Monday, January 10, 2011

Does GW hate God?

That's quite a catchy title, I know.

I have no idea if GW does, in fact, hate God but, I do have some observations about GW that I want to share.

First, lets establish my base so we have a common frame of reference. I am an old fart, ex-military, Christian (more on this later), white, from the South, and middle class. I was raised Catholic and upon gaining adulthood, promptly left the church. My absence from organized religion lasted for 18 years before I, "came back into the fold". I did what all reformed Catholics do and became a Baptist. It goes without saying that I believe in God. I (try) to follow his teachings and live a good (what I judge to be good) life. I don't recruit people into the church. I have barely read 1/20th of the Bible.

I am also a sci-fi/fantasy nut. I have played Dungeons and Dragons (and other RPGs for that matter) for 25 years. I have been quite active in 40K for about two years. Active, meaning I play between 40 and 60 games per year. So, I know what our hobby is all about.

I am also old enough to remember when every well-meaning parent was hell-bent on "protecting" America's youth by obliterating DnD completely. Seems the overzealous religious types got there nose bent out of shape about "demons" and alleged "satanism/witchcraft". It was pure poppycock. Were there some troubled, depressed, and impressionable young people that took it too far? Yes. Much like there are troubled youth still to this day, busy taking things too far.

Parents are protective of their children (duh). Even the hint of danger, real or perceived, will turn a parent against you.

I do not know at what age GW intends to recruit its customers. All indications would point to children between 10-14 years old. This is purely based upon my own observations around the 3-4 local game stores that I frequent. However, GW is not doing itself any favors if that is its intended "new customer base".

For example;

I got my newest GW Newsletter in my e-mail. The subject line was, "Chapter 666: Hammer of Daemons". Say what?

Now, I know what this means. I play Space Marines and I am always looking to add more power armor to collection.

But. and this is a big one...

The average parent is ignorant. They have no idea what our fictional little universe is about. However, the parent controls the money flow. I also know that the parent is going to key off of certain words and phrases. Let's take a peek into the average parents thought process...

"Hmmm, what to get little Johnny? He likes the 40K thing... Looks okay.

What is this? 666? Isn't that the mark of the beast or something?



What kind of game is this for children?"

Yes, I believe that fairly and accurately represents what the average person probably thinks when they read about GWs product.

or take this from the back of the DE Codex.

"...pure evil in its most sickening and elemental sense..."

"Sadists and murders all..."

"...utterly inhuman, eternally thirsting for the anguish of others..."

The is no effing way I am letting my kid play a game of, "Sadist and Murders". Or so goes the thought process.


If GW is so creative and innovative of a company, why even bother digging into Judeo-Christian pop culture references like, "666"?

Why even have a religious connotation at all?

Was having aliens as the sole antagonists of this story not creative enough? Did they really need to bring pseudo-religious overtones into the story?

If the goal is to get new players between 10-14 y.o., why is there no effort to "win over" the parents? I will tell you, you do not "win" over anyone's parents by seemingly exposing them to and/or promoting occultism.

Seriously, it is only going to take one event involving a troubled youth and 40K and the media firestorm (fuelled by overzealous parents) will blow up this hobby. Look at what the false panic of the 80's did to TSR, the publisher of DnD.

Well, that's it. The rant is over. I just needed to get that off my chest and out there for discussion.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point. I have tried to get my own kids into gaming but find myself shielding them from those elements of GW's IP. They may need the 10-14 year olds to start playing, but my observation is that the 20-somethings do all the buying. The darker aspects of 40k probably appeal to that demographic.