Around 20 Isla Vista residents charged into battle at “Dogshit Park” on Sunday afternoon, fighting each other with foam-covered plastic pipes in live action role-play, also known as LARP.
“Are you ready for glory?” shouted Tomek Fraczek, a fourth-year physics major, right before one of the battles.
Three members from the UCSB Excursion Club organized this year’s game after the tradition began two years ago.
Camoron Jordan, UCSB alumnus and one of the event organizers, said his friend, Nik Frey, organized the event for the last two years, and he wanted to continue the tradition out of “respect for him.”
While last year’s event raised money for Lymphoma research, third-year economics and accounting major John Duston said this year’s LARP would not be donating.
According to Duston, the group would like to add donations back into the event next year.
“Next year, we hope to bring back the charitable donations, because that was something that Nik was really into, so we wanted to continue this legacy with that,” he said.
The rules of the game are simple: Any hits above the knee counted as a death while any hits below the elbow or knee meant a lost arm or leg. Headshots were discouraged, but not prohibited.
The simplicity allowed several bystanders to immediately join in and participate in the game.
“It’s just fun. If anyone else could come out here, be silly, hit each other with foam swords and get a pretty good workout … it’s pretty good,” Fraczek said.
Spanning over two hours, the warriors alternated among games of shirts versus skins, king of the hill, capture the flag and one-versus-one. Several warriors flung their arms around and slowly fell after being hit by a finishing blow, emphasizing the worthiness of their defeat.
Hunter McCoole, a communication major currently taking a hiatus from school, was walking her dog when she saw the warriors fighting outside her house.
“It looks like it was played safe. Everyone looked super stoked, and I think it’s great that everyone came outdoors and just had fun instead of being inside and studying,” McCoole said.
After 30 minutes of the LARP, Police Officer Andy Radujko stopped by on his motorcycle and took out his baton, jokingly ready to battle with the rest of the warriors.
Radujko used to engage in a similar activity during high school and said it was great that Excursion Club was hosting the event.