The Devil, a Vampire, and an RPG, a story of a Florida candidate
If you don’t completely love the fact that in Florida, a Republican congressional candidate faced a scandal because pictures of him LARPing hit the media, then I don’t want to know you.
Of course it’s completely silly that this is even a story. I’m far more likely to trust somebody who can muster up the time and energy to go do some live-action role-playing because I know they have the capacity for some form of empathy. (Well, one hopes Jake Rush role plays one of those tortured soul vampires, and not a straight up killer.)
This morning, a local politics site revealed Republican Florida congressional candidate Jake Rush has an extensive history of playing gothic and “vampire”-themed live action role-playing games. While this initially seemed like a scandal, Rush didn’t shy away from the revelations about his fantasy life. He responded by issuing a statement wherein he defended his “hobby activities.”
Enjoy the news frenzy.
Some organizations take the freak angle.
- Congressional Campaign Rattled By Unearthed ‘Vampire’ Photos
- Florida Man Runs for Congress, Embraces His Cosplay/Rape Fantasy Past
Some take the keep calm and carry on angel.
Then there is the Florida angle.
Look, I have no idea who Jake Rush is, and I’m probably not going to get a very good view of him by reading all these stories, which don’t focus on him at all. Instead, each rehashes some previously reported material and then spirals into the biases of the reporter. (Aside: This, dear media, is why people don’t want to pay for your work. It’s not the Internet.)
If you’re wondering how in 2014 we’re still reading stories that paint LARPers and RPGers as weird and Otherly, take a little tongue-and-cheek romp through this piece that examines how fear is instilled in some people about the game Dungeons & Dragons.
Since then, fundamentalists have attached satanic panic to other geek interests, like Harry Potter and Magic: The Gathering, but despite the fact that its popularity has long since waned (playing D&D when you own a perfectly good Playstation is analogous to a hipster with a new Macbook writing a letter on a typewriter) Dungeons & Dragons remains the occult gateway drug par excellence in the conservative Christian consciousness.