Turns out someone was actually converted by the LARPing strategy

Turns out someone was actually converted by the LARPing strategy October 2, 2012

Back in the archives of the Why I am Catholic repository of conversion stories comes this anecdote from convert-from-Paganism Libby Edwards:

I also enjoyed comic books. (Bear with me; this will all tie together in a moment.) My favorite character was from The Uncanny X-Men, a blue, fuzzy mutant with a spaded tail and a penchant for swashbuckling with a sword. His name was Nightcrawler, and he was a devout Catholic–possibly the only devout Catholic to ever star in comic books. He was something new in my (admittedly limited) experience at the time–a Catholic clearly in love with God, and clearly happy about it.

My affection for the character soon translated to my creative free time. I started writing stories for my friends, and eventually role-playing the character in a comic book RPG. I played in other RPGs as well, and wrote on a semi-pro level in the fantasy and horror genres. Far more often than I intended, my original characters would end up Catholic, too. As a result, I was often challenged by other players and readers about my characters’ motivations, which forced me to turn to Catholic apologetics so I could accurately defend the reasoning behind my characters’ actions.

By this point, the Church was beginning to saturate everything I thought and everything I wrote, but it was when I began studying the Church in earnest (purely for research, or so I told myself) that the first real doubts began to creep in. I was thirty-five by this time, and had lived the majority of my young-adult life as a diehard Neopagan Witch. But enough doubt was sowed by the histories I read, the apologetics I devoured–and yes, the Catechism of the Church–that I began to wonder if I’d been off the mark all along. I was already in love with the trappings of the Church–the smells and bells, art and music, even the grandeur of the rituals, which is probably unsurprising given my love for the similar trappings of Neopaganism and Witchcraft. But I began reading truth in the apologetics as well. Hard truth, but Truth all the same. The rituals and spells of the Craft began to seem cheap by comparison–mere shadows of that Truth– and I was hungry for something real.

Note that LARPing raised Catholicism to the point where it was worth investigating more systematically, it wasn’t (and shouldn’t be) a proof on its own.

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