Students participate in medieval fight club

Ball State medieval clubBall State students begin battle on the University Green. Members of the Dagorhir-Dag group Stormhaven practice medieval fighting with fake swords on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

Faruq ‘Ayyub Abdurrasheed-Wagner fights an opponent during a Dagorhir game on the University Green.

“Three, two, one, play on!” is the phrase that can be heard when walking past the University Green on Wednesday afternoons. Students running with fake swords and shields are a part of this chaotic scene.

Ball State students participate in a game called Dagorhir-Dag, which gives players the opportunity to transition back into a medieval fighting scenario. Players break up into teams and battle each other with the use of foam swords, shields, bows and arrows, along with various other weapons that some students make themselves.

Junior telecommunications major Tim McDonald first heard about Dagorhir through a friend, and is now an active member of Ball State’s chapter called Stormhaven.

“Dagorhir is kind of a medieval combat type deal,” McDonald said. “It has several different game types you can play. The basic rules boil down to if you get hit in the arm, you lose that arm, if you get hit in the leg, you lose that leg and if you get hit in the chest or back, you die. If you lose two limbs, you are also dead. Different games have different rules.”

Nancy Brewer, junior telecommunications major and chapter leader, sees “Dag” as not just a game, but an opportunity to meet people as well.

“My favorite part about playing Dagorhir is probably the social aspect of it,” Brewer said. “You make a lot of friends through it, even people who aren’t in your chapter. I have friends in Ohio who do it, too.”

Usually 25 to 30 people participate in each game. The chapter has built spare weapons for those who would want to play and are just walking past and encourage students to stop by and give the game a try. Brewer knows that some on-lookers have formed their own opinions, but said that other students should not judge it until they have tried it.

“I don’t want them to think it’s a LARP (Live Action Role Play), because that’s what a lot of people think especially since they saw Role Models,” Brewer said. “They see this and think it’s LARP, but we don’t role play or anything, we just hit each other with foam sticks. It’s kind of nerdy, but it can be a jock sport, so don’t think it’s a bunch of nerds hitting each other with weapons. It’s a lot more fun than just that.”

According to the organization’s official website, Dagorhir was created by Bryan Weise back in 1977. He was inspired by Lord of the Rings, and wanted to make the fantasy world come to life in some way. He began to create events where people could come together and fight. Weise first began the activity by posting flyers around his hometown of Washington, D.C. and by going on the local underground radio station giving the event details. For the first two years, Weise had called the game “Hobbit Wars,” only to change the name to Dagorhir. Over the years, the game began to spread across the country, as well as Canada and Mexico.

Ball State’s chapter of Dagorhir is active, practicing on Wednesdays from 3 p.m.- 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 p.m.- 5 p.m. for upcoming events.

Source: Ball State Daily News

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