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View Full Version : Wargaming and Identity. Let's really get inside it!



kane40k
24-06-2013, 15:20
So I read this thread a few minutes ago: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?375278-Fantasy-players-attitude-to-40k-players

And it got me wondering. Identity and war gaming. How much is identity intertwined with this, and how much are you even willing to put in?
Now there are thousands of questions I can ask, so I think I want to leave this quite open. Below I will write a few questions, but please, use them simply as a form of inspiration. Take this moment to really get in touch with your 'inner gamer' and talk about how it Really makes you feel, maybe reasons for gaming. . . Basically Talk about you should you feel comfortable. I'm not looking to cause any psychological strain on anyone, if something feels like you really don't want to say it, don't. AND the most important thing I have to ask you all is NO JUDGING. I wan't this to keep friendly, identity is a BIG thing in human psychology. Let's keep it so we can be comfortable with who we are, maybe even become more comfortable in finding people like us on this interweaving web of human conciousness and information we call the internet.

How much is it a part of your life? Is it a constant thing you could never escape ever again? Almost like an addiction?

Do part's of it, perhaps mindsets or approaches come into real life? Can you learn life-lessons from it?
How do characters and representation affect you? We all know characters in movies can really inspire people, in fact a lot of our society and the constant advertising flashed at us is constantly based on "you can be like '(X)' with this product. Does this leak into it? Perhaps some of us are in it to role-play? Escapism?

What about connection in society? Is there a certain demographic you would like to fit into? how do you perceive yourself? Does it tie in with music in places? Does it tie in with other franchises? any kind of patterns you notice?

Do you hide war gaming? or let it flow out and openly talk about it anywhere? Girls? Views on war gaming and relationships? (Keep it friendly, no flaming your Ex, as much as you would like to. . . try implying discontent without rage, that IS a life skill).
Is your army tied into any of this? What made you chose it? Do you feel like relatability has a large bearing on choices? Is it just an Artistic platform?

Another helpful thing would be a brief summary at the end, If you have time?

I know this is rather General but I really want to hear about YOU! Ideally in one place, I could trawl for hours through the forums, but this would allow me to converse with you on it without flipping back and forward through tabs.

Vent. Let us know! Identity is such a key thing to Mankind. This really genuinely interests me, I am no psychologist, and I'm not looking for an end result. Just genuine interest in my fellow war gamers.

I'm also going to reserve the first post so I can place my own thoughts into it if this is cool with the Mods? Thought I'd check it's not going to get shut down before pouring a billion words into a page.

Let me know guys! :)

kane40k
24-06-2013, 15:21
Reserved for pourings.

Menthak
24-06-2013, 18:45
I don't like to see it as an addiction, but I suppose it is.

It's a world that is full of background information, I enjoy the books, the games, the tabletop, and if anyone in Lincolnshire played the RPGs I would play a lot more of them. So I suppose it is my life in a way.

How much it's part of my identity I don't know, I don't introduce myself by saying that I play 40k, I'm no embarrassed by it, it's just not who I am, and I'm sure my friends who don't take an interest in 40k don't see me as 'the guy who plays tabletop games'. It's something I just do.

Poseidal
24-06-2013, 19:28
In Britain, I guess it's more like the addiction 'tobacco' rather than the addiction 'heroin'.

Lord Damocles
24-06-2013, 19:32
How much is it a part of your life? Is it a constant thing you could never escape ever again? Almost like an addiction?
I can stop any time I like.

Any time I...

*Buys 15 Space Crusade Chaos Androids on eBay*

Dammit!

ChromeZephyr
24-06-2013, 20:23
I can stop any time I like.

Any time I...

*Buys 15 Space Crusade Chaos Androids on eBay*

Dammit!

Where's the like button? I snorted soda out my nose, Damocles. Well done.

ETA: Suppose I should post something germane to the topic. To me it's just another hobby. I talk about it with my friends that play and will get the jokes, but outside of that group it's not something that's discussed. Not out of any shame or such, just that I've got other things to talk and laugh about with my friends that don't play.

All that being said, I wouldn't mind an extra hour of the day to work on my models, I've got too many projects going at once. :D

Menthak
24-06-2013, 20:47
I can stop any time I like.

Any time I...

*Buys 15 Space Crusade Chaos Androids on eBay*

Dammit!

You're drawn to old models like Tyranids to the Astronomicon aren't you?

Thinking about it, the hobby isn't addictive to me as such, I do it because I have an interest in it, if I felt compelled to look up medieval history, I wouldn't suddenly be addicted. Just interested.

Like I've said before, It's not the sole defining part of my personality, but nor is it a fad.

dokfm
24-06-2013, 20:59
Like I've said before, It's not the sole defining part of my personality, but nor is it a fad.
I have a feeling that's how most of us feel. It's not something we'd give up just because somebody asked us to, but, if push came to shove, we'd give it up if we had to.

Or at least that's how I ​feel.

Venkh
24-06-2013, 22:09
Stream of consciousness here lots of unformed thoughts so here goes

I think my interest started in childhood. I was totally obsessed with the Greeks and Romans and medieval battles. Anything with monsters. I used to draw huge battle scenes and spend hours setting up my little plastic soldiers

I never used to paint them but I used to collect as many as I could

Later on the fantasy monster theme got me into d and d and fantasy gamebooks. I used to read these obsessively for hours and design my own games and adventures. Sometimes I'd play though them myself, sometimes with my friends. War gaming was something I started a little later on with the dnd battle system and 2nd/3rd ed war hammer. Again I'd spend more time poring over my dark elf army and thinking up tactics than actually playing. I used to spend ages rattling on about it with them.

I stopped playing when I left home and started partying in Ernest, I lost touch with all my old mates and ended up in a bit of a mess to be honest. I used to look at stuff now and again but I was never really interested.

I settled down and got married and about a year after my first son was born I dug out some old bits and bobs and decided to look for a club. I had moved away from my old area and needed a social outlet away from family life which can be a little fraught at times.

Despite my best efforts to play more 'mature' games (whatever!) I found myself being sucked right back into war hammer and 40k. Dark elves and eldar especially. The forums really allow players to indulge their interest to the fullest degree. I joined d.net and used to spend hours and hours there learning and exchanging views about how to get the rather anaemic 6th ed book to work properly.

So I play for social reasons and because the subject matter is so interesting. There us also a huge dose of nostalgia there which is a massively powerful force. I find that the hobby engages me on so many levels intellectual, artistic, creative, there is so much humour in the community, as well as ready acceptance of new people. Nobody is an outsider for very long.

So there you go, not sure if that helps in any way at all.

Imaginative play, for grown ups, in a safe environment :)

Menthak
24-06-2013, 23:35
So I play for social reasons and because the subject matter is so interesting. There us also a huge dose of nostalgia there which is a massively powerful force. I find that the hobby engages me on so many levels intellectual, artistic, creative, there is so much humour in the community, as well as ready acceptance of new people. Nobody is an outsider for very long.

I hadn't thought of this, but it's a good one, when I was first brought into our cities' Games workshop store by my friend, I felt like I was friends with most of the people in there straight away, which you don't really get in other aspects of life. It's the same with this forum to be honest, I've yet to meet someone who I didn't like here.

Azulthar
25-06-2013, 10:10
My real hobby is geeky gaming. Warhammer is just a part of that :)

MLP
25-06-2013, 10:45
Stream of consciousness here lots of unformed thoughts so here goes

I think my interest started in childhood. I was totally obsessed with the Greeks and Romans and medieval battles. Anything with monsters. I used to draw huge battle scenes and spend hours setting up my little plastic soldiers

I never used to paint them but I used to collect as many as I could

Later on the fantasy monster theme got me into d and d and fantasy gamebooks. I used to read these obsessively for hours and design my own games and adventures. Sometimes I'd play though them myself, sometimes with my friends. War gaming was something I started a little later on with the dnd battle system and 2nd/3rd ed war hammer. Again I'd spend more time poring over my dark elf army and thinking up tactics than actually playing. I used to spend ages rattling on about it with them.

I stopped playing when I left home and started partying in Ernest, I lost touch with all my old mates and ended up in a bit of a mess to be honest. I used to look at stuff now and again but I was never really interested.

I settled down and got married and about a year after my first son was born I dug out some old bits and bobs and decided to look for a club. I had moved away from my old area and needed a social outlet away from family life which can be a little fraught at times.

Despite my best efforts to play more 'mature' games (whatever!) I found myself being sucked right back into war hammer and 40k. Dark elves and eldar especially. The forums really allow players to indulge their interest to the fullest degree. I joined d.net and used to spend hours and hours there learning and exchanging views about how to get the rather anaemic 6th ed book to work properly.

So I play for social reasons and because the subject matter is so interesting. There us also a huge dose of nostalgia there which is a massively powerful force. I find that the hobby engages me on so many levels intellectual, artistic, creative, there is so much humour in the community, as well as ready acceptance of new people. Nobody is an outsider for very long.

So there you go, not sure if that helps in any way at all.

Imaginative play, for grown ups, in a safe environment :)

This is almost exactly what has been my life with regards to wargaming. Great post.

Gossipmeng
25-06-2013, 16:56
My life is pretty much split into 3 categories: Work, Family/Friends, Hobbies. My hobbies mainly consist of various online games and hobby projects. I enjoy building scale model WW2 era ships (preferably 1/350 scale :D ) so warhammer 40k fits in perfectly since you are building/painting an army of "simple" models as opposed to a single complex model like my ships - the two compliment each other nicely. I could quit wargaming no problem as my other interests would pick up the slack..... but I can't see myself doing this anytime soon.

As to the second question/paragraph.... I'm not sure characters really affect anyone/influence their life decisions. Rather a player would be more likely to choose their army based on traits that a character and the player have in common - fluff is more appealing if you can relate to it. My view is that these are just characters from which to base your army.... pick the one you like - I'm not about to start a crusade in my office for unionization since commander farsight separated from the Tau empire with his enclaves lol.

Life lessons - planning/strategy, budgeting (for your purchases and spending points when list building), and most importantly how to deal with others. When dealing with others you will develop patience, since there are wargamers out there that will push every single button known to man (rude, takes forever to complete an turn, cheating, breaking your figures, ignorant, etc...)

hmmm the demographics are well established for wargaming.... there are a lot of "normal" people and just as many odd balls. I will comment that it is amusing when I go to my local GW after work. I'm on one end of the table with my business casual attire and across from me is the guy who looks like he just woke up - its a different world in the store as the wargamers will stare at me as if I'm dressed weird, but once they step outside the store they will get those same stares themselves from everyone else.

Do I hide wargaming? - I prefer to "selectively reveal my wargaming" :D Wargaming is very geeky and as such I will really only discuss it at length to people who I know have their own geeky hobbies/interests. To those friends of mine who aren't in the geeky category, I keep it short and sweet "oh those are just some miniature figures I build and paint in my spare time".

Wargaming in relationships - Never been an issue. I can only see this being a problem if you are neglecting your significant other/life responsibilities for the hobby or irresponsible spending habits on the hobby. As long as you live a balanced life style and have your career in order... women won't complain about your hobby whatever it may be. Pro tip - take her out for dinner, say yes when asked "do you want to go to this club with my friends?", let her buy the ugly shoes - and you'll be free to unleash your D6s and miniatures whenever you please.

Army choice - My main army is an all suit Tau army. I love mechs, gundams, and modern military tactics so it was a natural fit (key note: to make life easy my GF knows my army as "the gundams"). Another reason they appeal to me is that it shows what a race is capable of achieving in a short amount of time if they work towards a common goal. I believe in honesty, integrity and justice - I feel as though the Tau do a decent job of representing this as they are the closest thing to a good guy in the 40k universe (ignore all the ethereal conspiracy).

Summary: 40k is a significant part of my hobby life, although I could give it up if I had to. Every wargamers is different although some will fall into the stereotypes of social awkward/rude individuals - but this gives us an opportunity to develop of social skills when dealing with difficult individuals. I'm generally selective with who I discuss wargaming with as some people just won't be accepting or appreciate it like I do - but this goes for anything.... I would be bored to death if someone discussed sports with me in detail. Relationship problems do not result from wargaming - rather they arise when you poorly manage your time and money. Lastly, I selected my army based on which ones best reflected my personal attributes/values (in addition to visual appeal).

Horus38
26-06-2013, 14:24
I think my interest started in childhood. I was totally obsessed with the Greeks and Romans and medieval battles. Anything with monsters. I used to draw huge battle scenes and spend hours setting up my little plastic soldiers.

^ Same here. When I discovered Warhammer/40k about 12 years ago it was immediately obvious to me that "THIS" was the game/hobby/background story that I'd been looking for for so long. I dabble in all manner of science fiction/fantasy genres for games/reading, but Warhammer has just been such an enduring and constant interest that I identify with.

I'm not ashamed of my geekiness, but I usually let new people slowly discover it rather then trumpet it to the heavens on a first get together.