Across North America, at camp sites and — in one case — a former military airfield, people are living through the aftermath of the apocalypse. The living dead roam the woods, and society has devolved into warring ghouls, survivalists, psychics, and religious fanatics. If you can imagine something happening after the end of the world, there’s a decent chance it’s happened in live-action role-playing game Dystopia Rising, which celebrated its fifth anniversary earlier this year.

Currently running at 10 sites in the US and Canada, Dystopia Rising is a game that’s both immediately intuitive and very involved. It’s a monthly trip into a mashup of post-apocalyptic influences, attended by participants who are willing to spend a weekend entirely in character through sun, rain, snow, and occasionally copious amounts of fake blood. And this spring, for at least a little while, I was one of them.