vniversity Lifeless Langvage Association hosts live action role playing.  Xiomara Nunez reports for KNBU-TV.

The Baker Vniversity Lifeless Langvage Association hosts live action role playing. Xiomara Nunez reports for KNBU-TV.

The Baker Vniversity Lifeless Langvage Association, or BVLLA, has been around since 2005 and attracts a few students every year.

But this year, all it took was a few foam swords for a swarm of students to suddenly gain interest in the club.

“It was my idea to start doing this on a little more massive scale and (Assistant Professor of History John Richards) really liked the idea,” CJ Richardson, president of BVLLA, said. “So, we set up the first melee and it took off from there.”

Every Sunday, BVLLA hosts live action role playing, or LARPing, on South Mabee Lawn. Students dress up and are separated into groups where they have mock battles using foam weapons.

The number of students attending has ranged anywhere from 20-45.

“I was actually surprised by how many people showed up, but I’ve grown used to it now,” Richardson said.

The event has drawn a wide variety of students from around campus and participation is open to everyone.

“There’s a little bit of fraternity rivalry too,” senior Eric Marley said, “because Kappa (Sigma fraternity) and Zeta Chi (fraternity) show up wearing their shirts.”

Marley attended the event with a few members from his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, fully equipped with weapons that they had created themselves over the past week.

Each club member made their own foam swords, but some students went beyond that.

Senior Alex Coffey is one student who created his own armor after Richards showed the students the armor he had made.

Coffey said the process was simple to find on the Internet and was basically made of cardboard and staples.

Richards is BVLLA’s advisor and said that LARPing allows students to “preserve the knowledge of classical antiquity,” but it also is meant to help

students out mentally.

Richards also said it is a great way for Baker students to relax and de-stress.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to get out here and blow off steam,” Richards said, “Baker students are pretty high maintenance, high stress … I think that has something to do with it.”

BVLLA was created to re-live the memory of older languages, such as Latin and Greek, and to celebrate the intelligence that is all around the Baker campus.

Richards described the club as a kind of “intellectual coming out group,” and many of the students have come to embrace that.

The club is also planning on participating in other activities throughout the year.

“We’re going to The Renaissance Festival (in Bonnor Springs) next weekend, we are possibly doing a hay back ride, and next spring we will be doing what’s called circus maximus,” Richardson said. “Which involves some melee in it, but will also have some other events like races, chariot races, and its a lot of fun.”

A few students have also discussed going to LARPing events that are in Lawrence after participating in the battles at Baker University.

“I go to school every week for this, for Sundays,” sophomore Beau Bennett said, “I live for Sunday. I live for LARP.”

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