Posted on November 23, 2011 by MichelleWebb
The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Michelle Webb, author of the recently launched Life Imitates LARP column here at Flames Rising. Michelle tells us about her joining a Vampire LARP, being a member of the Camarilla fan club and the friends she has met along the way…
It was a nerds wildest dream!
When I went with my friend Scott to play in a Vampire game he’d heard about at his (now wife’s) school, I had no idea my life would be forever changed. At the time I was in my first marriage and working at jobs I hated, making just enough scratch to keep my head above water. Little did I know when I showed up at Angsthaus that night that I’d be here writing this all these years later. I’m now happily married and living the nerd dream of working in the gaming industry and being able to be a part of the game that changed my life. That game was Vampire the Masquerade.
Vampire changed my life. There are no doubts in my mind that Vampire changed my life. Through the game I found a cadre of friends who I call brother. Because of Vampire, I found my husband, Eddy (I’m sure you noticed the last name by now). Playing this game helped me deal with the sudden death of my mother when I was 27. When my world came tumbling down in December of 1998, I was lost and alone. My mom and I had been very close our whole lives. She was only 19 when I was born so we grew up together. We’d had our conflict as normal parent and child do, but I never in a million years thought at 27, she’d be gone. I was completely gutted. Vampire and my cadre of tight and dear friends helped me get outside of myself for a few hours to cope with my loss. Being someone else for a while with someone else’s problems and concerns allowed me to get perspective on my own pain. I’d tried to talk to counselors but they provided me no solace. I’m honestly not sure how I would have gotten through that year had it not been for my little alter ego that I played in email a bit each day and once a week a game just to break free from my reality.
When the opportunity came years later for Eddy to come work on the game we both loved, it was a no-brainer. Of course we’d come. I got into school to finish my masters here in Atlanta and we settled into our new home and life. During all the intervening years I’d been a member of the Camarilla Fan Club and worked to tell stories and bring joy to members all over the world. It was through that organization that I found a way to give back for all the good things that the game had provided me when I most desperately needed it.
When I was about to graduate from college, the dream came for me. I got a call from Jim to interview me for a job at CCP. It was a nerds wildest dream! Since that day, I’ve been living the dream. All of these things happened because my friend Scott showed me a flyer one night.
I often wonder where I’d have been if I hadn’t gone that night and hadn’t become hooked. I wonder what my life would have been like if I’d never met this game. I’d probably still be counting down the days to retirement in a marriage I’d grown to hate. I think about that life and I smile, knowing that because of a book full of heartless, selfish monsters, I found the best things in life.
Michelle Webb – 2011
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