The Art of Darkness

Interesting Party Idea

February 6th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Just throwing this out here because it’s a cool idea and I don’t know what else to do with it:

Last year webcomic artist Kate Leth (site NSFW) threw a party with the theme of “Elseworlds: Come As Yourself From A Different Timeline.”

Elseworlds is an imprint of DC Comics which presents stories that take place outside of canon, placing existing characters in alternate realities or imaginary stories which don’t impact the “real” continuity; one example is Gotham by Gaslight, which featured a Victorian-era Batman fighting Jack the Ripper.

The party idea is sort of brilliant, and so many things could be done with it. I love the idea of, instead of coming as somebody else, you come as yourself…who happens to be somebody else. There are a zillion science fiction stories which explore what the world would be like if major historical events had worked out differently: What if Hitler hadn’t gone into politics (The Iron Dream)? What if the South had won the American Civil War (Bring the Jubilee)? And so on. This party would instead focus on what might have happened in your own personal timeline if things had worked out differently.

The changes could be major (What if the Axis had won WWII?) or minor (What if you’d chosen a different major in college?) but in either case you’d want to think about how those things would have impacted you personally and what that “other” you would be like. You certainly don’t have to confine yourself to current reality; you could also consider what things would be like if witchcraft really worked or if we’d recently made first contact with aliens.

Depending upon how you wanted to theme the party, you could either ask your guests to choose whatever alternate reality they wanted and then explain who their alternate self is, or give them the parameters of your other timeline (“We live in a world where vampires really exist,” or “Columbus was lost at sea, the empires in South America flourished, and eventually their sailors discovered Europe”) and ask them to come as whoever they think they would be in those different circumstances.

A “Come As You Aren’t” party is a refreshing change from standard costume parties, and the theme possibilities are limitless. This will definitely be on my shortlist of party ideas.

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