Tucker Avery, a substitute teacher here at LHS, has been gaming since his sophomore year of high school.
In the beginning, Avery played most of the “nerdy” games that were around when he was in high school, which mainly included Dungeons and Dragons, a roleplaying fantasy adventure board game.
Avery explained that he began “LARPing” his freshman year of college. To LARP simply means to take part in Live Action Role-Play. When LARPing, people will dress up as their favorite characters from the game that they play.
“My first year of LARPing I knew literally nothing,” says Avery. “I tried my freshman year [of college] but wasn’t into it until my sophomore year.”
Avery said that he usually plays as a “cast,” also known as a side character. They play a minor role in the game.
“They are there to help the main characters and be a part of the world,” he said.
Avery didn’t really begin to enjoy the game until he found a group of players that he liked and got along with.
“I liked it better [than the other games I played], instead of sitting with it in front of you, you can meet up at a campsite and beat up your friends,” says Avery. “But, the first group I joined was awful, it was like they were their own clique, and you had to be a part of it to get along with them.”
Currently, Avery plays with more accepting and friendly people, and he enjoys the game more.
“I play a post-apocalyptic game now. It’s based during the time of the 1800s, where we got the technology to discover everything that will happen in the future, and now the world has come to an end too quickly, and the very few people left are trying to save it,” says Avery. “It’s so much better because the ‘clique’ isn’t there and everyone is friends with everyone. It’s just a really great atmosphere.”
Now that he is a part of this world, Avery has tried to get some of his friends into it, and most of them made fun of him for it.
“I had a friend who would make fun of me all the time for it, but he played Dungeons and Dragons. He told me that LARPing was too nerdy, yet he would go to places and play D&D with friends,” he says. “One day I dragged him to a LARPing game to play as a cast, and now he’s more into it than me.”
Not only has Avery gotten many of his friends into the game, but he also knows many people whose lives changed just from joining the game of LARP.
“I knew a person who played with the person who was supposed to get him an internship, after a while they became very good friends, and he was able to get the internship,” he continues. “There was also a man who was a gold and silver collector and trader, and he was the kind of guy you would never expect to LARP.”
There are many people who enjoy the same things as Avery, but may be afraid to embrace their “inner-nerd.” To Avery, there is nothing wrong with doing so.
“Don’t care what other people think of you. I understand high school social stigmas, but in four years, it all fades to memory. Make sure you spend this time of your life having fun, whether it’s playing sports, or videogames,” he says. “Don’t let people’s insults get to you. If you like Pokemon, great! If you like to read, even better! Don’t let someone you care nothing for bully you out of doing something that you truly enjoy! Most of all, try new things. You never know, you might just have a good time.”
Avery proved his point when he got into LARPing; he didn’t think he would enjoy it at first since he was mostly into the board games that he played, the ones he calls “nerdy.” When his friend got him into LARPing, he didn’t enjoy it at first, but after awhile, he got very into it, and it soon became something that he loves doing.
Not only does Avery love being a part of the LARPing games, but he also loves being a substitute teacher. Doing the things that he does outside of school, has really helped him connect with his students.
“The fact that I play games and apps helps me connect to some kids and helps me to control the class a bit better,” he says with a smile. “‘Oh man! My teacher plays Clash of Clans?’ and other sentences like that usually end up with me in charge of a quieter, better behaved group.”
At the time of publication, Tucker Avery is waiting for the results of his Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure and hopes to become a full-time teacher
“I’m slowly but steadily making my way there,” he says.