The Wild West is Back In an Unbelievably Accurate LARP

The Wild West is Back In an Unbelievably Accurate LARP

Czech LARPers use historically accurate costumes, props, and settings to bring out the atmosphere of the Wild West.

A talented group of people donned their cowboy hats, dirty clothes, and prop guns for the Hell on Wheels LARP held in Stonetown of the Czech Republic.

Based on AMC's Hell on Wheels, a television series about the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad, the LARP of the same name is an intense Western LARP. Taking place in 1866 in Nebraska, a part of the Cheyenne Native American tribe, the game tasks over 50 people with assuming the role of a Union Pacific Railroad employee.

Hell on Wheels uses accurate props, costumes, and settings to create an atmosphere for the weekend that helps players get into their characters. The costumes, props, and setting all emphasize historical accuracy; players were expected to spend the weekend in costumes they made or commissioned. The goal is to create a town where it feels like railroad employees in the 1800s lived. To that effect, the LARP takes place in a makeshift town with cabins, a saloon, and steam locomotives along with shootouts, cowboys, outlaws, and the sheriff. Players spend the weekend as their character, including times of meals and rest.

All sorts of people work for the Pacific Railroad. Players indicate the top five characters they would be interested in playing of the following: company management, Americans, Irish, Germans, prostitutes, blacks, foreigners, and Native Americans. Players learn more about their characters over the course of each chapter. During each chapter, players are provided new information about their characters to impact the story.

The event has run three separate weekends. The first Hell on Wheels took place last year, and the most recent event ran September 18 to 21. The next run is tentatively scheduled for spring 2015.

Photos are courtesy of Larping.org. To see more pictures of Hell on Wheels, check out Larping.org.

Source: Larping.org via Hell on Wheels

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These are some impressive costumes, but I feel compelled to ask - why the Czech republic? Do the Czechs have that much love for americana?

Not so much that it's Czech Republic specifically, but I'm honestly not surprised that it would take a people outside of the US to appreciate a genre the US itself seems to have abandoned a while ago. What I want to know is why the interest in what is, for many people doing this, imitating back-breaking slave labor?

As a LARPer who often attends LARPs of this type,
the opportunity to role play these situations is a great way to understand and learn from the mistakes of the past.
Look up Nordic LARP for more info.

Blarg Blargson:
These are some impressive costumes, but I feel compelled to ask - why the Czech republic? Do the Czechs have that much love for americana?

vid87:
Not so much that it's Czech Republic specifically, but I'm honestly not surprised that it would take a people outside of the US to appreciate a genre the US itself seems to have abandoned a while ago. What I want to know is why the interest in what is, for many people doing this, imitating back-breaking slave labor?

American TV had a resurgence in former Eastern Bloc countries after the fall of the USSR.

Pracitcally everything was aired at once, so there was a sudden burst of exposure to Americana...this makes quite a lot of sense really. America associates the Wild West as a time of national pride, but I imagine that in most other countries, it's just a cool setting!

OP: Interesting... I'd like to imagine a LARP Mexican Standoff, or a re-creation of one of the Fistful of Dollars movies.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
American TV had a resurgence in former Eastern Bloc countries after the fall of the USSR.

Pracitcally everything was aired at once, so there was a sudden burst of exposure to Americana...this makes quite a lot of sense really. America associates the Wild West as a time of national pride, but I imagine that in most other countries, it's just a cool setting!

Interesting. I suppose that also explains Hard West.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1752350052/hard-west

Dang, I'm honestly impressed. I gotta give this one a look now...

That is really cool, and i would love to take part in it.

I find it interesting that you can rp as a black, don't think that would fly in more of the western countries with how sensitive people can be.

Reminds me of station 13, a couple people get to play characters which are supposed to impact story progression. The rest are either sheep or try to force themselves in there regardless :)

Man the shaders in this video game really overuse the rim lighting effect.

Ha, ha. I kid, I kid. The rim lighting in these photographs is actually extremely subtle compared to a lot of recent video games about the wild west.

This looks so cool! The photography is really amazing, as are the costumes.

I love the Wild West.

 

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