Does anyone even need to have LARPs explained to them? That is what Wikipedia is for.
I used to LARP, it was actually my first exposure to structured role-play. I played in a Mind’s Eye Theater game, which used White Wolf‘s World Of Darkness setting (vampires, werewolves, mages, fey and even some wraiths [depressing bunch]). I’ve tried to get back into it, but it didn’t work out.
The LARP Effect is how I describe certain types of scenes in media. Actually I say it feels “LARPy”, but not many people pick up on it. It is basically when characters are interacting, and they are fulfilling their role, but it feels like they are aware of their role, or that they really into that scene, but are otherwise incredibly immature.
It isn’t really bad, it is just jarring to me, and breaks my otherwise decent ability to suspend belief as my eyes glaze over in a fiction coma. A recent example that comes to mind is the latest show Susan and I are geeking out on, Once Upon A Time. The premise is pretty solid, despite it being an ABC/Disney show, and some of the characters are amazing (I started watching it in part because I will pretty much watch anything Robert Carlyle is in [but I won't ever watch Ravenous again]). However, sometimes (okay, most of the time) the characters feel like they just rushed over to the scene and need to get through their lines so they can get to the next scene, and it is happening around the block and they really need to get this bonus XP tonight, before their ride leaves.
In contrast, Firefly had terrific pacing and character interaction, and that it felt so natural really sold the setting.
I am not sure what the qualities are that produce the LARP Effect, but I think I would like to avoid it in the fiction I produce.
I should probably not write tv scripts.