Thursday, December 1, 2011

A bit of yellow journalism

Well, I was contemplating the next post as I am currently running out of a few regular posts to do, and the intersection of my wargaming hobby and the real world found a dark corner today.  I was online for my daily read through Warseer and I found this post.

It is also linked to this post from this blog.

The synopsis of these posts is that a reporter went to a 40K tournament and did a story on it for a greek publication.  Sad to say, this story was clearly a hit piece on our hobby, and from the second post it was even more sarcastic that protrayed in the english translation.  This woman did interview several of the participants that came to this event as well and they did not help the situation if they were accurately quoted and translated.

Honestly I have no idea whether this is an accurate translation or just someone trying to cause a fuss just because they were boored on a Wednesday night.  Since the second link is one of the guys in the picture, and he took the time to do a translation, I have a hard time believing that someone would take the time to translate and cause this uproar if it is not an accurate translation.  Now, some hippy reporter in Greece really should not bother me and usually it does not, but I do have some problems with this article.  This article is laced with insults ranging from the usual to the more obscure and more potent about gamers, expressed below.   

Wargamers are Shut-in Geeks

A common sterertype that all wargamers get from time to time.  Anyone who spends a lot of their lives gaming especially in their adolescence have experienced this bias.  Some of it may be founded and some of it can be unfounded.  I would have to say that I really did not have a problem with this since it just indicated to us her bias.  It told me her type real quickly as one of those judgemental, pushy, people that will denegrate someone just to make them feel better.  Anyone that has gone to high school has experienced these people.  If it was just this I would have dismissed her and not even write this post. 

Wargamers don't think

She really disapproved of the fluff of the 40K universe, and though that anyone who thought it through would also approve of her disapproval.  Therefore anyone who liked the 40K fluff did is not a thinking person, even though there were plenty of highly educated people at the tournament she stated.  In addition she also made sure to insult the british with her disdain for the 40K world.  I don't remember if I have ever stated this, but I cant stand the fluff that GW produces.  So painting a brush on all of us based of the fact that some of the people like the drivel that GW puts in their books certainly annoys me.  It makes me wonder if she saw a couple of guys playing a game of Armies of Arcania, which apparently has almost no fluff, and would still have the same attitude.  Somehow I think that she would disapprove based on the concept that wargaming fosters warmongering in her mind.  This closed mindedness that if you are not enlightened enough to be a left-winged community organizer, you are dumb as a fence post really gets under my skin.  World view is not an indication of intellect!

Wargaming Promotes Nazism?

That is a salient point of the article that either you are a Nazi sympathizer or a sympathizer in training.  Now this was very insulting to me on several levels becaue of the context. Apparently, this problem is rampant here in America.  Now, it has been a long time since I have been to the hazing rituals to join the wargaming community, but I don't seem to recall them including getting nazi tats.  All of it was hersay from what I gathered from the article, or her perception based on the loosely on the iconography that is in the GW fluff that she despised.  Throwing the Nazi word around was usually a cardinal sin for the media to use without evidence.  So not only insulting the gamers but Americans, and of course anyone conservative.  To be honest I have seen all walks of life play this game from the very hippy liberal, to the most libertarian.  I really don't check their political card at the start of the game to see if they are someone that I care to associate with, since I never thought that it mattered.  Apparently it does to this woman.

This entire article was decrying the zenophobic attitude of the gamers, but I wonder if they were trying to single out these gamers for their own political dialogue that is happening in Greece.  Remember that this was a published article in a newspaper so I am assuming that an editor actually read the story like you see in All the Presidents Men.  Clearly I get from this article that 40K gamers are a bunch of rich nazi's that have too much time on their hands.  With the strife that they are having in Greece, denegrating people will not end well for Greece, or for anyone else that starts this kind of attack.

My apologies for taking this post into a political realm, and perhaps making this more than just a reporter being short sighted and meanspirited.  It is my hope that no one takes this article seriously, but it does poses the question what is this world coming to when a fictional game can be taken in this light.  I have a hard time seeing this woman denegrating recreational sex or drug use, so why should she or anyone else give a damn what someone does in their spare time.  Add this to my musical hobby, where it is apparently illegal to make quality instruments here in the US regardless of the paperwork(Google Gibson Guitar Raids if you have no idea what I am talking about).  It makes me wonder if I will be running out of hobbies in the future, and when that happens wait and see how expensive the damn models will be then.  I guess that I should go out to the shooting range before that is not allowed either.


  1. Thanks for reposting this here.

    I translated the text to the best of my ability. I do a bit of translating as a part time job (English to Greek though and mainly technical manuals) but I am not a pro or anything. I tried to stay as close to the context of the original text as possible that's why it might not seem "pretty" at some points. Hope this explains things.

  2. I do thank you for taking your time on this one. It is my hope that you dont see me back handing you with a disclaimer since I cant authenticate the article. Had this been in a language that I know a little bit about I would have spot translated and verified for myself. I try to err on the side of caution hense the disclaimer.

    Regardless, thank you for your post.