Burnout is one of the main causes of toxic behavior. LARP can be an emotionally and mentally draining hobby, and despite what we’d like to think, we only have limited reserves. Sometimes giving things a chance to recharge may be for the best.
Spotting burnout in yourself can be hard, but ask yourself the following questions.
- Am I having fun with my current character?
- Do I feel my current character goals are attainable?
- Do I feel any emotional investment in the game?
- Am I attending game because I enjoy LARPing (vs going out of a sense of obligation)?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you may be experiencing burnout. Consider trying to explore another facet of your current character.
If you feel stuck with your current character, consider creating an alternate character. Sometimes, a fresh perspective can renew your interest in the game. Cultivate ties with someone you might not usually on your primary character. The Hidden Parlor provides floor experience to new characters, which helps to lessen the impact of starting a new PC.
If you aren’t having fun at all, don’t be afraid to walk away. Take a month or two off, enjoy other hobbies or find a new one or two. Game will still be there when you get back. If you find yourself still not enjoying yourself when you return, a long term hiatus or quitting altogether isn’t cowardly. This is a hobby that’s meant to be enjoyed, not a chore you drag yourself to each time.
FOR STOYTELLERS, ADMINISTRATORS, AND OTHER OFFICERS:
- Do I feel as if my contributions to game matter?
- Do I feel able to fairly deal with all players in the game?
- Do I look forward to volunteering?
- Does this still feel like a hobby and not a job?
Even as staff, the game is meant to be fun for you too! If you feel like you are working a second (or third!) job, then it might be time to either delegate to other members of staff or step down.
If you haven’t had a chance to interact as a player instead of as staff, doing so can often be a fresh perspective and revitalizing. Much like with players, it may be time to take a month or two away from game and allow you the time you need to recharge and recover. If even a short break doesn’t seem to work, this is a hobby, not a job. Stepping away altogether isn’t a bad thing if the alternative is keeping at it out of a sense of obligation, even when you’re personally miserable.
Our hobbies are meant for fun. Sometimes we volunteer out of fear that there isn’t an adequate replacement for that role. If that is a concern for you, reach out to your Community Engagement Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org). They can help you put together a plan to identify and train in new storytellers and administrators. Game should not in any way, shape, or form take precedent over your real life.
Table of Contents
- What are Toxic Behaviors?
- Responding to Toxic Behaviors
- Collective Disturbances and Red Flag Meetings
- Professional Courage and the Staff Member
- Burnout: The Fun Killer
- Idle Hands Are the Devil’s Something or Other
- Boundaries: They’re not a starting line, and they’re not a finish line
- Cheaters: They Never Prosper
- 24/7 Gaming: Too Much Of A Good Thing
- Navigating In-Character Reactions
- Playing Favorites: The Game No-one Really Ever Wins
- Apathy Towards Destructive Behaviors: The Destructive Player
- Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow