Aug 19 2013
Hello all! Been away for a while… Gone but, hopefully, not forgotten! For the three of you that were wondering where I was, I was finishing my MA classes. All that’s left now is the thesis. Once that is done I’ll have finished my MA Education with a concentration in Curriculum Development. Before you wonder why I’m posting about this here instead of LinkedIn, I recently discovered a Kickstarter campaign that combines my love for all things role-playing and my passion for education, Seekers Unlimited!
Their Kickstarter campaign is a project that aims to create educational live action role playing games. I am a long time role-player but have done little larping (live action role playing for the uninitiated), but I can see the benefits and how this can be put to good use in a classroom. Their Kicstarter pages explains that they have developed six edu-laps aligned to California Standards and aim to align them to the USA Common Core Standards through the Kickstarter.
The concept of engaging children in a creative endeavor, while at the same time facilitating exciting learning experiences really captures my fancy so I had to reach out to the Kickstarter project creators to get more information. Aaron Vanek, longtime larper, larp creator and author, who also happens to be the Executive Director at Seekers Unlimited, was kind enough to answer my long list of questions.
Sunglar: Aaron, your bio certainly shows your passion and experience for larps, but I’d like to hear it (read it) in your own words. Who are you and what do you do?
Aaron: Years ago, on a cross country trip to Chicago with my then-girlfriend, now wife, we stopped in a mall outside Denver. I had long hair then, and wore a red bandanna over my skull to keep my flowing locks out of my face as we rode with the windows down. Inside a store, a little girl looked up at me and asked her mother “Is he a pirate?” Her mother said, “No, he’s just a guy.” The girl replied, “Is he a pirate?”
Depending on my attire and your imagination, I could be a pirate. I could also be a starship commander, a wizard, Rasputin, Harry Houdini, or a ghost. But I’m really just a guy.
I do too many things, really, none of which makes me any (or very little) money. But they keep me exceptionally busy 24/7. Like many liberal arts college graduates, I scratch and claw for scraps. I’ve mostly been involved in motion pictures, running a film festival, freelance writing, game design, running a film festival, and of course, live action role playing.