|Warhammer Warriors by Samira Ahmed|
Unfortunately there are still several others that I find equally offensive and there seems no end to the bile and hatred being poured forth from these commentators. This brings me back to a conversation I had with The Angry Lurker at Skirmish on Sunday. He recounted a conversation he'd had with another gamer who had said he'd rather admit to being a paedophile than 'come out' as a gamer! This is a very sad state of affairs indeed.
I'm not for a minute claiming that the mocking and defamatory abuse gamers come in for in some quarters is anything remotely like the affects of racism, homophobia or sectarian intolerance. We've got it easy by comparison. But that doesn't mean we can't learn from the experience of the Black or Gay community who have faced their demons by looking them straight in the eye and saying "I am proud of who I am, I won't go away, I will not be silent".
I've written before about my conscious decision to be clear and open about my hobby interests. Today for instance I have brought my mobile painting kit into work so I can get some jobs done in my lunch-break. I'm a Gamer, I am proud of my hobby, I will not go away and I definitely won't be silent!
Amen to that brother.. just had this article sent to me from a mate over here in Turkey.. and yes, although the article was not the worst written the comments below really make me grit my teeth..ReplyDelete
Am with you though on the proud to be a gamer/painter/table top player.. and actively talk about what I am doing with people at work who have no idea what the game is about or why I do it..
Cheers for this post, cheers for another one to stand up for it.. and cheers for promoting it!
Many thanks for bringing this article to my notice.
I have never been 'into' Warhammer ... but it does represent part of the public face of wargaming, and as such it deserves my support.
I have read some of the ill-informed comments made by some respondents to this article, and if having attitudes like that are part of being 'grown up' then may I long remain 'childish'!
All the best,
I use to be a very in the cupboard wargamer “oww I only paint them” and so on, but as time went on and I found more folks like me the less I cared what everyone thought, now If asked what I got up to on the weekend I proudly talk about the games I had and projects. I don’t get why some people feel the need to take the pi#s.ReplyDelete
It’s a bit sad that some one would rather say they were a paedophile then a gamer.
Well said, Lee. I tend to refer to my "slightly strange hobby" and then talk up the historical and artistic elements and talk down the playing with toys part. If people still think it's odd then I ask why standing around playing golf or spending hours chanting in a football stadium is any "better" than studying history and then moving a few figures around a table.ReplyDelete
But then I also think that demeaning the hobbies of others is part of human nature, unfortunately. After all, we all know what many wargamers think about, snigger snigger, re-enactors and model railway people....And this issu eis never going to go away. I recall as a young teenager (so 20-odd years ago) watching an edition of the "Kilroy" talk-show (also on the BBC) and the subject was "war games" and whether it's wrong to encourage children to play with soldiers and toy guns. I expect in another 20 years' time some other daytime TV host will be asking the same question.
Wargaming Pride! Now to find a suitable banner for our first march!ReplyDelete
I'm open about my gaming, nothing to be ashamed of. I never bought into the GW thing though - back in the 80s when I was gaming, I did buy Citadel minis as they were some of the best fantasy sculpts of the time, but the early Warhammer stuff was pretty risible compared to the other RPGs at the time. I'd stopped active gaming by the time GW were starting their march for global dominance, although I was still reading white Dwarf - until it stopped including stuff about non-GW products.
I read the article but forgot to look at the comments, will have to go back to it.....ReplyDelete
Very well said, Lee!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately I have to agree with Giles. When talking with colleagues or loose friends I underline the modelling part of our hobby and try skip the gaming part. My close friends -of course- know the unvarnished trouth. ;-)
However here in Germany historical wargaming WW I or WW II is kind of... difficult but other periods and fantasy stuff are just strange. Since I thought wargaming is a more common hobby in the UK I'm, really saddened to hear that you have to fight so many prejudices too...
Thank you very much for sharing this.
Methniks the main anti on that forum rolled a "snake eyes" 1 on his first outing and never got over it. There are plently of good positive comments sharing the benefits. Vive la différence!ReplyDelete
I've never been in GW, but I never hid my wargaming side.ReplyDelete
In fact, when I was working, I used to bring something to paint, and everyone was congratulating me for doing such meticulous work.
Thanks to my hobby, I got the authorization from one of my former headmaster to create a club at the highschool I was teaching.
And the pupils knew it too, because I used my minis during my lessons. No one ever said anything bad. Ok, I play historical wargames and I'm a History teacher... Perfect excuse.
Thanks for bringing this up.ReplyDelete
Personally I keep pretty quiet about the hobby until people show signs of interest. That said, I don't want everyone do bother me with their hobbies, beliefs, sexual orientation etc, for this might appear crude to me as well. Live and let live.
However, if the "culture of online commenting" in Germany is anything to go by, you just can't take it serious. There are too many people with too much time browsing the internet, searching for trouble. The anonymity seems to encite their worst instincts, the more if they are just schmucks in real life. Vocal, but a minority for sure, often the same people engage in various online battles at the same time. The matter has been well documented by a German analysis of online racism, which showed that only a handful of people (often with several parallel accounts) are responsible for the extreme comments, hoping to attract with their sheer amount of bullshit the viewless rank-and-file.
Therefore, another worthy phrase: Haters gonna hate. ;-)
I've just re-read my post...boy I got really riled up didn't I? Those 'Trolls' know how to press my buttons!Delete
I've calmed down a bit now, but I still hold true to what I said about being proud of my hobby. Thanks for all the great replies and positive feedback.
Don't worry about it, Lee - embrace the inner geek; besides, most people that typically comment on the BBC website are avid reality/talent show TV fans anyway, that's the depth of their knowledge of anything; so who cares about them anyway?ReplyDelete
Well that is 676 comments on the BBC article and going up and I'm pleased to see (not that I've read them all) that the majority are in support of our hobby. I didn't see if Mark Urban has commented but considering he is one of the BBC's top foreign correspondents and a wargamer as well, it would be good to see a reaction from him. Even Rick Preistley has commented!ReplyDelete
I have had plenty of odd looks over the years from people when they ask what I do in my spare time. For a while I was a bit reluctant to say I was a wargamer because the explanation of what I actually did usually left people with a blank look on their face. Now I could not care less what people think of my hobby, I'm only interested in the opinions of people who also do what I do.
I'm proud of the time and effort I put into my figures and games and I don't feel I need to explain myself to anyone anymore.
Thanks for bringing this article up Lee. Wargamers of the World, Unite!!
Gamer and Proud!ReplyDelete
Gamer and proud. Of course I think I'm tending to a limit of weirdness as far as the general public is concerned - actuary, academic and wargamer.
By the time I read the article the trolls had been well and trulymcrushed - their comments removed by moderators and a wave of pro-gamer comments.ReplyDelete
Now what does that say about Hobbyists?
I didn't read the article. I'm more interested in what wargamers say about wargaming. What non-wargamers say or think is irrelevant. I live in a town that can barely keep one bookstore open, so the opinions of the local "intelligentsia" about most things are also inconsequential.ReplyDelete
"I'm more interested in what wargamers say about wargaming. What non-wargamers say or think is irrelevant."Delete
About wargaming or just in general? I'm inclined to think the latter.
Well said Lee, this article certainly got up your nose, didn't it!!!!ReplyDelete
Well put, if I may say so. I rambled my own thoughts on my blog as well, and was actually quite pleased with how many positive comments there were even from non-players, although as you say there were a few bad eggs.ReplyDelete
Great blog you got here, LeeReplyDelete
I'm a gamer and I'm proud.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the post Lee, and for the additional comments. I've veered all over the place on this issue over the years, from being furtive and secretive (my early 20s) to out-and-proud. I've also tried to focus in the past when discussing the hobby on the modelling side, although recently I've not explained the hobby in this way as much as stressing it’s a great social activity with friends sharing a common interest with loads of positives. Ultimately, I don't mind so much what people think of my hobby once they understand what it entails. There will also be some mindless comments from ill-informed people, but most people I've talked to openly about the hobby, wargames, rules, terrain, painting have been interested or at least curious.ReplyDelete
I'm well and truly proud of my geek side and openly call my hobby "nerding" and have a "nerd room". I don't care if people snigger and then go off and watch XFactor/BGT or whatever tosh they call "having a real life". I don't go to the pub, get wrecked and smash the town up at the weekends.ReplyDelete
At my work we now have Warhammer 40K tournaments organised by the sports/social club with Warhammer Fantasy Battle to follow. These comps encompass offices across the South East of England from the Isle of Wight to Kent!
I'll join your float at Mardi Gras!ReplyDelete
I find that once you talk to people about the hobby and aren't apologetic about it, they are generally interested. Most think its all W40k though - which is quite annoying,ReplyDelete