During the summer of 2011, I spent five days and four nights in a forest near Foggia (Puglia), with the role-players, documenting one of their biggest event. These no-stop performances have the intent of recreating the sense of fantasy and imagination in which all the participants seem to be immersed.
The players of live action role-playing games pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of the player’s actions may be mediated by game rulers, or determined by a consensus among players. Event arrangers, called masters, determine the rules and the setting. Nothing seems to be left to chance with meticulous attention to details.
The real world is represented by character actions in an imaginary setting. Game rules, physical symbols and theatrical improvisation are used to bridge differences between the real world and the setting. Live action role games can have different genre, although many utilize themes and settings derived from genre fiction. In this case the setting was inspired to fantasy movie “The Lord of the Ring”.
My attempt was to recreate the feeling of a collective dream in which they play and to show their interactions. It is important to underline that in this particular event I was a true observer. I couldn’t get in contact or talk to the participants while they were playing. In order to blend in with the surroundings and the players I was photographing, except for my camera, I was also required to dress up, removing any items of “modernity” such as my sneakers and watch.