thoughtsSuperhero Training Camp

I've previously commented on the "Real" superhero phenomenon on this website (I believe I utilized the phrase "either heart-breakingly lame or frighteningly sociopathic"), so my position on their activities is already established. Regardless, I occasionally have ideas - and, as I have no intention of using this idea in either reality or in fiction, I have decided to dump it here, so anyone may use it.

The idea is this: Superhero Training Camp.

If we're going to have costumed vigilantes roaming the city streets anyway, I'd rather they have basic training in first aid, law, and the sort of martial arts that let them subdue miscreants with minimal risk of permanent injury to either party.

Picture this: it's a weeklong event in the summer. Everyone is either in costume, or wearing a basic workout suit (with complimentary "courtesy mask"). People are referring to each other by their chosen superhero names. There are obstacle courses. There are sparring rooms, with qualified instructors. There are little seminars on parkour, costume design, what goes into a utility belt, and what you can and can't do in a citizen's arrest.

For those who are concerned about their secret identities, the camp will provide fake receipts for a weeklong "cruise", and help you take quick pictures and videos of yourself against an ocean backdrop, mail a batch of postcards that will arrive with the proper postmarks, and give you a few authentic-looking island souvenirs.

Of course, for legal reasons, the entire event would be "for entertainment purposes only". Don't want to be sued if some lunatic in a mask thinks a two-hour course on medical emergencies makes him qualified to perform a field tracheotomy.

Seminars will have titles like "Ethics and Vigilantism: Forming a consistent code of behaviour", "Secret Identity and You: Managing your double life", and "Game Face: Being a good role model, staying in character". Competitions will award the strongest, the nimblest, the smartest, and the best costume design. The pros and cons of capes will be hotly debated (I would, personally, be in favour of capes. They instantly identify you as a hero, can tear away to prevent accidents, and, in a pinch, can be nearly as useful as a towel).

And, once the weekend comes to a close, everyone is awarded a badge of completion, with spaces on it for coloured pips that indicate particular proficiencies. Fun has been had, relationships have been formed, and new skills have been learned.

As always, I remain staunchly against the idea of anonymous vigilantism here in the real world, but I recognise that, like the fad for zombie preparedness, training to be a superhero can put a fun face on otherwise mundane and utilitarian personal betterment.

If anyone actually wants to put together a superhero training camp, and it's properly advertised to the right people, I expect it'd be quite popular.

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