So last night I was ran over by a van. 

Blood everywhere, my arm trapped underneath a wheel, my three friends scattered about in a similar state.

Getting paid to roleplay is awesome. It taught me something too. 

So on a residential trip 9 groups of want to be medics were challenged to put their new first aid skills to work as we kicked, screamed and seizured. Our brief was ‘be in pain – be difficult’. On me they had the challenge of keeping me concious, getting me to shut up about finding the driver and getting my arm out whiles I gave them some good old fashioned decibels.

The name of the game was super srs roleplay; to terrify them until they saw they could do it under pressure. With the smoke, sirens, van and cold snap to the night the setting was convincing. Now it was down to 3 guys in make up, one dummy and two onlookers yelling ‘Do a thing dammit’.

So after being made to run these 16-17 year olds poke and prod us while despairing and panicking in amusing measures. Some of the teams took it very seriously and despite my own scarf being used to cover my ketchup soaked arm I still wanted to high five them. Meanwhile other teams were…. Well. After deciding they needed a torch they whipped out their phones – they realised they had none so looked for a white backgrounded app, decided on facebook, forgot their facebook password then got an earful from megaphone paramedic lass that I was going to die while they took a selfie with me.

And that was when I broke. Just a little smirk. Our hopes for tomorrow saw me grin and that took the moment. Flat out panic and focus evaporated. Gone.

Meanwhile a group full of jokes and swagger lost their tune when I vomited (read: spat out a mouth full of water) on their shoes. Their game shot through the roof as the mantra of ‘WHATDIDTHEYTEACHUSINBASICSWHATDIDTHEYTEACHUSINBASICS’ rolled out.

 

So yeah. To summarise – not all roleplay is super srs. In fact – not a lot is. But: when you sign on for a moment that is do not be the smiling corpse. 

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