Alleged Entertainment

The Cancer of Comedy?

Not a full entry, just a quick thought. There’s a seemingly widespread view within the LARP community that nothing kills a game faster than comedy. Phrases like “mood-killer” and “breaking feel” get thrown around a lot. I’m not sure where people get this idea. Take it from me, as someone who gets asked to play the comic relief a lot – being funny for stretches of time is hard work!
That said, being serious for stretches of time can also be hard work, and I certainly wouldn’t deny that. I think what people are actually worried about when they say this sort of thing is that players are going to break character and revert to their usual, “normal” behavior – and that doing so can be infectious. This is a legitimate concern, although in my opinion, it’s far better to plan for having to mitigate that than to try to fight it.
But please, guys, can we stop picking on the comedy? This issue is hardly limited to “serious” games, and doing good comedy can be just as hard if not harder than straight-faced character acting.

Comments imported from DISQUS

Chad, on 10/08/2009 at 5:18 PM

Any depth of emotional interplay can be hard work. The further from the tenor of the atmosphere, the harder. The comic in an angsty game is as difficult to play as the debbie downer in a lighthearted comedy (although the latter is likely to be laughed at, or to be turned into a comic foil more often.)

1 comment:

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