Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Why Are Adults Still Launching Tabletop War?

The BBC has an article today about the 25th anniversary of the release of Warhammer 40,000, which is doing the rounds. Typically for the BBC there has to be an angle which will give the cognoscenti something to fret about (in this case, the fact that 40k supposedly "exploits" younger fans), but still, it's surprisingly sympathetic and avoids the kind of tongue-in-cheek comments you usually get when RPGs or table top wargames are discussed in mainstream media. The comments on the article are, as always, completely batshit mental, but raise a smile nonetheless.

There are two "!" instances worth mentioning. First, this:

Gillen contrasts Warhammer 40K to role-playing fantasy gaming like the online World of Warcraft (the modern equivalent of Dungeons and Dragons). [Emphasis added]

Get that? Almost as if D&D doesn't exist anymore except in the form of WoW. Not sure what to make of that. And second, more positively, there's this:

"It's like why theatre remains popular in the age of cinema," says 32-year-old Andrew Ruddick from Cambridge, explaining its enduring appeal. He describes himself as a "relapsed" Warhammer gamer, slipping back into it in his 20s with friends. "There's an intimacy. With tabletop gaming you are there."

Which is worth emphasising, I think. The USP of table top gaming needs to be shouted from the roof tops at every available opportunity.


  1. And of course your friends are there in the flesh to let you know if you're getting that little bit obsessed with the game. There's nobody to do that for the guy who's hunched over his computer at 3am, having spent himself into the red to afford the subs.

    I big up the socialisation aspect of tabletop games for my kids' campaign - it teaches them how to behave with other people and in kids these days, that's a big plus.

  2. I'm all in favour of relapsing. Let's hope this surprisingly balanced piece convinces a few more pretend grown-ups (like me).

    The WoW bit though... piff! Annoying beyond belief. Although it's hardly worth constantly explaining to people that games do still involve dice, pencils, laughter, company and rounds of tea.

    Let's hear it for intimacy and friendship and gaming!

  3. So many outsiders seem to miss that tabletop gaming is an almost purely social endeavor, one that also happens to encourage creativity, imagination, thinking outside-the-box... you know, the traits of good leaders in a modern world.

    I could only hope that my kids eventually want to game.

  4. I am here in Vegas for the Gama Retailer Trade show. Games Workshop has a booth here...but neither WotC nor Paizo do...hmmmmm.

  5. Sorry, there IS a WOtC booth--for info/questions...not a product booth