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Feeling stressed? Why not LARP at Seattle's Emerald City Comic Con

LARP group Amtgard provide the ideal answer to con tension

LARP at ECCC 2024
Image credit: Popverse

Let’s be honest: conventions can be stressful experiences sometimes. There’s a lot of people around, which can be anxiety inducing enough in its own right, but add that to the fact that you don’t want to miss your favorite creator at their table, or that panel you’ve been waiting all year for — never mind the stress of making sure that you get that one special con exclusive you’ve been looking for. So, what can be done to de-stress during a con?

The fine folks at local LARP group Amtgard have the ideal solution: fight people with foam weapons.

Amtgard is enjoying a packed second year at Emerald City Comic Con, with a set-up on the third floor of the Seattle Convention Center Summit Building that allows con-goers to sign up and — having signed off on the appropriate safety waivers, and been trained in a similarly appropriate manner — take their frustration and concern out on each other. The expansive space has been filled since the show opened, but according to organizer Chiba (AKA Woody Nadobahr, but Chiba is what he goes by in the game itself), the success of the space wasn’t something everyone in the organization was necessarily expecting immediately.

“The excitement of course comes later, but [the first reaction to announcing the ECCC space was] shock and disbelief. This game's been around since 1983 and we've been in the shadows the whole time. We are not used to the geek world recognizing that we even exist, much less giving us this giant corner to do our thing and doing it with us,” Chiba said. Two years in, however, and the Amtgard space has become a must-visit destination.

LARP at ECCC 2024
Image credit: Popverse

“People who come to this event immediately started coming to us because that's what they wanted to spend their filler time doing. Of course there was that one thing they came to the show for, but the rest of the time when they’re not shopping or attending panels, they’re with us just beating up on each other,” Chiba joked.

The highlight of the 2024 event so far, Chiba shared, was the appearance Friday of one particularly sizable opponent. “Earlier today, a nine-foot tall, 500 pound gorilla rolled up and we squeezed a pen into his hands and he managed to sign a waiver enough to arm him. We unfortunately did not talk about the 500 pound gorilla in the room, but we did fight it though.”

Attendees at ECCC 2024 should head to the third floor of the Seattle Convention Center Summit Building to take part in the fun themselves. It really is a particularly good way to work out those lingering concerns.

Get fully immersed in ECCC 2024 with Popverse's coverage of the event. From main stage panel livestreams to backstage interviews, on-the-floor coverage, news, cosplay galleries, and all the major panels we'll be m ocderating! We also have a list of the ECCC 2024 artist alley and the big booths to expect. We've even got you covered on where to eat near the convention center.

About Emerald City Comic Con

The Pacific Northwest's four-day pop culture extravaganza.




Seattle Convention Center Summit Building
United States

Visit the event page
Graeme McMillan

Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.


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