Wednesday, 17 August 2011

In defence of the hobby

It may come as no surprise to you but 40k or fantasy are pretty much both games for geeks.  Yes shock horror it's true, you may not consider yourself one, but I promise you, other people do and in some cases not only geeks but full on nerds.  So Last night I came to wonder and question exactly why the genre we know and love is treated with such disdain by so many people. 

Because you “play with little toy soldiers the mrs said to me” and that got me defensive, I don’t consider that I play with toys, I never have, to me for a start they are models that are used to represent things in a board game, they don’t move with little wind up motors and don’t fire little plastic missiles with the use of springs.

This mostly all springs from the fact that my FLGS is located in the city centre where I live and work, so end up going there nearly every day on my way to get lunch with a mate or two.  This of course often prompts me to end up returning to work with a little black GW bag full of goodies that I’m promptly taken the mickey out of for having.  Yes, you may have had it too, the comments of “ooh got yourself some new toys eh, going to play with your little soldiers pew pew pew boom”.

I have even tried to explain to people before how it works, “it’s a hobby, you paint them then get a big group of mates around, have a few beers and play a game, it’s a bit like risk, you just move things tactically around a board to try and gain dominance of some objective”  I don’t think that sounded too bad personally and most people then say with a shocked tone in their voice something like oh that’s not as bad as I thought then, I expected you to be sat alone with little toys in the parents basement  making little pew pew noises.  

Some of this I have to blame on certain hobbyists, It's true I have been into GW before and heard people making pew pew boom crash noises in there and it makes me cringe, I’m actually embarrassed for them, grown men as well quite often, your taking our hobby into disrepute.

No-one seems to expect the social aspect involved, why am I complaining? I know what I got myself into? Well it doesn’t have to be this way, what do I want? For our hobby to be treated with a little respect, lets face it these days even video games aren’t considered that nerdy anymore, I know guys that are full on lads (jocks to you guys in the states) that will spend most of their time playing football or drinking but have no issue now getting out the ps3 or xbox and playing games for a few hours, mainly due to things like call of duty or sport games like fifa or madden.

The painting side of our hobby should be treated as an art, some muppet can cut a sheep in half and encase it in carbonite or whatever and call that art, why isn’t model painting art? You can paint a picture of a woman on a canvas and that’s art or even just a blob of colours with no pattern and that’s art too yet someone spends hours and days painting a miniature to look amazing and because it’s a miniature (considered a toy) it's not art. 

When we are done with our art we take to the table and play dice strategy games with them that are often very tactical, just like people have done for hundreds of years though generally without dice and instead the lives of men.

So here’s wondering, what do you consider the hobby to be, these are my thoughts and personally, I think it deserves to be treated better.