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Offline Irisado

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Warhammer in The News
« on: December 8, 2021, 01:16:30 PM »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-59563630

For those of you outside the UK, you probably will not have seen this short news item.  The show that is referred to in the article is very popular, although it is not something that I would watch, and the fact that it was even mentioned on such a show illustrates how times have changed.  People ridiculing the hobby definitely has not changed, but public awareness definitely seems to be.
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Offline Blazinghand

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #1 on: December 8, 2021, 07:48:58 PM »
I'd known Cavill was into Warhammer, it's good to see it becoming more popular (even if it's still considered a very niche/weird interest)
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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #2 on: December 8, 2021, 08:47:25 PM »
Cavill certainly got into folks eyes recently, when he posted a photo of him painting some Custodes on his instagram last year. It's nice seeing the hobby more normalized.

The CBC here in Canada, had a news story about 40k as well, and about how the online community has become derisive recently (and more right wing).

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-115-the-doc-project/clip/15876827-war-games
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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #3 on: December 8, 2021, 09:04:10 PM »
That tourny in Spain (GT Talavera) gathered news recently with the openly Nazi rather unsavoury chap, what-ho old bean?. Even GW offered a "oh hell no" statement after that.
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Offline Kage2020

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #4 on: December 8, 2021, 09:28:33 PM »
The "nerd factor" across hobbies like wargaming and roleplaying--even things like reading sci-fi/fantasy--seems to have diminished quite considerably in the past decade.

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #5 on: December 9, 2021, 09:00:39 AM »
40k is not quite mainstream yet, and a shout-out from Cavill and a couple news articles isn't changing that.

I've been an evangelist for this and D&D/TTRPGs for years, and while today people will react to D&D with a "oh, cool! I've always wanted to try that!" (even if they don't mean it), when I explain Warhammer to them, they still look at me as though I've lost my mind.

You've got to show them an actual gaming table with two fully painted armies and terrain before anyone will "get" it, and even then it is still observed from afar, like some esoteric Olympic sport they never wish to attempt. 

Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #6 on: December 9, 2021, 10:58:28 PM »
The "nerd factor" across hobbies like wargaming and roleplaying--even things like reading sci-fi/fantasy--seems to have diminished quite considerably in the past decade.

There's been a shift, but it's a complicated one, imho. "Geeky" franchises have become a lot more mainstreamed, through for example licensing the IP to big, mainstream productions (ie. the massive cinematic superhero boom of the last twenty-odd years) and perhaps arguably also due to a lot more independent content creators on social media (youtubers, artists, cosplayers, craftspeople, fan animators, meme-makers, etc.). The latter is still sorta cult-y, but it's more approachable than the actual hobbies.

And therein lies the weird twist. Superhero comic books still sell relatively few issues (we're talking tens of thousands of issues for all but the handful few most popular ones, iirc., which pales in comparison), and of course Warhammer kinda remains has difficult to get into as it ever was. The marketing is more slick, and there are perhaps more boxed sets to make entry easier in that sense, but painting and modeling is still pretty time-consuming and demanding. Same of tabletop RPGs, and so on.

Then there's the cultural aspect... as more attention has been given these "geeky" spaces, there's been more awareness of the dark side of them, with regards to misygyny, racism, etc. And while some people want to "clean house", so to speak, this has inevitably resultet in a backlash/reaction.

I know this is very anecdotal, but I get the impression that there was a peak to the "nerd guy"'s popularity around the early 2010s or so, with the lovable nerdy underdog nice guy becoming kinda cool or at least sympathetic (thinking of Scott Pilgrim versus the World, or The Big Bang Theory, or maybe even the Spider-Man movies, although they're a bit more spread out), but then something pretty stark happened around the later 2010s, perhaps coinciding with the whole Gamergate thing, where it seems like the popular cultural perception of nerds kinda shifted to "actually, maybe they were unpopular not because they were different, but because they were toxic rather unsavoury chap, what-ho old bean?s." There's a line like than almost verbatim in the "Social Network" movie, and it seems like pop culture isn't quite as receptive of (male) nerdy quirkiness as it once was, if but for a brief window.

As I said - very anecdotal and speculative, but something I think about every now and then.

Anyway, I think this all kinda plays into Warhammer as well now. It seems like there's a desire to be more inviting and open, but at the same time there's an ingrained level of "edgelordness" and insularity (for lack of a better term) to a significant portion of the fanbase, that views changes to accommodate newcomers and making the hobby more "acceptable" is tantamount to giving up their little niche space and "boys' club" (even though of course women or people of color or LGBT folks have always been present in these hobbies, just basically erased from popular memory, thus making current inways seem like a novelty, and to some, an "invasion").

Anyway, end of rant. Complicated stuff, hard to condence into specific trends or clear lines without leaving a lot out.

Offline Kage2020

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2021, 01:03:36 AM »
I shall remove "wargaming" from my list of "more accepted activities" then. :D

Offline Wyddr

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2021, 08:49:23 AM »
@Killersquid
I think you're exactly right, yeah. As geekdom was shoved more into the limelight, we also saw all the warts that people imagined weren't there.

Fandom, in particular, has proven itself toxic and deeply unpleasant more often than not, driven most often by the toxic masculinity of its members. This is not to say, of course, that geeks are any more or less susceptible to those urges than "normal" people, but merely that they are subject to the same negative societal pressures that everyone else is. We shouldn't be surprised, ultimately.

But, paradoxically, that just goes to show that nerds and geeks aren't quite as different as everyone (even themselves) imagined.

Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2021, 09:25:58 AM »
I shall remove "wargaming" from my list of "more accepted activities" then. :D

I hope you don't! I do think there are more positive ambassadors and more ways to share enthusiasm than ever. Cavill, sure, but so many good content creators on Youtube for example. And in comparison, stuff like Critical Role has shone a great light on tabletop roleplaying.

Also apologies for all the typos in my previous post. I was delirously tired when I wrote it.

Offline Kage2020

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2021, 08:50:30 PM »
But, paradoxically, that just goes to show that nerds and geeks aren't quite as different as everyone (even themselves) imagined.
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To be fair, I don't think that I'll ever be a good ambassador. I'm only getting back into the hobby for my son so that he can try something that I found creative an engaging while I was a child. That's not to say that it is childish--that's just when I last played it. Even then I'm coming to it from the modern angle of proxy miniatures, custom 3d sculpting, etc. (Heh, I'm sure that there are going to be many mutated sheep driving mecha to start with!)

I do think there are more positive ambassadors and more ways to share enthusiasm than ever. Cavill, sure, but so many good content creators on Youtube for example.
Agreed, both in terms of mini painting and 40k (etc.) hobbyism. There's also some very good content creators out there that aren't necessarily saying the nicest thing about GW even while their espousing the wonders of the hobby. Seems the world has gotten a little bit bigger since those days for me in the 90s.

Also apologies for all the typos in my previous post. I was delirously tired when I wrote it.
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Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2021, 11:12:56 PM »
To be fair, I don't think that I'll ever be a good ambassador. I'm only getting back into the hobby for my son so that he can try something that I found creative an engaging while I was a child. That's not to say that it is childish--that's just when I last played it. Even then I'm coming to it from the modern angle of proxy miniatures, custom 3d sculpting, etc. (Heh, I'm sure that there are going to be many mutated sheep driving mecha to start with!)

Most people aren't going to be "public ambassadors", as it were. But wanting to share something you enjoy(ed) with someone you know personally and who you want to also have that good experience is... well, amphetamine parrot, that's what *communities* are built on, much moreso than simply "fandoms".

Quote
I do think there are more positive ambassadors and more ways to share enthusiasm than ever. Cavill, sure, but so many good content creators on Youtube for example.
Agreed, both in terms of mini painting and 40k (etc.) hobbyism. There's also some very good content creators out there that aren't necessarily saying the nicest thing about GW even while their espousing the wonders of the hobby. Seems the world has gotten a little bit bigger since those days for me in the 90s.

Yeah, GW isn't without flaws (lol), and it's good to have critical and independent voices. There's always a risk that when a fictional world or setting is owned as an intellectual property by a corporation, fans and hobby ambassadors will basically become  corporate cheerleaders. If nothing else, it's good then to have dissenting voices, hell, including ones that highlight competitors or alternatives. I'm reminded of the recent Blizzard debacle, for example.

As much as I personally am in this for the Warhammer worldbuilding and fiction side of things (even if I absolutely love seeing models as an observer), I'd rather see people jump ship and start doing Battletech or Kings of War or whatever than be "trapped" in really bad customer treatment or handling of the IP, for example. As a fiction fan, I can make do with fan products or backlogs of old products, if push comes to shove. That's what's recently rekindled my enthusiasm for Elder Scrolls, for example. Not Bethesda's own, increasingly tepid offerings and amphetamine parrot customer treatment.

Sorry for bringing in so many anecdotes, it's just hard not to relate all of this to other, sorta similar scenarios.

It seems to be that the tabletop hobby is, right now, in a really good place, overall. And it *is* kinda satisfying to be validated in mainstream publications. :P

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2021, 11:23:21 PM »
As much as I personally am in this for the Warhammer worldbuilding and fiction side of things (even if I absolutely love seeing models as an observer), I'd rather see people jump ship and start doing Battletech or Kings of War or whatever than be "trapped" in really bad customer treatment or handling of the IP, for example.

We've always been here for BattleTech. Used to play on a train table nearly 30 years while getting from places. The Urbanmech still is the Udders of Thoth no matter what people say.  ;)
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Offline Kage2020

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Re: Warhammer in The News
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2021, 02:05:57 AM »
But wanting to share something you enjoy(ed) with someone you know personally and who you want to also have that good experience is... well, amphetamine parrot, that's what *communities* are built on, much moreso than simply "fandoms".
You're right, of course, though I'm not quite sure hat an "amphetamine parrot" is. ;)

In all fairness, though, one part of my own personal updates to the hobby is suggesting that staying out of GW game stores is probably a good thing. Not only am I actively working on alternate builds for the (Craftworld) Eldar that suit my preferences/aesthetic, which would I hear get us harsh looks and possible downright aggression, but it doesn't quite sound as cool as it once did. That is, people just throwing together some armies they painted and playing in the garage or whatever, perhaps even sometimes going into a GW store and getting less pushback.

Hopefully I've just encountered the most vocal naysayers like Commissar Gamza (no critique of his channel or anything like that).

There's always a risk that when a fictional world or setting is owned as an intellectual property by a corporation, fans and hobby ambassadors will basically become  corporate cheerleaders.
This is actually what threw me out of the more fiction-based hobby back in the day. It just got so tiresome "fighting the fight" that it just wasn't worth it for me.

It's this alternate base that are functionally kit-bashing for the joy of it that seems a little bit more welcoming now. Heck, I even started buying non-GW miniatures, or at least their STLs (when they are sold in that format).

Sorry for bringing in so many anecdotes, it's just hard not to relate all of this to other, sorta similar scenarios.
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