If you are part of the gamer world, know someone in the gamer world, or have been in any way exposed to technology in the past 6 months, you know about the Fallout 4 release. The post-apocalyptic game has all but dominated the minds of open role play gamers since its conception. One local LARP just decided to jump in and celebrate the release with a few demonstrations of their own.

Wasteville is a post-apocalyptic LARP based in Westville, IN. Unlike other LARPs that rely solely on melee weapons, Wasteville also incorporates NERF guns of all shapes, sizes, and modifications.

"What's that? It's cold out and these people are going to stand outside and shoot each other with NERF guns?" you ask.

In return I ask you, what is the one thing that would be even better than an open role play post-apocalyptic video game? Why push buttons when you can actually pull the triggers? What kind of a gamer are you anyhow?!

In all seriousness, you're going to be standing in line anyhow. You may as well be entertained by some post-apocalyptic LARP demonstrations. And if you've never been to a LARP and this seems like it might be a cool idea, then you have a chance to gather all the info you need to attend the next one. In the meantime, you can enjoy the in-depth and humorous role play and battles from a reasonably safe distance at Best Buy in Valparaiso from around 10 p.m. and through the actual release of Fallout 4.

Hint: You can still re-order and pickup tonight as well.

Edit: The owner just informed me that there may not be a battle since he had some cancellations, but he will still be there in garb to share information.

As many of you know by now, Melanie Greer was shot by her husband on August 1st, 2015. So far, she has made a recovery that is nothing short of amazing, but she still has a long way to go. In speaking with Melanie, I learned that she is considering going back to work soon. I get it, she's eager to get on with her life, but at the same time, now should be a time of recovery and reflection. Yet there are still bills to pay and children to take care of. That's one reason I am holding this giveaway

The funds being raised for Melanie and her two boys are going to be applied toward cost of living and meeting medical needs. Personally, my hope is that we can raise enough money for Melanie to stay home a bit longer and look after herself and her boys. As you can see by the scan, the situation is a bit delicate and scar tissue plays a significant role in her recovery.

This is a woman who even now is still optimistic. She has a positive outlook and a can-do attitude that many people wouldn't even be approaching at this point. Let's help her maintain that attitude by raising enough funds to give her a bit of cushion to fall back on.

I'm offering two tickets to the fundraiser, to be held at the VFW in Knox, Indiana on September 19, 2015 from 4:00 to 11:30 P.M. with an AYCE spaghetti dinner made from locally grown foods. There is also going to be a DJ, dancing, 50/50 raffle, giveaways every half hour, an auction and more. If the only thing holding you back is a lack of funds to buy the tickets, get them here. If you have tickets, but you know someone who doesn't enter the contest for them.

Entering the contest is easy. All you have to do is share the flyer in the picture at the top of this blog or the link to the Facebook event page, which you can get by clicking on this link to the Melanie Greer Fundraiser Event. Come back to the comment section here and post a link to your wall so I can see that you shared it. I'll use a random generator to pick a winner of two tickets and announce the winner here and on Facebook. It's that simple.

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Leaving a domestic battery situation certainly brings a sense of relief, but that's not all it brings. Because of that, it's a good idea to immediately seek out a support system that can help you navigate this territory. This isn't just to help you get through it, but to help you avoid going into the pitfall of returning to the situation because you feel like there is nowhere else to turn. If you have alienated friends and family, it's time to seek them out again. If there truly isn't anyone available, then join a church or look for a domestic battery support group because the battle isn't over yet.

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Yes, there is every potential for stalking to be a thing. When you're dealing with abuse, you're dealing with someone who is looking for control. When you aren't feeding into that, the abuser isn't going to be happy. Now is a good idea to use your history for a good purpose. If you have ever had the police stop by and play mediator in any way, use that to your advantage and file an order of protection. The abuser may ignore it, but at least you have created a paper trail.

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Recently, there was a study done which suggested that the mental traumas of child abuse are similar to those experienced by war veterans. In many cases, they both lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You may not be a child, but the abuse can cause forms of PTSD ranging from mild to severe. In other words, it might be something as simple as you jumping every time you hear a door slam to something as intense as a flash back triggered by a specific word or movement.

emotion chart photo: Emotion chart emotions.gif Range of Emotions

Expect a wide range of emotions. You may be afraid to head out on your own, but you have to consider that you obviously survived before the abuser came into the picture. Fear, hurt, anger...these are all common emotions when leaving such a situation. You're going to question what you could have done differently and you're even going to miss your abuser sometimes, because almost every abuser has a significant layer of charms they apply. That's how they get by with what they do.

At some point, you're going to reach a plateau where you feel sort of numb. This is progress, this is where the true healing begins. It's time to start thinking not of what you went through or what you lost, but where you're going from here.

When you are feeling at your worst, keep in mind that the abusive situation was the bottom; you have nowhere to go but up, and your world is shaped by your decisions. When this finally sinks in, you can expect a sense of euphoria, a joy you haven't felt in a very long time.

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Move Forward

When the days seem terribly long and lonely, and you are tempted to reflect on things past, start working on a list of goals. Where do you want to be 5 years from now? A year from now? Do something to meet that long term goal everyday even if that means making just one phone call.

You can also reach out to other through support groups and benefits. If you happen to live in Starke County, Indiana, or nearby, feel free to join in a Benefit for Melanie Greer, a brave woman who recently survived a horrific encounter with domestic battery. You don't have to say anything or share your story. Just look at the support of the people around you and know you aren't alone.