I have been blogging about my wargaming shenanigans for four months now, before that I was a lurker on other people's blogs and before that I was trying to throw off the shackles of the bad gaming habits I had fallen into (trying to invent Oldhammer in isolation, unaware it had already been done). It has been 12 months since I had my sudden 'wargaming is rubbish and it's my fault' epiphany and I have had to readjust several times since then.
I have posted elsewhere about what Oldhammer meant to me in the earliest weeks, it was a chance to go back to square one and get things right. A bit like starting a computer game from scratch and playing through more successfully and efficiently because of your foreknowledge. Now I find that being exposed to the wider community has subtly changed my ideas of Oldhammer and my perception has shifted (widened?) slightly.
I think more about painting to showcase, something I have never been bothered by previously, rather than just painting to game. I have always been a member of clubs that have gaming as the principle raison d'être and have always been one of the few who had fully painted, neatly turned out armies. I never had any reason to push myself. Now I find I want to learn about the most advanced techniques and things like painting banners and shields.
I have long been part of the extended youtube gaming community and although this video post is about modern Warhammer in it's 8th incarnation it is by a smart and insightful fellow who has some interesting things to say about what draws individuals to the hobby (and it's relevant to my preamble).
If you don't have time to review the video, to sum up OB correctly identifies a lot of the prime motivations that draw us to the hobby (well, a hobby closely related to our own) and I found myself fascinated by his opinions which are obviously accurate from his point of view but are often tangential to what I have come to believe.
It is a little sad that as the video draws to it's conclusion the immersive gamers are discounted as a tiny minority along with the extreme need-to-winners and dropped from the examination so he can concentrate on the hobbyists, purists and competitors. Immersives are dismissed as an 'exclusive' club and unwilling or unable to mix with the majority, but I have seen mainstream behaviours from many in the blogging community so why are we perceived thus?
It's possible that not all Oldhammerers/OSR enthusiasts would see themselves as immersives of course, that's another assumption of mine I'm afraid. Maybe you would see yourself as a member of one of the other groups? I certainly find that relationships are a big motivation behind what I'm doing these days. I am still left with many questions after having watched the video. Are we going to be able to connect with the wider gaming community? Do we need to? Do we want to? Will we even be able to agree on a definition of our activities?
I am going to be updating my mission statement soon. It is currently from the heart but it is a bit rant like and I find I want to do more with the blog. In between the monitoring of projects and posting of battle reports I would like to talk (evangelise?) about what gaming has come to mean to me, the 'social contract' involved when you organise a game and the potential gaming has to be a positive influence on lives.
Please let me know if you have any thoughts on the video or if you have reassessed your views on the hobby recently.
Thanks for stopping by!