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"Responsibilities to the hobby" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2019 3:19 p.m. PST

"There's an idea with a bit of currency in wargaming circles that wargamers should, in various ways, be active in promoting the hobby. The thinking goes that we are ambassadors for wargaming and are under an obligation to be good representatives. We ought to do things such as introduce wargaming to new people, support outreach endeavours, chip in and help at club or organizational level, put on games at shows or other public places, make an effort to encourage a more diverse wargaming community and so on.

For various reasons, it's not an idea that sits comfortably with me. When I see a 'how we can bring more young people into the hobby' or 'what you need to do to encourage female wargamers' or 'how to get your girlfriend to play wargames with you' type of infomercial, it grates a bit…."
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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2019 4:22 p.m. PST

He's got half a point, I think. But he does miss the personal advantages of a more popular hobby. If historical miniatures wargaming in North America were as popular as it is in the UK, I'd have more products available locally, not to mention more opponents, and conventions which weren't epic journeys. More young wargamers would keep the existing conventions going further into my old age. That's worth keeping a welcome mat out for, I think.

What bothers me are the people who want to destroy miniature wargaming in order to save it. I hear them announce that in order to "grow the hobby" we have to switch to cooperative games, do more role-playing and stop being so fussy about history or painted figures--and I know that "the hobby" they wish to grow is not mine.

The author of that article missed, I think, a few arguments for encouraging growth. But some of the "grow the hobby" types miss the point of being a wargamer.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2019 6:39 p.m. PST

I understand the sentiment, but I don't share it.

I'm happy to try to educate and/or assist interested parties about gaming, etc., however, I draw the line at "obligation".

I have enough of those already, without adding more.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Jan 2019 9:11 p.m. PST

Only in the selfish sense of hoping to find more players. I'll volunteer for a con to set up/tear down and run games. A chance to get toys on the table and meet people

Wherethestreetshavnoname09 Jan 2019 12:34 a.m. PST

Other than observing Wheaton's Law, I have no 'responsibilities'. It's a hobby, not a career.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2019 7:51 a.m. PST

The only obligation you have is the one you willingly choose to undertake.

John Leahy09 Jan 2019 11:51 a.m. PST

I have been running or helping to run Cons for 14 or 15 years. I do it because i enjoy it. Not out of obligation.


Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2019 2:01 p.m. PST

Two other thoughts: we are the inheritors of much, we are unworthy if we don't care for it and pass it on, and second, some are more suited to nurturing or promoting the hobby, and that's okay.

When decide to take some enjoyment from wargaming you instantly benefit from all the gamers, sculptors, rules-writers, club and convention organizers, publishers, and the culture in general. If you decide to write your own rules there is plenty to draw on, and whether you imitate to it or react to it or extend it you work will be easier and your product better than if you were beginning tabula rosa, and the same is true in other areas. It is not a purely commercial transaction, where you pay for something and have no further debt, since very few in the hobby get paid commensurate with effort/talent.

It is absolutely true that all who went before did so not intending to obligate us but for their own enjoyment or profit. But their should be some sense of gratitude that should result in beneficial action on our part toward "the hobby". Perhaps "obligation" is the wrong word, but there should be goodwill toward the hobby that is ready to take beneficial action when the opportunity presents itself.

Speaking of that opportunity, some of us will have more than others. Perhaps you are a gregarious sort who regularly brings new people to games. Perhaps you are introverted and the thought of inviting someone to a war-game fills you with dread. Neither person is compelled to bring in new people, but the extrovert can and should and, frankly, probably will. Same for organizers, rules writers, etc. It would be absurd to suggest that someone not inclined or suited to a hobby-promotion role, whether publishing or hosting or whatever, should do a certain amount anyway. Nothing good can come from that. But it is both acceptable and logical to encourage each other to consider how we might be able to enjoyably promote the hobby, and take some action.

Where we can make the world a better place we should. We are our brother's keeper.

UshCha10 Jan 2019 7:07 a.m. PST

We are obligated not to be unpeaseant and perhaps encorage those that are interested. But that is it, as far as I am concerned. The web allows folk to find us if they want us. I find overly "enthusiastic" encoragement as in all things wargameing, religious or political offensive. Folk have their own minds let them use them.

I perhaps would like to encorage kids ALREADY with and interest, but in the UK working with kids needs so many "voulantary" courses to even start, some of which the club or individual has to pay for that its a none starter.
If the parents are prepared to supervise well behaved kids who are keen then so be it, I will help a bit.

My limit is being the chairman of the local club and that is a hands off as I can, for the above reason. Multi player games with folk with little knowledge of the period are of no interest and I would never suggest that is a way forward for "serious" wargamers.

Similarly all should be aware (even me, as technicaly I am a "supplier of goods"), that we are not the reason for wargaming to exist, we are just to provise assistance if required to fellow wargamers.

RPG and Fantasy wargames are another world to me. I almost never indulge in them despite my son be an avid fan. Each to their own.

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