View Full Version : D & D was the devil, but Warhammer is Art Class?

08-09-2005, 03:48
Sigh, that I would live to see the day.

Used to be, i could count on at least one or two comments a month from parents about "that EVIL D and D Game". Several mothers objected to it as a violent game, that lead kids into trouble. Others dragged their kids out of the store when they realized what it was their kids were buying. Then magic came along, and again, people considered it evil and addictive. Pokemon was blamed for kids getting mugged in south Philly for their card collections, and Yugio was blamed for leading kids into shoplifting.

So after years of becoming comfortable owning a couple of evil game stores and leading kids down the path of temptation, imagine my horror that I'm having parents actually bringing their kids in willingly, and then complimenting us for what we are contributing to their education.

We started doing painting and modeling classes a couple of years ago, 3 hours every saturday morning. We also run scenery classes about half the time on sunday mornings. We get an average of about 15 kids in for each class, and had as many as 40 on some mornings. Here's some of the feedback we have gotten:

1) Learning to paint figures and do scenery is Art. Several homeschool parents have been told by the state counselors that oversee their curriculum to include the hours they do painting and modeling as art class, with pictures of the models in their portfolios.

2)Two families brought their kids in for the free art classes they had heard about. When we explained it was a warhammer painting class, they bought their kids starter sets, and had them start armies, so they could attend 'art class'.

3) Four children that come in for painting classes have muscular problems, with shaking hands and arms. The parents are happy that the kids want to learn painting, as it increases their muscle strength, and their hand/eye co-ordination.

4) We have about a half dozen kids with various levels of ADD. Three of the parents of these children have told us that playing warhammer and painting has improved their concentration skills, and memory.

5) One mother told us that her son started playing warhammer 40k two years ago. He reads rules and codexes constantly, yet was nearly a non reader before that. She credits his improved math and reading skills to gaming, and told us that he went from a C/D student, to making the honor roll last semester.

It's tough when you wake up one day, and find that your suddenly a respectable business man.

08-09-2005, 05:02
Don't worry, as soon as one over-wargamed chaos player shoots someone, everything will be right with the world. (Nevermind the fact he will be shooting his victim because he's in bad need of a 'fix,' and the victim will be the local dealer. Decipher that as you will!)

Muffin Man
08-09-2005, 07:11
That's kind of cool. I'm sure owning a successful hobby store is gratifying enough (assuming you actually liked the various hobbies in the first place :angel: ). But seeing how it can actually, :eek: do something good for kids must be a nice bonus.

08-09-2005, 08:41
It's sad really to see how far standards have slipped. I'm only 21 myself, but I feel there's this huge gap between me and those who are a few years younger. If a kid these days voluntarily reads a book it's concidered exceptional. (generalising here, of course)
Miniature wargaming is a great hobby, mind you, but I hope it doesn't become the core of anyone's education. (for one thing such thorough indoctrination would speed up GW's progress towards world domination conciderably)

08-09-2005, 09:28
I doubt that some parents realize it's a wargame where the goal is to basically kill all the enemy soldiers :p

Anyway.. if someone goes the whole way Warhammer, i.e. any tabletop wargame is a wonderful hobby with many aspects.

You have construction, fine "mechanics" when putting together minis, painting them, bulding scenery, reading etc.

There are many aspects of it all and what i most like is the social aspects of the hobby.. Videogames can be played alone at home as is reading. For tabletops you have to have opponents which you can meet at local tournaments or games in a shop.

Nothing is as fun as talking about the hobby in the store until you start to see them outside of the hobby and then you've got new friends which share one of your interest.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
08-09-2005, 11:47
Well, for those kids who are increasing their reading abilities and stamina with the rules and codecies, why not consider stocking BL Novels? I wasn't too big a reader for a while, and then I got reading the Slayer series. I can now finish a novel in a day, and get bugged when I realise I have read all the novels in my collection!

For the Art Side, why not hold a painting competition? Not just of the models, but also Scenery, and even common Paintings? The best interpretative work could win a Gift Voucher or something, or a paint set of their choice?

Thinking quite mercenary here, surely if you can get a reputation as an alternative, enjoyable source of Education Reinforcement (I may have just invented that term!) then more and more parents will want to get their kids involved. Which means more money for you!

08-09-2005, 13:45
Aye, the benefits of having parents on our side is starting to work out well. We averaged 30 core sets sold a month over the summer, which i'm told rivals GW company stores. We do stock the BL books a bit, used to do the whole library, but it got quite large, so we keep instock mostly the better sellers. I also keep my old copies of a lot of Heinlein books, like Starship Troopers, around the shop, along with a half dozen of what i think of as the best young adult sci fi. I've been loaning those out to the regular warhammer kids and opening up their world a bit.

The painting and scenery contests are a good idea, I haven't run one for a year or so.

08-09-2005, 14:08
I think family supported stores are also generating well adjusted and socially rounded gamers. I used to play in a league at a store next to my office, and one day my opponent didn't show. Some of the other kids came up to me and said "hey man, want to play some ultimate frisbee out in the parking lot?" Good times.

- N

08-09-2005, 14:23
I also keep my old copies of a lot of Heinlein books, like Starship Troopers, around the shop, along with a half dozen of what i think of as the best young adult sci fi. I've been loaning those out to the regular warhammer kids and opening up their world a bit.

That's great work you do. Where are you based and what's your shop's name?


08-09-2005, 17:52
I never really got the "Evil D&D" thing. I played a bit in High School, until my dad found out and said I couldn't any more. Good job dad. So, instead of being at home with my friends on Saturday night improving my reading and math skills, we went out and ran around on the streets until 3AM, doing drugs, watching porn, and fighting. But we weren't playing an evil RPG!

Wolf Scout Ewan
08-09-2005, 21:08
Well said Mik.

Wargaming and RPGing will never be mainstream, it will always be considered stupid, childish or dorky.

But those who enjoy it dont have to go out every weekend and get alcohol poisoning.

08-09-2005, 21:38
Never underestimate the stupidity of parents.

When i was a kid we had a Fantasy club in my part of town.. they went the whole way. Boardgames, Rpgs, tabletop, Larp etc and had rented a cool 2 room cellar as the clubhouse.

Then my father read somewhere in a paper about some nutcase sects and did the wrong connection by assuming i was drawn into this sect with this evil things (of which he even didn't bother to research or even go one time into the clubhouse).

So he forbid me to go.. i went anyway in secret with my mothers backing :D

God what would i give to have such a cool club again in my vicinity.

08-09-2005, 22:37
That's great work you do. Where are you based and what's your shop's name?


Two shops in the Philadelphia area, Showcase Comics. We started out 15 years ago as a comic shop, and have slowly changed over to about half games, half comics. Working with so many new players is having a lot of added benefits: I get my butt kicked in 40k by younger and younger kids each year. The latest was having my poor grey knights get slapped down by an 11 year old with tyranids.

The Machine GoD
08-09-2005, 22:52
Sounds quite an awesome place. I may stop by one day when im visiting a friend.

09-09-2005, 01:24
I get my butt kicked in 40k by younger and younger kids each year. The latest was having my poor grey knights get slapped down by an 11 year old with tyranids.

Ha! I know exactly what you mean. Twelve year olds turned out to be my bane :) .

2 stores in Philly, eh? Well done! I'm always happy to hear gamer professional success stories.

09-09-2005, 10:18
Excellent to read of the positive contribution your stores give back to their community.

Parents are naturally protective and on the surface 'wargaming' can sound unappealingly violent; for that reason, the clubs I ran throughout my school years (I'm not going to betray my age by telling you how long ago that was...) were slightly inaccurately titled 'Adventure' or 'Fantasy' Games Club. We never had serious objections though, and even aged 12 I realised that having one or more of the School Governers along once a term helped it all appear 'above board'.

Nowadays, UK child protection law is (rightly) pretty stringent, so parents should have nothing to fear from a school- or council-endorsed club. I'm involved with a Community Theatre Group which has a sizeable chorus of kids aged 6-16 and our child protection policy gives parents a lot of say in how things are run.

09-09-2005, 12:30
I've been playing both D&D and warhammer for about 2 years. I mention that I play warhammer and my grandmother gets me to paint a baby cherub for her, I mention D&D and she asks if I'm doing satanic rituals.

What is with the stigma of D&D anyway?

09-09-2005, 12:33
About the "evil RPGs" thing, you haven't seen it all until you have seen the following page:


09-09-2005, 13:41
About the "evil RPGs" thing, you haven't seen it all until you have seen the following page:


:eek: :eek:
My god! (well, i have to say this exclamation is kinda funny in the context of this site you pointed ;) )
But, these creeps aren't only stupid, the page is also racist. Not only against anybody who wasn't born in europe... but they even have prejudice against BARNEY AND OTHER DINOSAURS!!!!!! :rolleyes:
(ok, i hate barney too, but... come on...)

The pestilent 1
09-09-2005, 14:10
About the "evil RPGs" thing, you haven't seen it all until you have seen the following page:


last i checked the fluff in D&D couldnt help you summon Daemons.
not for want of trying mind, but still :p

but hey, if they wanna demonise us let them go for it.
Bob knows we demonise them right back.

09-09-2005, 15:28
"Stick and stones may break may bones, but zealous racist hate of this type makes me laugh"

They don't call them crazy Finns for nuthing. What a Bstard. I love the table where roleplayers have all the tell tale signs of being satanic worshippers. I found it so funny that i sigged part of it.

On the topic of the thread warhammer is no bad thing it does promote a person mentally and socially. In some cases it promotes lacking of the hygene kind. Please gamers showers and deodarant its not hard!!

09-09-2005, 15:59
Please gamers showers and deodarant its not hard!!

Depends if you forget to remove that plastic cap, that D.O. can be pretty scratchy. :)

09-09-2005, 18:28
They don't call them crazy Finns for nuthing.

Yep, though most of us are not guilty of religious zealotry (and metal music is very popular around here). But we are all still crazy nuts in one way or another (like swimming in frozen lakes).

BTW: if you have issues with the author of the said page, you can voice them in his guestbook - scroll up to the top of that page to find a link.

10-09-2005, 01:02
A tip to your kids: be watchful of what they read. Particularly, avoid letting their first book so have any reference to sex by in reguard to Slannesh cultists. Have them read wholesome literature like... The Forever War?

I'm sure my mind's warped in some wierd way.

Note: the game of Satan's site plays on loop haleluliah, which strangely compliments Godsmack's "Situation", but does nothing for Moby's "Another Woman".

""Babylon 5" - it's some new satanic TV series, telling about a New Babylon in space!!! Ive not seen it but it obviously promotes homosexualism and other perversions!!! And it lies about aliens, who arenot creatures from other planets because God only created Earth and humans,and we are the center of the universum! NEVER let your children watch this satanic "science fiction" TV program!!!"

10-09-2005, 06:44
I just read that humans' brains are still evolving- looking at that anti-everything site I can see it is not universal. That read like it was written by a lad with a paranoid personlity disorder mixed with a heathy dose of schizotypal/shcizoaffective blended P.D. :rolleyes: Ouch. Religious fanatics are hard to sort out if they are truely insane or are they choosing to be that way, either way its highly discordant and disfunctional dontcha think?

Anywho, as you can tell from my psych-babble, I work in psychiatry. You would not believe the parents that give me feedback about their kids improving themselves playing 40k and WHFB and the like. They can use it anywhere from encouraging them to read and write, to art, to socialization, to using it as leverage to get them to do their chores and behave (imagine getting grounded from hammer kids). Its overall a great thing. You should see their faces when I tell them I play- builds raport like anything.

I think in this generation, some of us being parents now, we know a lot more than our parents did, and encourage our kids to get involved in games and the like. (As in ... "you can do better when you know better.") I know mine started off naive that way, but quickly figured out there were many worse things me and my siblings could be doing than gaming.

Besides- nerdiness is the new cool. Nerds are usually quite successful.
Meth kids (the new version of the stoner) have such a tough time looking cool these days- poor buggers.

I've heard "professional" opinions about fantasy roleplayers too though on the opposite side too. Though keep in mind my "esteemed" colleague is a major jerk(Borg have more personality) as I say this. He felt that almost all RPG'ers and the like were all schizoaffective. I quite imagine he's met a few interesting folks in his practice, but there are sick people in almost every walk of life/hooby/workplace/what-have-you. And his little tirade on the subject was quite a disturbingly, oversimplified shot of predjudice. :rolleyes:
I simply had to agree to disagree. So, the religious fanatics aren't the only ones taking shots.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
02-10-2005, 20:37
As a Shrink type, do you reckon that when people Roleplay, the type of character they choose says something about their personality?

For example, a guy I know who has no job, but a well off Girlfriend, spends all day sitting on his fat **** playing games over and over until he is teh best, always tries to play a character who is central to the group, yet rarely does anything of any note, until it gets to the stage where we owe him big, even though he tends to engineer the situation.....