Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Burning Fantasy

Despite the title this article is not about a raunchy romance novel but rather the firey hate one man shows for Games Workshop after the controversial release of their brand-new flagship game, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. In what might be a gruesome and terrifying scene for some, YouTube user Tremendous027 recently uploaded video of himself spraying down his Warhammer Fantasy Dark Elves collection with lighter fluid and setting them ablaze. Was it stupid? Was it justified? Let's dive right into the drama and address some things I've seen in his YouTube comments, which are now disabled, and in comments all over Facebook and various forums. I'll preface this by saying I'll just ignore the dumb, racist, and/or troll-bait comments that don't deserve a mention, but otherwise here we go:

"It's just a game"
Nope, it's also thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of someone's life. If someone enjoys a hobby, being dismissive when they can't enjoy it anymore simply because your opinion is that their hobby doesn't matter is extremely self-centered. This is a common theme in people's posts throughout the web, that because some people enjoyed different things about Warhammer or that it's not important to you, their feelings/effort/money-spent are irrelevant because it's not how YOU enjoyed the hobby. It's selfish and conceited. It's not "just a game" to a lot of people. Sometimes someone enjoys something enough to try to get invested into it, whether that's hundreds of minis, competition-level paint jobs, or bookshelves full of novels. Your opinion of their enjoyment or hobby priority couldn't be more irrelevant.

"GW is a model company not a game company"
This is not only incorrect but it's ignorant of GW's history. Just because Tom Kirby force-fed this line to his shareholders and used to write it in his forwards to the financial reports never made it true. For years Games Workshop used to host their own large-scale tournaments (Grand Tournaments, Rogue Traders, 'Ard Boyz, Throne of Skulls, etc), as well as promote school leagues which they technically still do. With the exception of a very small group of collectors, no one is going around buying army boxes or their 7th or 8th boxes of line troops from GW without also playing that game. You buy the models to use in their games.

"Someone needs therapy"
This can actually be considered therapeutic...

"Just play 8th Edition"
Sure, except you mean not in any Games Workshop stores anymore despite using minis they still actively sell. This is a valid point though, people have been playing old/out-of-print rules systems for decades so for the people who regularly played 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy I'm sure they will continue to do so, or maybe they'll leave for Mantic's Kings of War.

"Try it before you bash on it if you haven't played it"
Personally I have tried it (and bought it) but regardless this is still unnecessary. We have this really cool cognitive process where we can figure things out like "living in North Korea must really suck" without actually having to personally experience it. Pretty neat, huh? The idea that I cannot get an overall gist of a game by reading its rules is silly. I'm not saying someone can get the full feeling of what it's like to play Age of Sigmar just by reading the four-page rule pamphlet and a few war scrolls, but it's not very difficult to get a basic understanding or determine if it interests you. When I read a war scroll that says I must dance, sing, look in a mirror, talk to my minis, scream, drink alcohol, grow a beard, complain, etc, I really don't have to "experience it in person" to understand I don't want to use those rules.

"He should have sold them"
Maybe he should have, or maybe people shouldn't care what someone else does with their property and money. And hey, buying and selling minis on the secondary market hurts both GW AND friendly local game stores, so that's the best solution right? One person's obvious solution is another person's face-palm either way...

I dunno, overall I think people need to relax and remember, "some people just want to watch their minis burn".

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