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Friday, June 19, 2009

To the Defense of 40K

**Note** I wrote this blog post last week when I first read the blog post in question. I didn't publish it right away, because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just having a knee-jerk "don't say anything bad about something I like" reaction. I still feel as strongly today as I did last week so I'm comfortable posting this.

I'm sure most of you have seen the posting out at Bell of Lost Souls that linked to an old blog post that disparaged Warhammer 40k. If not you can see it here. Basically the author decides to point out that 40K is for adults, but they do it with an amazing amount of ignorance, baseless accusations, and poorly thought out arguments.

At first I wanted to respond. Then I didn't want to waste my time. Then my buddy Steve wrote an excellent rebuttal on his blog. In the end I think the rebuttal posted at the end of the blog post, and my buddy's combine to make an excellent counter point (actually the rebuttal at the end of the blog post combined with any other well thought out rebuttal would make an excellent counter point) (actually, any well thought out rebuttal would make an excellent counter point, the rebuttal included in the original blog post is good but is way too short).

Basically the author took some attention getting advertising and marketing tools and used them as both support for their arguments, and as the basis for their arguments. Suffice it to say, I'm glad this person isn't playing 40K, because if they were anything like their blog post then the emotional unbalance could give 40K a bad name. Also, as funny as that comment is, the arguments made in the article are even more baseless.

The one that really got my attention was when the blogger was commenting on the Cities of Death expansion:
When children think of cities, they SHOULD think of them as great places to hide out to kill everyone they can find. Because that's what cities are for. Even churches are good to blow up and stuff because it's way fun. Everyone wants to blow up churches and mosques and hunt down every last civilian, with urban tactics and go block by block until you're sure every last one of them is dead.

Because that is FUN. It's a HOOT. A barrel of LAFFS. Let's have a Coke and a donut shall we?
We can talk about shooting little kids and pregnant women, because that's...fun?

Now if you look there is a screenshot of the web page for Cities of Death, if you look at the page nothing is in there about killing pregnant women or kids. I could make the accusation that the author is only concerned about the kids because they're a pedophile and wants to be the one to scar the psyche, not some silly game. I would be no better than them, but I would be using the same exact tactics.

That's what grinds my gears about this blog post. With no perceived repercussions the author was able to say what they wanted about something they just decided to get their bug up their butt about. Oh sure the blogger is persona non grata amongst 40K players, but obviously our opinion doesn't count. But yet that post will live on, and no matter how much we, as players who know what we're talking about, speak out against it, the damage is done. It's the anonymity, which helps breed the baseless dogmatic B.S. that permeates the internet.

Really, it's a lack of respect for other people, and a palpable laziness about doing research.

Actually, this pretty much says what I feel about the gunslinger mentality of the blogo-interweb-sphere-verse.

That's why I promise no matter how much I might dislike something (country music, Hannah Montana, the comedic stylings of Carrot Top), I'm not going to bash it. And if I do take exception to the point of commenting, I guarantee my information will be based on facts on not some cursory glance through a website looking for ways to complain about it.

Oh, and I'm willing to say that the blogger that started the whole thing can go to hell. I would even say that to their face.

4 comments:

  1. Apparently the peeps over there pulled their baseless rant and promise to 'visit it again in the future' because apparently it's too "important" to pass up. I'm glad people like you and your friend can respond to this nonsense responsibly...because I don't have that in me.

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  2. I'd welcome their taking another stab at the subject. Hopefully on their second pass, They'll jettison the rhetoric, do some honest research, and present a less comically ignorant piece. It could have been a good read that any reasonable person would probably have agreed with if it hadn't come across like some deranged vendetta. *shrug*

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  3. Yeah I don't have a problem with discussing violence in hobbies games and how that impacts children. I think, however, based on the page that is there now they don't entirely get what got 40K enthusiasts so pissed off. We know our game is violent, and I think any self respecting parent with a dollop of common sense who plays the game knows better than to immerse their kids in the violence. It wasn't the topic that pissed me off. It was the way they went about making their argument. "We'll let you know if other hobbyists are rude and cranky or if it's Warhammer hobbyists in particular." And we'll let you know if all bloggers make generalized rants based on marketing material or if it's just the ones at pbsblog.com.

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  4. For the record, the original blog post in question can still be seen here http://www.pbsblog.com/pbsBlog/SpaceMarines/deathtoys.html.

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