‘The Night in Question’ Raises Questions About People and Predators
February 28, 2020 Jamey Hampton 0 Comments
Humans are herd animals. Herds meander, move in an uncoordinated way. But vampires are pack animals. Predators. And packs move with strategy and intention. That’s what makes vampires so scary. They’re different than predators that exist in nature. Wolves, for instance, are predators too—but wolves look like wolves and vampires can look like humans, hiding among our herd in plain sight. Hunting us.
These were some of the concepts we talked about in the character workshops the evening before The Night In Question, thinking about what it means to be a person and what it means to be a monster.
Those thoughts were still on my mind in the early evening of the next day, after my friends and I pulled into the grassy parking lot at Cauldron’s Keep, the rural venue where Jackalope’s Vampire: The Masquerade LARP event is held outside of Austin, TX. As folks gathered for the start of the game, I stood among them, preparing myself for the night’s events with tense anticipation. I wore the costume I had worked so hard on, but my fangs were hidden behind my curled lips, the fuzzy prosthetic ears meant to represent my bestial nature covered by my hood. The official beginning of the game was signaled by an eerie announcement, with sirens and the sounds of frightened people faintly audible in the background. “Where were you on the night in question?” we were asked, and I was struck by the sensation of knowing something that others didn’t. I felt like a predator hiding among the herd in plain sight.
This was my second time participating in Jackalope’s signature Sabbat game, and my goal was to make it as different as possible from my first playthrough. I found that playing as a vampire instead of as a mortal made for a very different experience—it came with a lot more responsibility to make sure all the players around me were having a good time, but it was also deeply rewarding to be a positive part of other people’s game experience. Read the whole article on Sidequest!