Writer: Aaron Mason
Illustrator: Veronica Mellere
People everywhere grind through their weeks to reach Friday’s end. For some it’s the night to mark off a weekend of socialising, for others Friday night is a time to recover from a hard week.
But there is a group of individuals, faring from far and wide across the Melbourne region, to which Friday means something else. It’s the night hundreds of people of all different creeds, makes and backgrounds gather together with a single unifying purpose.
No, it’s not a nightclub, a bar or a sporting event, but an event where hundreds of people gather every Friday night at princess park to battle. Donning armor and raising arms, the participants of Swordcraft wage battle in LARP (Live Action Role Play) fashion. It’s a place where those who are passionate for fantasy enjoy a bit of sport, or even just immerse themselves in fantasy lore and roleplay.
So very rarely do regular events like this, on a such a scale, remain capable of not only maintaining themselves, but thrive and grow. Already the largest group of its kind in the southern hemisphere, Swordcraft is a non-for-profit organisation that caters to the interests of a vast range of audiences.
Although LARPing is often brushed off as nerdy and ridiculous, it’s an incredibly fun experience, and it’s gaining popularity. On top of that, the sense of community is amazing. The people who attend Swordcraft are always glad to help out their fellow man. When someone falls on hard times, their Swordcraft brethren will be there, even raising funds for needy members in some cases.
At Swordcraft, people who would never have met under other circumstances come together and grasp hands in friendship. Everyone is encouraged to be whoever they want. Swordcraft is a place of acceptance, but most of all it’s about roughing it out with people you have never met and having a laugh. It’s a rare opportunity to relax, indulge a fantasy, and have an entire community right beside you, doing exactly what you are doing, and loving every minute of it.