Friday, 18 January 2013

Monster Camp Review

I consider myself a fan of most things in pop culture these days. I own comic books, I've written fan fiction, I am an avid attendee of local fan conventions in the city. By the standards of most people, I would be at least a little outside of normal. In being viewed that way though, I tend to get lumped in with the crowd who go to these things and wear strange costumes. Those big elaborate things that people wear and get looked at strangely for. Even in today's society where the content these costumes are based on get made into huge blockbuster films that make millions, sometimes billions of dollars, they still make people uncomfortable and are seen as outside of what normal people do. It bothers me on occasion to be lumped in with them because I don't do that kind of thing but I realize that feeling that way is just another form of societal pressures to conform. People don't like the idea of conformity. It's been a growing trend in society since at least the 50s if not before. However even I can't imagine myself going out and LARPing. It just seems kind of weird to me.

Being part of what is referred to as fan culture, I am generally more up on the trends and ideas that the culture produces. I heard about LARPing several years back whereas I am sure there are some who still haven't heard of it today. It's the act of getting together with a group of people in costumes and fake non-lethal weapons and acting out fantasy scenarios in real time. Now when I say fantasy scenarios, I am not referring to the traditional view which suggests most people would go out and do something sexual or violent to another person, although that does sometimes come into it depending on the rules of the game being played. I'm talking about fantasies involving goblins and ghosts and other powerful beings that you read about in books like Lord of the Rings. Where most people just imagine the scenarios in their heads to enjoy the fantasy, these people actually go out and do it. Part of me can understand doing that. As part of the culture I've seen it, looked into it and had a general fascination with it, but I have never felt the need to try it.

Perhaps it's because I prefer to put my imagination into creating my own worlds through my writing rather than living out my fantasies through someone else's. Whether you understand it or not though, I think that Monster Camp is a movie worth watching. This type of thing is becoming more common, and with so much of the population growing into a culture like this, it's better to be in the know then weirded out. If you've never heard of it, see it and find out what makes these people tick. If you know about it or are part of it, see it as it's in a lot of ways a validation of the culture and the hobby as part of life. The filmmakers really take a step back and try to show you the world and at times explain it, rather than tell you how you should or shouldn't feel about it. It's definitely a film worth watching.

You can find it on I Love, Amazon, Youtube and Google Play.

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