Fanatics! We wish nothing more than to enter a bouble of gaming tables, infinite time and awesome painting skills. Some friends to share the fun with are also a plus. Alas, we are in a world of analogue decline, but does it truly merit scepticism? We will be looking into GW’s perhaps late approach to the mainstream toymarket and our responsability to keeping the hobby alive.
In a recent article on the Spikey bits blog, edited by my buddy Rob Baer, we encounter a gloom-doom approach, hazed in nostalgia goggles, to the new line of toy kits being launched (propably and hopefully) by GW in the mainstream toymarket, namely the ”build’n’paint” kits. I recognize the professional approach being made. I do, however, question the motive.
Not unlike the professional in question, I too am 30-something and have been a fanatic for almost two decades now. I do not share the market expertise or by any means any greater economical understanding, more than how to balance my checkbook and pay taxes, and knowing how we are being royally screwed by our governments and institution for our hard earned cash. But I can afford plastic soldiers, so it’s cool.
Adressing the obvious – point and touch
It would be a fool’s errand to argue with the statement that kids these days are being more and more digitalized by the day, even by the minute. Our kids are being spoonfed all these, and I am sorry to say it, behavouristic experiments (called games) that would even make Pavlov himself proud. Have you played the games out on the market right now? It is an atrocity to even call them games! The old saying ”easy to learn, hard to master” is gone along with your self-respect as a gamer. It is easy to learn, easy to master, the easiest to pay. Pay to win isn’t even expensive.
And here is the proverbial kick in the groin, it is like this because we as parents, sibblings, cousins, friends, teachers and society, allow it. Simple as that. Why do the kids have iPads? Because we freaking give it to them! Parents don’t want to play and encourage their children, they want them safe and silenced. Silent and docile children are easy to handle children. They also end up stupid and fragile children. With a Masters degree in teaching and eight years working in schools from elementary to high school, I concider myself having a say in this.
Pardon me dear reader, I went off the rails a bit here. But it is the truth as I see it. Yes, our kids don’t play with toys, but not because they don’t want to, but because we tell them they don’t want to.
Is the initiative late? – Only if you can’t reschedule
Anonymous professional, I apologize if my tone is somewhat rude, I do not disagree with you in any way, because you make valid points, based on a professional understanding of the market. I do, however declare that you missed a few bits and pieces in your equation, much like most of us do when assembling a tactical squad. As stated in above section, don’t blame the kids, blame the parents.
But there is a solution to this and we might actually reschedule this release to be on time, right now. I am looking at people like us, that are becoming or are parents to young prospects to hobbies and games of yore. You mentioned the importance of a rolemodel, a rolemodel that only an older sibbling could be. That is not entirely true, what is true is ”monkey see, monkey do”. If you are a parent, clinging on to our benevolent hobby, and you have a kid who is potty-trained and doesn’t eat glue anymore, why not make some parent-child time. Don’t whip out the rulebook. Build the kits with your boy/girl and make lazer sounds and tell them the stories!!! Why else do you think the Star Wars franchise survived? Not for it’s intricate and fenomenal storytelling, I can tell you that much. We can sum it up into one word; Hype.
Returning to the iPad. I am a tablet/phone junky. I am slowly recovering and it feels good. I don’t have children yet, but I remember being a child and my parents helping me explore the world, through childsplay and games. The rest I figured out on my own; hide and seek, softball, soccer you name it. Noone shoved a digital nanny into my hands. If there was even the slightest slit of sunshine, I was actually prohibited to be indoors. I was forced to read books. In school I was forced to learn the multiplication table by heart! I turned out alright and I came to enjoy advanced passtime activities, such as wargaming with miniatures.
So instead of giving your child an iPad for christmas, give them a box of legos, toys, models whatever, and play with your child. This is how we reschedule this release to be fruitful. Be warned GW, you need to forcefeed this in the beginning, with know-how, workshops, kidevents etc (would love a themepark).
If you say you don’t believe in fairies, a fairy dies… CLAP!!!!!
I set out to reply in a critical fashion to our professional, but I seem to have explored a different source of the problem, namely being a good parent. Don’t deprave your children of their imagination with the digital nanny, give them paints, paper, crayons, glue and show them something about how it works and let them go bonkers! With some imagination a tree house and sticks can go a long way. And for Emperor’s sake, tell your children stories. TELL YOUR CHILDREN STORIES!!!!!
I believe in a hobby renaissance, I do. On a cultural scale we see a return to tradition and conservatism, and the kids are fascinated and curious. I will give you an example from my own; I work as a teacher at a high school, specializing in computer game programming and design. The kids I deal with were born and molded by the digital revolution and bask in all it’s ”glory”. Yet, here I am having a gamenight with my seniors, brought a gaming table, two armies and rules. They went nuts. It was like listening to Jack Skellington enthusiastically visiting Christmas Town. And they played until the wee hours of the morning.
To be fair, the outcome presented by anonymous professional is very likely to becoming truth, on the grander scale of things. Hopefully a small minority will see the wonders of analog toys and playthings, making it about fun and learning again. My hope goes out to these wonderful parents who take their time to do some researching on what makes our kids grow creatively and intellectually. To parents who don’t give in to the digital nanny, but actually take their time to be parents and teach their children of worlds we have come to love. I don’t know about you guys but I have saved all my Harry Potter books, just for the occasion to tell my children about the boy with the lightning scar.
In six months I hope to have the legitimate reason to knock down Rob’s door, and actually help him writing the letter of apology to GW, apologizing for our doupt in teir wisdom.
Remember fanatics, it all started with treehouses and sticks, crayons and a piece of paper. Hype your inner child, hype your child’s inner child.