The FBI's guide to LARPing and violent extremism

Commentators often mock right-wing militia guys as "LARPers," drawing attention to the performance aspects, low-quality or replica tactical equipment, and other wannabe elements on display. The result of this is that when they do bad things and get caught, they claim to have been just LARPing. The FBI posted a guide to distinguishing between real LARPers and violent extremists, and it's an instant classic in the history of Federal Squareness. You have to imagine perplexedly serious agents in sunglasses joylessly reading it to one another over excellent coffee in the middle of nowhere while they try to figure out whether the locals are proto-fascist terrorists or just playing the latest expansion to Shadowrun.

Individuals can engage in such activity informally or as part of an organized group. Presumably, the earliest formal LARP group was Dagorhir Battle Games, founded in the United States in 1977. Members of the group create fantasy battles with harmless weapons, such as foam swords.2 Another organization, the Society for Creative Anachronism, is an international, educational nonprofit devoted to researching and recreating the pre-17th century world and thereby enriching the lives of its participants.3

Violent Extremism

In the modern era, as extreme beliefs (e.g., anti-government or anti-law enforcement movements) and societal unrest have become increasingly widespread,

And on it goes. The key findings ↓

As they walked back to the SUV, it struck Agent Loring that black was a poor color for the Tennessee summer. He turned to Agent Culpepper and raised an eyebrow: "I touched that sword," he said. "It was not foam."