As you’re probably already aware, some people love to role play. Some love it so much that they make a regular thing out of it, or at least a pretty good reason to get together as often as they can and to delve deeper and deeper into their world of choice. Reenactment can have various degrees of professionalism – ranging from a “just for show” approach to a hardcore accuracy approach – and a multitude of themes and universes to reenact. The people performing the characters to be displayed can be amateurs who only do this as a hobby in their spare time, or people who do this as a profession, as their group becomes more well-known and invited to events.
There are basically two types of reenactment: historical reenactment (meant to bring to life a certain period in a people’s history, also known as “living history”), and fantasy reenactment (which focuses on bringing to life the world described in a fictional book, or movie, or computer game). Basically, the more fans a certain imaginary universe has, the greater the chance for really cool reenactments of it. Yes, that also means that if you were to learn a fictional language, say, Dothraki, there will also be more speakers of that language for you to spend time with. Fun, right? Let’s take a look at the greatest reenactment communities you could get involved in.
1. Civil War Reenactment in the USA
The most popular reenactment in the United States is everything civil war-related. It’s quite a big venture, sometimes generously sponsored by the state because it theoretically promotes a rise in patriotism achieved in a fun way (just so you can get an idea of how mainstream the whole thing is). The most prominent reenactment community that deals with the civil war, and, subsequently, the most elaborate battle you could hope to be a part of, is the GAC: the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee.
Founded in 1995, they host a gigantic battle every year to commemorate the Gettysburg battle. To catch it, you need to buy tickets to in advance if you plan to catch a seat. They managed to donate tens of thousands of dollars to national charities and historical preservation groups over the years. If you want to observe the reenactment and maybe even learn a trick or two, they’re definitely worth checking out.
2. Medieval Reenactment in Europe
If the civil wars is la piece de resistance of American reenactable history, then Europe prides itself with its medieval background. Who doesn’t like castles, towers, princesses, fine medieval weaponry, armor, and glorious knights? Or, to put it in TV shows terms, who doesn’t like the Vikings? But medieval reenactment can be about way more than just battle. The greatest reenactment communities focusing on the medieval way of life also feature the different codes of honor and heraldry of various guilds, as well as detailed know-how on a variety of craftwork.
If you’re from a European country, there are probably a lot of such reenactment communities to choose from. The greatest reenactment communities in Europe make it into this consortium, so browse their website a bit to find one from your country.
3. Game of Thrones Reenactment, in Italy but not only
Recently, a certain Game of Thrones reenactment community in Italy made headlines by displaying some pretty darn impressive detail in costume-making. You can give them a thorough check-out here and feast your eyes on their gorgeous images. Since the Game of Thrones franchise enjoys a vast fanbase, there are probably similar groups to get involved in even if you don’t live in Italy.
We hope you enjoyed this little incursion into the world’s greatest reenactment communities and remember: there are always lamer ways to spend your free time!