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 Post subject: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:17 am 
Underling
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A few notes to start off with:

(1) This is not intended be be a troll thread.
I would like to have a mature, adult discussion on the philosophy behind garb in Belegarth. If this is not an appropriate forum on which to discuss this issue, then I apologize in advance and feel free to move this thread elsewhere or suggest somewhere where I should re-post.

(2) I realize that this thread serves no purpose. Keep that in mind.
Belegarth isn't going to change its garb rules, nor am I expecting that. I just wanted to discuss this idea for the sake of a discussion.

(3) These are my views only.
Some people in my realm share these views. Others are entirely into garb and the medieval experience. This is not a reflection of the opinion of Thunder Guard as a whole.

-----------------------------------------

Why do we need garb?

For some participants in Belegarth, garb is a critical part of the experience. It can show off their pride in their unit, their rank, their commitment to the game and their non-combat skills. It also enhances the medieval aspect of the game.

For others, garb is simply an annoyance. They will always do the bare minimum to just scrape by. They don't want to be wearing garb. They came to fight and that's what they will do.

Personally I'm a stick jock but I don't mind garb. I wear garb and try to have it look at least half-decent because I know it's a part of the sport's culture and I don't mind fitting into that culture. I'm just as happy fighting in a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt as I am fighting in Hakama and a tunic. But I'm not so concerned about my own experience for the sake of this thread; I'm mostly thinking about the growth of the sport.

Locally, we have had many many players who have showed up once or twice and never returned. The most common reason is that they feel uncomfortable around people in garb. They don't want to be labelled as 'LARPers' or 'geeks'. They're fine with beating each other up using swords and shields, but throw some baggy Hakama or a suit of armor into the equation and suddenly it's taboo.

You may be thinking, "If they're that judgmental about our sport, we don't want them anyway." Fair point! On the other hand, there is so much potential growth for this sport that we're missing out on because of the fact that we're trying to be two things at once. On one hand, we're trying to be a hard-hitting combat sport. On the other, we're trying to be a medieval/fantasy society. The two can exist independent of one another. People can dress up in medieval/fantasy garb without beating people up with foam weapons and people can beat each other up with foam weapons without wearing garb.

I am not looking to change the garb rules for Belegarth. I don't think it's possible. For people who have invested time and money into nice garb, and for people who are really into the medieval aspect of the society, it would ruin the entire sport. There is such a divide between those who favor garb and those who could care less, that any change to the rule would absolutely murder the entire sport. People in garb don't want to fight people in jeans and hoodies. End of story.

So again, not trying to actually provoke any sort of real change here - I'm just looking for the community's input on this subject; Is garb important to you? Do you think Belegarth would fare better (Numbers-wise) only as a sport, compared to being a medieval organization?

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Last edited by Akroth on Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:56 am 
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This is the wrong forum for this, as this forum is for asking questions on rules clarification. Mods will move it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:29 am 
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Moved from Rules Questions, and for the purposes of replying to the discussion, gave Akroth posting rights in RD&D.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:39 am 
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Every sport has a uniform. Our uniform is garb. People don't even think twice before throwing on tight pants packed full of padding for football, and that stuff looks retarded.

Yes, garb is important to me. I like how it looks, I like how it moves, I love how pictures of me look. Looking at the (very few) pictures of me fighting in street clothes, I look more stupid than I do when I'm fighting in garb. Why? It looks out of place. I look like every other joe-schmo wanna-be larper that doesn't want to put in the effort required to look decent. If the door gets opened, that's all it'll be after the folks that want to look nice and want a nice looking field get * and leave. A bunch of people running around in street clothes, hitting each other with sticks.

Our credibility goes out, too, because there's a certain awe factor attached to good garb. There have been more than a few cases where I've been on the sidelines at a practice and have had people talk to me, more interested in the garb than the fighting. In garb, we look like an organization. In street clothes, we look like a bunch of nerds.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:31 pm 
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Garb is not subject to your opinions. It is a fact. A staple of our organisation.
You are supposing that we may get more new people if we dropped garb.
You would loose me and my realm and all the people in my unit if we stopped requiring garb.
Yup, that's right, we would all quit Bel tomorrow and simply join another group that did require garb.
Are any new people worth the loss of nearly all of the veteran fighters? Because we have already seen what happens when large organisation split.
FB

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:43 pm 
Underling
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Caleidah - Yes, garb is a uniform. But why does our uniform need to be what it is? It generally provides no aspect of safety or protection from contact (As football or hockey uniforms might), nor is it clothing that the majority of people are comfortable wearing. Ask someone to put on a sports jersey and play, and they'll probably be fine with it. Ask someone to put on some Hakama and a tabard and they may look at you funny. Many new people are actually embarrassed by having to wear garb. For those of us who are into this sport, evidently it's a non-issue for us, but for newbies who aren't sure if they're sticking around or not, it is often the deciding factor that makes them leave.

ForkBeard - Garb is subject to my opinion just as it is subject to yours. The society is defined based upon the overall consensus of its members.

I think this whole thread is straying from the topic I was trying to get at...

I don't want to get rid of garb. Many of our existing members value garb as a part of the game and what they want is a medieval combat organization. It's part of the culture of the game. Removing that would alienate a large part of our player-base and divide the game. It's not an option.

At the same time looking at the flip-side of this issue, there is a massive demographic that would stick with us if it weren't for garb, but it's hard to convince them to try out the sport or to stay involved due to fear of being seen in garb / around people wearing garb. Have other realms noticed this trend, or are we alone in this?

How can we appeal to the demographic that is scared of garb?

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Last edited by Akroth on Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:20 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Fork don't get defensive. Akroth is speaking mostly of our realms recruitment issues and trying to get people talking about ways to deal with narrow minded newbies and garb culture. No ones trying to get rid of garb

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:29 pm 
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I made the point when another group was arguing against garb requirements.

If your newbies don't want to put in the effort of following the rules, then I have no want to put in the effort to try and get them to stay.

I'd rather we have a thousand less people, all of whom are in garb, than three thousand more that aren't. And if garb is what drives them away... then so be it.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:10 pm 
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To me, garb is about suspension of disbelief. I want to feel like I'm someplace else than in the mundane world. If a person is wearing garb that doesn't look like something in the regular world and could belong in a fantasy or medieval setting, then it works for me.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:40 pm 
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I've never seen a new fighter that was interested in the fighting shy away from garb. If they're interested enough that they come back a few times, they'll be fine putting on basic garb. I'd say to pursue THAT issue first. Get them to come several times on their own initiative. Then bring up basic garb. Haks are NOT the bare basic level. Scrub pants are. They're cheap. They don't make you look like you're going to play pretend between your house and practice.

But interested fighters don't care about garb. They're willing to at least nut up and wear the basics if they want to keep fighting.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:59 pm 
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Like you, I have experienced the drawbacks of garb at recruitment; it is a real thing depending on where you are. However, when you can make it out to a major event, you can see the benefits of everyone wearing it. My first major event was Okfest 2004, and LOTR movies were still fresh in my mind. There really is a suspension of belief when everyone is dressed their finest. At one point, Horde was marching to the field. I could see their leaders seated on platforms above the line of short trees and bushes, high up in the air, adorned in furs and animal skulls. They swayed gently back and forth to the rhythm of booming drum beats. I could not see why they were held so high above everyone. For a moment, I thought they were riding on to the field with elephants.When they emerged from the trees, I could see women from camps were chained underneath the platforms and were wailing. The platforms were being carried by slaves and as they came onto the field, fire-breathers and flag bearers ran about in front of the procession. I have never in my life felt closer to being in a fantasy world, and I will always remember that for a moment, I thought so many things were possible. Anyone can play by our rules as a sport and that is fine in your back yard, someday those people can even join us at events with some loaner garb, but I promise that even the sportiest stick jocks find it a bit magical to be fully immersed in the wonderful world we have built together.

TLDR: A lack of garb may be what increases numbers at practices in your hometown, but the inclusion of it is what makes us a national movement. Also, I have been in movies because of how cool I look in garb.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:51 pm 
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I personally am in the I feel stupid awkward if I pick up a sword in street clothes boat. Granted I'm probably up there in the crows nest because it has almost gotten to the point that I feel, for lack of a better description, 'unclean' if I even sit down to help with weapon construction or sit down to sew garb. My former housemate had an extremely difficult time getting me to go spare with him in our backyard without me going to put on at least my haks.

To answer your questions directly, yes garb is important to me. I suppose bel could potentially be better off number wise, but based on the few cases of the 'I'm too good for garb' recruit rejections I've seen in our realm in the past 5 or 6 years I've been here the quality of people we would have would most definitely go down the poop shoot faster than you could make the garb police harass you if you were were the green condom. (And by harass, I really mean tackle you, tie you to a tree, and then promptly flogging you.)

To be brutally honest, I am not in the least bit sorry that those few people never came back after the second practice. That's just that fewer bodies either myself or a few others on our field would have to toss in the river to hide the evidence.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:26 am 
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Anastasia of Chamonix wrote:
....... At one point, Horde was marching to the field. I could see their leaders seated on platforms above the line of short trees and bushes, high up in the air, adorned in furs and animal skulls. They swayed gently back and forth to the rhythm of booming drum beats. I could not see why they were held so high above everyone. For a moment, I thought they were riding on to the field with elephants.When they emerged from the trees, I could see women from camps were chained underneath the platforms and were wailing. The platforms were being carried by slaves and as they came onto the field, fire-breathers and flag bearers ran about in front of the procession. I have never in my life felt closer to being in a fantasy world, and I will always remember that for a moment, I thought so many things were possible. .......
I hope one day to be able to see something half as cool playing this game. I get the distinct impression from multiple posters and from reading the wiki that the glory days of Bel were in the first decade of this century.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:47 am 
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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:21 am 
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What I am saying is if we allowed ungarbed people on the field at events, I will not attend those events.
I will leave and join a group that required everyone to be in garb.
I do not want to fight clowns, furries, cowboys or * who refuse to wear garb. I don't care if there ate a million of them.
If new people do not want to get dress, they DO NOT WANT TO FIGHT.
Thats it.
That's how I and my whole realm feel. If garb "embarrasses" them or 'scares" them, then **** them. We do not NEED everyone.
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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:38 am 
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The uniform is embarrassing.... I can understand this. When I first started in martial arts, I was embarrassed to wear my Gi. I didn't want anyone to see me in it. When I first started in foam fighting, I wore garb. Still I was a bit embarrassed by it. But after some time, I became comfortable with both. Anytime you ask someone to put on a uniform and not wear their normal, everyday clothes, there's a little part of them that is uncomfortable with it. This could be garb, a work uniform, basically anything. The only real solution is to just own it. Wear it with pride, just like any other uniform. Something that helped me was going to dinner with the realm after practice. We hit the restaurant with skull and fur covered goblins and knights in fine surcoats. It was epic.

The same people who wont do this because of garb, wouldn't do martial arts if they had to wear a Gi. And are embarrassed to work at McDonald's because of the uniform.

Garb is an integral part of our game. It runs the gamut of very historical to very fantasy. It serves a purpose. It sets us apart as an organization, not just dudes with sticks. It also provides the suspension of disbelief as mentioned above as well. What draws many people to this game is the medievalism involved. True, for some, it's just about hitting the other guy, but I think that a lot more people are into it for more than just that.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:02 am 
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Akroth wrote:
At the same time looking at the flip-side of this issue, there is a massive demographic that would stick with us if it weren't for garb, but it's hard to convince them to try out the sport or to stay involved due to fear of being seen in garb / around people wearing garb. Have other realms noticed this trend, or are we alone in this?

How can we appeal to the demographic that is scared of garb?


I agree with you that there is a percentage of the population who is exactly the type of person we want and at first afraid of garb. I know that MOST people don't fall into this category but there are definitely some. In my experience, the best way to help those people over the "cool hump" (so to speak) is to:

1) Have really good garb. As stated up there somewhere by someone awesome, the better the garb, the more respect you get right off the bat.

2) Not require garb for newbs/walk-ons. This is not to say don't encourage them to get some or have an "after 4 weeks you need garb" rule or something. Definitely DO. But help make the game accessible by not requiring that they jump in head first right from the start.

3) Speak like a "normal" person. This seems self explanatory since we all feel we speak "normal" and get our nerdy references, however I've found it's not. It can be intimidating for a new player to all the sudden be surrounded by inside jokes, EXTREME nerdy talk, etc. so it is helpful to make sure you are more accessible for newbs by toning down the nerdy talk at first. OR/AND

4) Include them in your jargon. People want to be around people who they feel include them. If you have a newb who seems on the fence about being with you, the best way to help show them that you are exactly where they want to be is to include them in conversation. If a reference is made that they don't get, take the time to explain it. If you're talking about fighting, include them in the discussion and compliment their efforts. This helps with anyone regardless of if they like garb, but I have seen it make the difference for people who are on the fence.

and 5) Practice near your primary target audience. For my old realm, practicing on a college campus has been invaluable. Tir na nOg (TNN) practices in the middle of the University of Oregon and at first we had hecklers, people laughing, etc. But after about a year we became part of campus culture and so people would set up blankets around our field to study, hang out, and watch us on Sundays. This helped a TON because it meant we were high exposure, it meant that people were looking forward to it, and it meant that we were smack dab in the middle of our target audience: young people with generally open minds.

Practicing on/near campus also has the bonus of students doing projects on you: film, interviews, photography classes, and anthropology cultural projects all brought us people who would otherwise not have tried, and some even stayed on to become key members. We even had an entire group of Frat guys come play in togas one event and after about 5 minutes they were very serious and had a great time. They even came back and referred their friends. While that particular group didn't stay on, the fact that they played it in an open environmental helped "normalize" it and make garb less "nerdy" to other people and we experienced a lot of growth after that event.

NOTE: When dealing with the frat of "jock" guys, another trick is to take the speaking "normal" thing even further and "speak their language." Once I explained shield teamwork like football lines they were twice as effective and that much more serious. No joke.)

It also doesn't hurt to have a girl as one of your spokes persons. I will admit that our realm had about 1/3-1/4 girls (TNN is about 40-60 people depending on the season)and for 3 years was run by the same core group, all girls, so that certainly makes people a little more prone to approach you. So if possible, get a chick to do the talking. And you can bet your * those girls also had sick garb. To second the first point: great garb = more positive attention and looking more "legit."


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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:49 am 
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Thanks Acorn. We've actually been doing a few of these things already so it's good to see we're doing things right for the most part. In thunder Guards five year existence we've always had trouble keeping new people around for longer then a couple practices. Now that we practice on campus though we're having more luck.

To add to the conversation Garb to me has always seemed like a necessity. I would feel very awkward or out of place to go back to the early days where I would come to practice in shorts and a t-shirt. I think it's actually pretty funny that certain people suggest we fight in a jersey and jeans. For starters Most sports don't fight in denim
denim is not constructed in such a way that it works well as athletic attire. It's restricting and stains really easily. I've tried fighting in jeans a couple times and I **** hated it. The jersey argument is silly too. Jersey's in combat sports/martial arts are almost unheard of. Think about it: Someone doing Jujutsu in a jersey and jeans would look super cheesy.

Still we try to ease new people into the whole garb thing slowly. We've actually started doing one practice a month in regular athletic attire as a way to show new people how much fun they could be having if they just put their foolishness aside. Usually once they try it they're willing to come back even with people wearing garb.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Here's an interesting bit of statistics concerning martial arts schools that would apply to us as well. A well know MA school business magazine described it like this.

If you have 1000 people see your school/sign/advert, etc. of those, 100 will be interested, 10 will actually check it out, even participate a bit, and 1 will stay as a student.

The point being, that don't think that just because someone has an interest in it, or even comes out a time or two, that they will be staying. Likelyhood says that they wont. I think the groups that are friendly, open, and welcoming to everyone are going to be the ones who have the best membership numbers. We require garb at practices, but not if you are new, that's just foolish. We require people to have their own weapons too, but only after a time. To do any different would help nothing.

I feel as long as we, as a group, are friendly and welcoming to new people, we will have about the best retention rate we can for what we do. Most of the realms out west here (IDK about the eastern ones because it's been to * long since I've been out there) do this fairly well from what I have seen and read.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:56 pm 
Hero
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Acorn wrote:
Have you been to Chaos Wars yet?
Sadly, no. Family obligations prevent me from travelling much in the game.

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Just don't call it boffing/boffering. That's not what we do. We fight. With swords. To the sorta-death. I can't stand it when someone says boffering. Plus is means sexin' in the UK.



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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:47 pm 
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You really should come to CW. While it may seem that we wax about the past and how cool it is, we have had processions to feast every year for the last like 5-6 years at CW. It started with just one group doing it, now there is a prize for best feast procession.

Chaos and other events are the whole reason I do this. While practicing at home is fun and all, events are where it's at. I know you've been to some events TC, but I fully suggest you find a way to come to CW. We have a family/quiet camp area set up, so bring the whole gang, it's worth it, I swear.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:10 pm 
Slayer
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we also have kid-centered activities like Goblyn night where the camps put on activities for kids and also "kiddie battles" this year where a couple times a week at lunch they can play on the big field all official like.

okay, enough thread hijacking for selfish event promotion. lols.

but no seriously, come and experience Bel at it's finest.

k, now i'm done. promise.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:01 pm 
Hero
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Actually, its not much of a thread hijack because the reason behind me needing to put family first is because my wife hates the fact that I fight Bel because she is embarrassed about garb. Our compromise is that I get to do something I enjoy and get some exercise but I'm not allowed to travel far or spend a lot of time or money on the hobby because we all look like freaks and in her mind, a proper adult cares what they look like to the outside world of 'normal' people. There are other issues also like participating in nightlife, adults using their imagination, the risk of becoming engrossed in quasi-religious escapism, being forced to be social and possibly liking any of you child molesters and dateless rejects and undermining her prejudices, and being stuck babysitting the kids in a tent while I play for a couple days to a week, but garb and looking weird are the biggest. While I'd love to attend and see this stuff and fight so many awesome people, she'll never come to an event and I'll never choose to take a week vacation away from my family - weekends are all I'm willing to force, and Idaho is just too far away for me to go play for only a weekend. Gotta pick your battles.

So, back OT, in a way, garb can have affects on those who stick around because of the social stigma and not necessarily because they themselves don't like it.

Garb ftw though. Back to you in the studio.

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Just don't call it boffing/boffering. That's not what we do. We fight. With swords. To the sorta-death. I can't stand it when someone says boffering. Plus is means sexin' in the UK.



RIP Surt, Adunakhor of Barad'dun
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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Tiberius Claudius wrote:
Actually, its not much of a thread hijack because the reason behind me needing to put family first is because my wife hates the fact that I fight Bel because she is embarrassed about garb. Our compromise is that I get to do something I enjoy and get some exercise but I'm not allowed to travel far or spend a lot of time or money on the hobby because we all look like freaks and in her mind, a proper adult cares what they look like to the outside world of 'normal' people. There are other issues also like participating in nightlife, adults using their imagination, the risk of becoming engrossed in quasi-religious escapism, being forced to be social and possibly liking any of you child molesters and dateless rejects and undermining her prejudices, and being stuck babysitting the kids in a tent while I play for a couple days to a week, but garb and looking weird are the biggest. While I'd love to attend and see this stuff and fight so many awesome people, she'll never come to an event and I'll never choose to take a week vacation away from my family - weekends are all I'm willing to force, and Idaho is just too far away for me to go play for only a weekend. Gotta pick your battles.

So, back OT, in a way, garb can have affects on those who stick around because of the social stigma and not necessarily because they themselves don't like it.

Garb ftw though. Back to you in the studio.


Dump that *.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Over the line Jimmy, even in jest.

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Remy the Wroth wrote:
Just don't call it boffing/boffering. That's not what we do. We fight. With swords. To the sorta-death. I can't stand it when someone says boffering. Plus is means sexin' in the UK.



RIP Surt, Adunakhor of Barad'dun
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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:15 pm 
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My psychologist wife suggests you guys see a marriage councilor.

Honestly.

This post is not a joke.




Now, back on topic: Garb makes us look good. What would you rather have as our "uniform", OP?


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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:59 pm 
Underling
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If you are having issues with people walking away from the sport because they feel like a "geek" wearing garb, here are a few suggestions that you could make to them:

1. Make them feel like they are a part of something.

Wearing garb just to wear garb is definitely geeky. I don't wear it to the mall, and I don't wear it at work. I take it off before I walk into gas stations or before I head into a store. I feel awkward and extremely visible in those places -- however, I feel at home in garb at practices and at events, and we want to make other people feel that way too.

Make some "new guy" tabards that all have the same look and feel so that they can have something during practices to wear. Make wearing it feel normal and necessary to enjoying the full aspect of the game.

2. Give a benefit to wearing garb.

Maybe you let new guys know that wearing the "new guy" garb will help veteran fighters on the field know who they are and avoid harder hits and make a more enjoyable experience for them.

Maybe you only let guys in garb use specific weapons or weapon combinations, so there is an incentive to wearing it.

Maybe you have garb that lets people know how long they have been fighting, if they've reached certain achievements, and create some low-level garb achievements that new people can equate to achieving something non-geeky. The faster they see garb as a uniform, or as a badge of honor, the faster they will want to adopt and enjoy the custom.

3. Offer to help them make or obtain garb.

I think one of the biggest potential turn-offs related to garb is that many people just don't know where to buy it, or how to make it. If no one is making attempts to help them find/make some garb, I can see people eventually feeling pressured to leave or feel like they don't really know enough to really get "into" the sport.

I would bet you would have a higher retention rate if there were some regular garb-crafting workshops or events they could attend to gear up for a specific event.

On that note, tie the wearing and making of garb to an event where it is going to be required. Get them excited about a theme or making an impact on the field. If somebody shows interest in spending their Saturday morning running around a park whacking other people with foam swords, I can't imagine they wouldn't be excited about getting a kickass design together and charging across a field with 300 people fighting on it.

I think there are plenty of ways to make garb feel cool, useful, desirable, and important to both the flow of a regular practice and the experience of a national event.

And, if all else fails, have them pick out the person with the "geekiest" armor and see if they still think they are "geeky" after they pound them into the ground a little bit. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:38 am 
Underling
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Arrakis wrote:
Now, back on topic: Garb makes us look good. What would you rather have as our "uniform", OP?


Now that I'm accustomed to it, I have no problem with the medieval garb. As a new player a few years back, I would have been 100 times more comfortable walking into a field full of people in tee-shirts and shorts than I was approaching a group in suits of chainmail and Hakama.

To be clear, we don't enforce garb heavily in our realm. In fact we're probably very lax about it. We start to push people to get garb once they've shown up to a season or so of practices, if they haven't already gotten it on their own. Until that point, it rarely even gets mentioned. People play in shorts, tee-shirts or whatever they happen to be wearing. Our regulars of course are proudly garbed up.

Some examples of the types of players we get who show up a few times and never return due to garb:

(1) The Jocks
Typically they show up in a group dressed in frat clothes and hats turned backward with an attitude that they can kick everyone's butt and that we're a bunch of nerds. We beat them up for a while and they end up commenting on how it's actually quite a good workout. They show up for a few practices, then disappear.

Here's an actual example of one such group that showed up to our practice a few years ago. They went to the effort of making a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vup0pFRvN8w

In this case, we're definitely 'speaking geek' after the fight (Someone brought up a computer problem they were having) which may have been a deterrent... Good suggestion on trying to speak their language.


(2) In The Closet Belegarther
We have several of this type in our realm. They refuse to wear garb, but often get into the sport heavily for about a season before dropping the game and only showing up once in a blue moon.

One prime example was a guy who was a bouncer at a local bar. He showed up regularly for part of a season and bought his own weapon. He then stopped showing up, citing that he didn't want to be seen around people in garb because people might recognize him at work and not take him seriously.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:33 am 
Hero
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A response to the archetypes you mention

The Jocks You hit the nail on the head when you said that they show up expecting to be gods at a game they've never played because they can lay down a good football tackle. The ignominy of being beaten by the people they used to bully in high school often crushes their fragile ego and forces them to go back to games they're better at, like beer pong or ladder golf. If you want to keep them interested, play up the social side of events and try to get them to experience it, though honestly you're probably better off without them.

In the closet Belegarther They really want to play. They've put in all the effort and suddenly real life hits them in the face and they go down for the count. This happens all the time, people have other obligations. I've known a few teachers who had to give up the sport because they had to maintain a professional relationship with the kids they taught, and never be around them drinking at an event. Many of the people you meet in this game are part of a college-based realm and fight for 4 years then never again once obligations of a job and or family take away most free time. Be happy that they come back every once in a while and be as friendly to them as possible when they are back.

Simply put I think the two best things you can do to retain fighters is to be friendly with them, and get them to an event. Many people who end up in our sport have been made to feel like outcasts at one time or another. I believe that a number of people show up looking for a place to belong as much as wanting a new hobby. Being friendly lets them know that we value people for who they are, and in a way garb is part of owning our difference rather than running from it. Events reinforce our community and the more newbies you can get to a major event the more of them you will keep. It will drive home the culture to them and make them feel less alienated just by having seen people from all over the country doing what they do without shame.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:13 pm 
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so here are a couple trick from rhun on how to make garb more enjoyable.


1. if you have dont have garb on you cant call garb/graze/light. this helps new fighters as they have to take all contact, also makes it so i want to wear garb or i have to take everything that touches me.

2. have girls doing the talking is great. the better they look the better result you will get. nothing boosts a realm like a couple youngish girls in good garb running around.

3. have a couple vets in charge of talking to new people about garb. talking about having garb days so you can help them. it is terrible when a newb makes a new peice all on thier own and ends up with a waste of time and money. it crushes their spirit, that is a bad thing.

tree thumps new guy garb is a great idea too, just a basic colored tabbard with edgig wo0uld do well over street clothes. this keep everyone aware of the new personand includes them.

making sure you dont talk other thier heads is good too. new people tend to e intimidated, so i make sure when i am resting i take a seat in the new persons area, asking basics and seeing what they think.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:34 am 
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bo1 wrote:

2. have girls doing the talking is great. the better they look the better result you will get. nothing boosts a realm like a couple youngish girls in good garb running around.


I've found this too. Especially if theyre corsets.


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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:27 am 
Slayer
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*in corsets.

and while yes, that is true, most chicks who wear corsets are there as eye candy, photographers, or water wenches. IMO that just encourages people to hang on the sidelines and flirt. A girl who can and will kick people * is always the better option.

which means you need a chick in an armor corset. lols.

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:20 pm 
Barbarian
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Yeah we actually have a couple female fighters within the realm and they"re usually one of the first people approached when we get any sort of media coverage. It's pretty cool to be able to show people that anyone can do this. Not just nerdy white guy's :P

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 Post subject: Re: "Why do we need garb?"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:22 pm 
Barbarian
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Red
This is on behalf of Antoinette who cannot post here

"So I need to obtain a amour grade corset....got it!. But honestly I am not sure where the disconnect happens with some people that come out. We get these super excited people who come out and try it and stay for a few months and as soon as you mention that they might want to consider getting garb for better game play, they shrug and go "I'll think about it" then we never see them again.

It is a goal I plan to table at out next realm meeting to have loner or "newbi" garb for the 2012 outdoor season. And I really hope it helps. I have been reading and following this thread and have taken all of the ideas given and recorded them for us to go over.

On a personal note, I love garb...it gives us that step out of our normal mundane lives into a world of times past, it is like why some people want to be goblyns and wear green body paint...it give you that feeling of being somewhere other then your office cubical, behind a desk at school, behind the service counter at work...its just kind of magical.

~Antoinette"

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