Fantasy dressing up for live-action roleplay games

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Live Action Role Play, or LARP, may be thought of as a life-sized version of Dungeons and Dragons but the activity dates back to Tudor times.

Even Queen Elizabeth I is believed to have been a 'LARPer' who dressed up to play games.

"LARP is something like an improvised play performed with no audience and no script or like living in your own video game", explains Lizzie Stark, the author of the book Leaving Mundania.

Miss Stark, a 30-year-old freelance journalist, spent 18 months playing the fantasy medieval game Knight Realms, which has been going on for years in the woods surrounding Sparta in New Jersey.

To complete her research, Lizzie Stark also went to Scandinavia to experience the "Nordic avant-garde art LARP". These games can be focused on religion, love or even explore themes related to death and addiction.

The BBC escaped the real world to spend a day with goblins, ancient magicians and knights - and to find out what makes people LARP.

Produced by Anna Bressanin; Camera by Ilya Shnitser

Photos of Nordic LARP 'System Danmarc' are by Rasmus Hogdall. Photos of 'In Fair Verona' are by Peter Munthe-Kaas.

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