According to recent data released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), autism spectrum disorder effects one in every 68 children in the United States and is about five times more likely to occur in boys than girls. Those with autism can find themselves isolated, as the disorder can make social interactions difficult and riddled with anxiety.
For many on the outside, LARPing, or live action role-playing, may seem like an in-depth performance or fantasy game. But for many of its participants, it's an escape into a different reality, one that can offer the tools needed to overcome social anxieties and disorders such as autism or Asperger's syndrome.
In this excerpt from our series Profiles by VICE, we meet autism sufferer Jon Gallagher, who finds peace and friendship—two things that were previously unavailable to him—in the the world of LARPing.