Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Indicium: Hobby in Perspective

I stumbled across this amusing and informative article over at Cracked.com and wanted to share it with my wargaming crew:


It is an interesting, quick look at some of the big questions that we should all likely be asking ourselves as life continues it's inexorable advance. For me, the biggest question deals with what it means to "be" an adult in our society, absent the rituals and traditions of our forebears. Considering that society at large sees wargaming as playing with toys, I have often asked myself what the hobby reflects about me as an individual and my role in a larger, social perspective.

Answers to that question will vary widely and all are highly individual, but I do like John Cheese's notion that a large part of adulthood is becoming the person that others can rely on and not the reverse. Once you have become unconsciously that go-to person for others, then things like hobby and how we spend free time seem to fall naturally into perspective.

Let me know what you think of John's article. Did any of it resonate with how you are moving this this lifetime?


Tim said...

Is table-top gaming really a child's activity? I would argue that it is not. We mostly see full-grown men participating in tournaments for example. And very few of the younger gamers have fully painted armies (can they afford them?). Model assembly involves lots of tinkering with specialized tools, that take time to get good at. Painting miniatures takes discipline, time management and many decisions throughout the process. The gaming aspect involves some higher-level thinking as well, math in your head, tactics, planning, predictions, etc. While it might be judged by outsiders as childish, internally I don't think the majority would agreed after giving it more careful thought. Besides, all adults need to retain some joys from childhood to stay sane, balanced individuals. And good clean play-time is good for everyone at any age.

Lo-Pan said...

The collection, presentation, and "use" of toy soldiers is a VERY old hobby. For a long time it was not a hobby available to persons without significant means. The wargaming aspect as a hobby is simply a recreational version of the practical military application.

Nowadays, the mass marketing of plastic action figures has diluted the "adult-ness" of miniatures in the public conciousness. People still tend to look at the hobby as fantasy or sci-fi, which are still genres that traditionally cause eyes to roll. Of course, Napoleonic, (US) Civil War, WWI and WWII (etc) variations wouldn't be viewed as such, but as soon as you say "Tabletop Wargaming", people immediately assume "fat, sweaty gamer geek".

As far as I'm concerned, our wargaming hobby is no more juvenile than any other spectator sport or fantasy league. Less so, in fact, since we're actually contributing to the game.

Kelli Sincock said...

I find this article VERY ironic at this particular moment.