Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
This subject was brought up on another forum and I thought it would be interesting to see what people here thought. A few fellow players I've spoken to seem resigned to the fact that their parents and friends -- or if they're older, partners and colleagues -- don't understand and generally make fun of the hobby. In some cases, light-hearted joking becomes outright disrespect and bullying. Some feel quite maligned by their peers and I wonder why that is and how people feel about it.
My long term girlfriend thinks it's "geeky but cute" and will happily sit and watch a soap on TV while me and a mate bash out a game of Space Hulk on the floor. She enjoys looking at figures I've painted but other than that, she doesn't have one bit of interest in it. But at the same time, she knows that I do and respects that. Of course, I've got my fair share of mates who think painting toy soldiers is the most retarded thing ever, but they accept that that's part of who I am. We're all geeky in our own way and everyone has hobbies, no?
I think part of the problem is the classic stereotype; unwashed, socially awkward, metal listening nerd who plays D&D and Warhammer, crowding around FLGS tables rolling dice. On one hand, I can't say I really fit that stereotype (I love D&D, but can't stand metal -- I'm a massive hip hop fan though) but from my experience in my local GW I can definitely say that others do! Which is fair enough, but sometimes when I'm there checking out new releases I almost can't help but think, "Guys, you really don't help yourselves."
It's really quite unfair to criticise, happiness is of course relative but I wonder if the mockery so frequently directed at Warhammer players is because of how the hobby is perceived, or are we contributing to that negative perception?
I get minimal grief, and if I do I happily point out their geeky hobby - be it football, F1, whatever (and yes, knowing how many goals player X scored for team Y in year Z is very geeky, however they like to dress it up).
Of course it helps that I am (incredibly) arrogant in myself, and also damn proud of being a geek. We're going to inherit the earth
But some players don't help themselves. Take pride in your appearance, and I don't mean wearing a wotsit smeared Star Wars t-shirt that you've had since 1984.
This question has been debated countless times before, and I think that it will always remain unanswered.
When I got into the game, my dad didn't really understand it, and he railed against it. It's not a sport, and he wanted me to be an athlete. He had had bad experiences involving some of his junior officers who were caught playing D&D alongside drug-use, and he didn't hold Warhammer to be far apart from that.
My family sort of tolerates my hobby, although they're quick to yell at me for "living in fantasyland" or telling me that not everything in life is a game. They don't like buying me things for the hobby because they're all hoping that I'll eventually just grow out of it. I think that's pretty standard for all gamers though. Nobody really wants to feed our addiction, nevermind pay so much for so little.
My current girlfriend is really cool about the whole idea. She's into fantasy and dragons and the likes, so I showed her my HE Dragonmage and she fell in love with the models. She doesn't want to learn to the play the game or anything, but she enjoys watching my friends and I play, because she says it's cute to see 20-somethings playing armymen like they were 6. Oh well- we'll probably never understand eachother
[I'll be back after class to explain why gamers are usually so maligned. Suffice to say, here's a preview: It's largely their own fault]
This has come up quite a lot on the forums here in the past, but I'll let this go because I think it's a good topic that bears revisiting from time to time. Think of it as "nerd therapy."
My Take: When it comes to the negative reaction from one's peers, I think there are two factors at work here: The sci-fi angle and the "obsessive" angle. Regarding sci-fi, well, I think sci-fi fans have to have an interest in intellectual pursuits and explorative "what if" questions. I think many people are turned off by this because it takes them too far away from reality. In fairness, I think it is unhealthy to live in a sci-fi/fantasy world, eschewing the real world entirely(more below). Even those who don't mind exploring fiction's impact on and reflection of our current life and times are often turned off by the imagery. There are people who can't stand ray guns, aliens and sword & sorcery stories, but are perfectly fine immersing themselves in a love story set in Victorian England, and both genres have unique and valid ways of telling stories and expressing opinions. In short, some of us are wired for sci-fi, and some aren't.
Regarding the "obsession" factor, well, I can't help but think the non-geeks have a bit of a point here, but before you all decapitate me with your neon-colored plastic lightsabers, hear me out. If 90 percent of your wardrobe consists of t-shirts emblazoned with alien race logos, phrases in Klingon (which you can translate), or phrases like "I brake for Droids," then, I'm sorry to say, you may have a problem. Ditto if you hang a 1/5 scale X-Wing fighter in your living room, or can't find a coffee mug in your entire kitchen that doesn't have something sci-fi on it. Ditto if you simply can't resist going to every single sci-fi convention that comes to town (and some that are out of town) dressed up in that awesome Sontaran uniform (complete with helmet) you got for a song on Ebay.
HOWEVER... obsession over pop-culture items is not germaine to sci-fi. I would look equally askance at anyone who, once October rolls around, simply feels naked coming to work WITHOUT wearing their New England Patriots jersey, or hangs their autographed picture of David Beckham in the bathroom, or doesn't mind being seen on national television in the front row at the football game in -10 degree weather wearing no shirt and showing off a torso painted blue.
In short, our hobbies are fun, but we should never forget that not everyone will share our obsession, and that's not a bad thing. "Other" people remind us that there's air and light out there, and that we should get plenty of that, too. If you want to have a small collection of sci-fi books, DVDs or other memorabilia in a room or one one shelf in the back of the house somewhere, and have maybe 2-3 t-shirts in your dresser like that for those days when you're just in the mood, that's one thing. Any crazier than that, and us geeks must expect to drive others away, or worse, attract the wrong kind of attention.
I've never been mocked for the hobby though that is probably because of the company I keep. I do however get questioned about why I do it a lot and the biggest problem people seem to have is after they have asked how much it costs.
BEN DIESEL FTW!!!
To put my statements into perspective: I'm 21, unemployed(circuit city, boohoo) I live away from my "Home" with my girlfriend who I've been with for 2 years.
My friends are largely un-open to the subject of warhammer but mostly because they feel the need to paint the pieces is "dumb". I wouldn't say they make fun of me for it but they should be more understanding than they are considering the amount of time they spend playing MMOs and Magic: the Gathering.
My Girlfriend who lives with me actually builds her own army of eldar but, she is no where near as into the game, the hobby and the universe as I am. She likes it from a board game perspective which coincidently means space hulk is a big hit with her.
I've told my mother and my father about my hobby and because I've been unemployed for a while since being laid off they don't mock it and think it's a constructive use of my overload on time.
One thing I have noticed is that I don't like to bring it up or mention it to certain peope(my brother and a few of my less geek friends) because I know the stigma it hold. A stigma even I held agaisit it before I started playing.
On the flip-side, I hate and dispise and am almost unfriendly to other players of the game who DO fit the stereotype of: Fat, pony tail, DnD playing, Metal listening and t-shirt wearing, BO smelling obssesive slob. I can't help but think, is it so hard to shower before you come to the club? Is it so hard to not eat pizza every night(I can attest that this is hard to do though!)? And is it so hard to just make yourself presentable to the world so that people don't have to be uncomfortable around you? It's the same feeling i get around "thugs". People don't walk like that naturally.. you went out of your way to try to train your body so you walk "cool". I'm in no way uptight or look down on people who don't "conform" I just can't stand it when I see a living archetype.
I digress. It's unfortunate the stigma it holds and generally speaking I have noticed that it is usually not something that is warmly welcome. But, I personally have had good luck with it besides a few situations. Also, I have noticed that despite there not being much mockery directed towards me I can't help but feel embarassed for the amount of time I spend thinking and being active in the hobby (how long have I been registered but I've stoled the 100% activity award..). I feel part of this is due to the fact that there are not many people that play around here and I spend most of my time either playing my girlfriend or just reading about it rather than having actual games, it makes me feel like something being so elusive probaby means I shouldn't be doing it! It's a bummer. It's almost like a horror movie when they see the little girl that they just can't catch up to.. only in my case it doesn't end it murder and the little girl is actually another warhammer player. Which is odd in itself because my gaming store has a huge warhammer selection but, I swear no one plays it.
In short: It is generally mocked by the uninitiated but, I myself have been lucky in avoiding it because of understanding people around me.
Talk about a wall of text thread.
Whatever profession or hobby you have, you'll be branded with a stereotype by others, it's as simple as that.
My opinion is that the fans do contribute to the negative perception of GW and it's games,
I can't even walk into a Games Workshop half the time because of all the geeks/nerds that infest it, and the employee's sometimes don't help fight that impression.
It's fun for a typical guy to have a 'geek' side, but to be a geek is just not attractive. I mean honestly is anyone here attracted by someone who is consumed only in a personal interest and nothing else?
I doubt it.
I don't hide my hobby from my friends and classmates, they all know I play and i've never had any grief at all. In fact, other usually more withdrawn gamers have come to me and asked for a game, because they know I play.
the most I have had from my friends is
"so you play warhammer?"
"cool can I see your models? Thats a pretty neat dinosaur!"
"its a stegadon but yeah, they're basically the same thing, pub now?"
Kelter Skelter, I have to completely agree on many points. I no longer, and have not for many years, played games down at my local club/store for precisely this reason. Many of the players there are just that, walking talking stereotypes, and it makes me for one feel uncomfortable hanging out there because they make it very difficult to interact. That's not to say they're all unwashed, geeky slobs - no, some are just very socially awkward, difficult to interact with, know-it-all rules lawyers, etc. You get the idea.
There have been times where I've almost been made to feel unwelcome. I feel that sometimes the GW player community is almost too closed for it's own good. I shouldn't have to feel looked down on because I happen to play Warhammer and wear trendy clothes, nor feel embarrassed walking into a GW to pick up some paints with my girlfriend, but sometimes I can't help but.
Getting my own place and building a gaming table with some mates in the garage was the best thing I ever did, hobbywise. Having a close circle of friends also interested in the hobby is a blessing I sometimes take for granted!
I don't get any grief for the hobby, at least none that isn't good natured. I'm also clean cut, in decent shape, and social. I live in the North Carolina Research Triangle, and the people I play with don't live up to the stereotypes. If you do live up to the stereotypes, expect to take some guff from people, whether it be about the hobby or not.