It's been a while since I've made a real post and I'd like to try and get the ball rolling again.
Today is the topic of what I would call: Super Gaming Bros.
As many of you know I'm a bit of a closet (less so now) war gamer. What you may not know is that I'm also an avid video gamer.
Back in 2000 I ran my own Aliens vs Predator clan on PC, used to meet up with friends on a semi regular basis and take part in Quake 3 LAN parties, have owned plenty of consoles, and currently trying to squeeze in as many opportunities to either replay Dead Space 2, replay Deus Ex: Human Revolution or complete Skyrim.
As time has gone by I've noticed many similarities between War Gaming and Video Gaming and I've come to see Video Gaming as sort of like the younger brother, sort of like Luigi to Mario, Raziel to Kain or Tim to Newt.
There have even been many situations where the two have merged, especially with Games Workshop; Shadow of the Horned Rat, Chaos Gate, Dawn of War and of course the recent Space Marine.
But for some reason, War Gaming continues to have the appearance of the 'uncool' brother.
You see, when I was younger and the Mega Drive was king, I remember video gaming was very 'in'. When Sonic 2 was released, everybody who was anybody HAD to own it.
As time went on, the machine and the in crowd parted ways, video gaming became the realm of basement dwellers who never washed and their only girlfriend was their right hand, with the release of Everquest this became even more public opinion, especially as news spread like wild fire (thanks of course to The Daily Mail and other similar newspapers) about families being torn apart by the evils of a fantasy world.
Does that last sentence sound familiar? It should, as not too long before, similar words were used to describe wargames, role play and AD&D (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons).
Let's not forget about that crazy teenager in the US who killed his family "because Mind Flayers told him to".
Is this a new phenomenon? Of course not! While doing some quick research into this topic I very quickly stumbled onto the infamous Columbine massacre which was blamed on both music and the game DooM!
And so here we stand, two brothers in gaming, both of who have been the fall guy for countless acts of cruelty and depravity, and yet some how Video Gaming has done what War Gaming could not:
It has bridged the gap between 'cool' and 'uncool'. Through sport, racing and nearly every Wii game, Video Gaming has become socially exceptable, just look at Call of Duty!
But why is this? As much as I hate to say it, I do think a massive problem lies in the nature of the wargaming hobby.
Socially LAN games are still seen as the lepper of the gaming world, but sitting on the sofa and playing some xbox after a day at work is seen as acceptable.
Likewise, what is the most common method for wargamers to play? Local Games Clubs.
I'll be the first to admit, there is nothing cool about 10+ dorks meeting up once a week to play with tin soldiers, I say this keeping it in mind that I'm one of these dorks as well.
And so I am afraid that I seem to have run out of steam, do I feel like I've resolved this issue? No.
Instead it is my belief that Wargamers will always be ostracised and maybe that's the way we like it? I know when I play my computer games the last thing I want is a drooling joypad console fanboy getting in my face about how they can pwn me with their iron sights and aim assist, so like wise why would we want to take our table top out and away from our close knitted community?
I'll leave this with one last thing: ask me again after Salute 2012.
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor
PS: I'll just leave this here: