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Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:17 pm

Define wargame. Is World of Tanks or Warthunder or Call of Duty a wargame? If so, all those games have very diverse communities playing them. What about Fortnite, it's a combat game, that has one of the largest user bases on record. I am fairly certain its community is not homogenous. I can find plenty of women and gays and marginalized people to play any number of games with, but wargames appeal to a very limited number of people. My daughter will play Risk or even Axis and Allies with me but if I pull out SPI's Atlantic Wall with its 3000-4000 counters, its 5 map boards that cover my living room floor, and the hefty rulebooks she gets a glazed look on her face and bolts for the door. Here's the deal. if an activity appeals to a person, they will get involved in the activity, regardless of their race, economic status, sexual orientation, religious orientation, or whatever criteria you want to put out there. And my experience is that most wargamers are more likely than not to welcome an opponent, any opponent, to the fold. So just because by your own admission, you have looked and "analyzed" a very narrow subset of the community does not mean that wargamers, in general, are averse to a diverse player base or averse to conflict games that represent other perspectives. A good game is a good game, just ask the designer of Cyberpunk, who just happens to be from a marginalized group. Take a word of advice, quit trying to politicize a hobby when you should be promoting it to the groups you are saying are excluded and underrepresented. Wargamers always welcome "fresh meat".
Last edited by ksbearski59 on Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:14 pm

Obviously lots of people find this article triggering and are in need of a retreat to a safe space. Sad. On the other hand, the diversity of games now appearing can only be good for the hobby. My appreciation to all the designers, publishers, and mentors who are making the effort.

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Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:34 pm

I can speak as someone who isn't in the target demographic for wargames that the community can be rough for people like me. I witness and experience a lot of hate in online games, and it's no secret that the miniartures community is largely a boys' club, with some of the bigger games starting to move away from that, but the issue is still there. I think it's very easy to say "we don't have a diversity issue" if you only see yourself represented in a community, because it's hard to realize how exclusionary you've become.

In any case, I don't see why this is a controversial topic when bringing in new blood to a notably aging community is the only way it can be sustained. It's not like wargames current wargamers enjoy won't still be made, we'll just have new friends to play with and probably more games to play too. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

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Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:49 pm

Who is talking about exclusion? Certainly not me. I would love to have every demographic available to game. It???s not about what they identify as or with. It???s about rolling some dice and having fun. Wargamers are hard to find and I???d say most play solo. I???d welcome anyone who wants to game historical games. Or any game at all!

Are we going to apply this logic to the NBA or NFL? I???d love to be on a team and play. But I cannot. I???m not 6,5??? nor am I as athletic as players in the NFL. So where is my spot if is about inclusion. Huh?

Shouldn???t they include me? If you really want to see something NOT DIVERSE! Look at pro football and basketball. Throw baseball in there as well. No one is whining about them

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Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:45 pm

As a British wargamer since 1975, I find the sniffy comment about miniatures gaming patronising given in UK wargaming is not boardgaming. I play both, but would not expect to go to a UK wargames vlub and see board games being played, even military themed ones.

Equally i find the anti woke comments, of presumably mainly American gamers, funny, along with the communist etc comments...we all know that communist in the USA is anything to left of Attila the Hun. Yes btw as a hobby its not very diverse, though personally not entirely sure how any of us would know that a fellow male white gamer might not be gay...after all at least in the British military been a number of senior officers who were undoubtedly gay and personally of course, so what.

Personally btw and perhaps Brits are different to Americans i have not come across serious prejudice of the type mentioned...the games club i have played in have been roughly 50/50 between ppl who are right wing and definitely left wing...that might not be typical in USA. The most controversial topic to raise in a British club undoubtedly is faith and religion and probably unlike US, wargamers with such interests will feel, as i have in past, to very much be in the minority.

Moderator's Note: As noted elsewhere, the text has been amended regarding the comment about miniature wargaming.

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Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:53 pm

Its also interesting that in UK printed magazines, articles about should gaming be PC etc have been raised without any one managing to raise either Trump (Infamy, Infamy they've all got it in for me..apologies to Carry on Cleo), the Left etc. Must be a US thing. 2 nations that might as well be on different planets despite a common language.

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Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:35 am

Another terrible article that should have been better before publishing. The author forgets that wargaming is a very nich hobby that a mere fraction of the population enjoys. In the US, African Americans represent 18% of the population. Which part of that 18% is interested in wargaming? The same percentage as the rest of the population? If so, how many do you expect to attend Historicon each year? So, the insinuation that the mass of middle aged white men are somehow barring entry to "marginalized populations" is in itself, inherently racist. Do you think the same for all of those middle aged white men in model railroading as well? This article is the most disengenuous one I have read in a long time. Please, let's get back to where it all counts: on the table.

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Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:44 am

As someone who is working on the Zenobia award Team I think that some of the comments above are misguided, myopic and is the reason why we have such an award. No one is coming to take your dice away, no one is marginalizing you, we are just looking for new voices to carry the hobby forward. RPGs, video, and general board gaming are growing by seeking out new and diverse ideas from all walks of life. Wargaming is shrinking and the current demographic is not seeking out new ideas or growing the games we play. Why are folks so triggered by looking for new game developers? Do you feel they are taking away your great ideas from being published? Let me tell you, if you had a good idea it would be a game by now.

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Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:00 am

I liked this article, and I don't understand all the negative comments. A lot of it seems like knee-jerk hostility to the topic at hand. And frankly, that so many guys seem so upset at the idea of encouraging diversity in wargaming demonstrates why many demographics might think that they would not fit in that world.

But in any case, it makes no rational sense to be upset about these new initiatives. I mean, it's not a zero-sum game: efforts to make wargaming more inclusive don't mean that the current dominant group will suddenly be forgotten. Put it another way: just because new types of games such as Root or The Vote get published doesn't mean that the next Panzer Corps or Fields of Glory won't also get published. Personally, I'm more interested in the latter than in the former, but I'm not going to be upset that the former get developped and published. Why would I be? I think it's cool that some new voices are emerging, and there's room enough in the marketplace for everyone.

Speaking of marketplace: assuming the author's estimates are even close to accurate (and they likely are at least in the same ballpark) that shows that The Market is sending a loud and clear message: if the wargaming industry doesn't find ways to appeal to a more diverse crowd, it will shrink and eventually die off. So what some commenters decry as "political correctness" (a loaded term that says more about their political leanings than anything else), is actually nothing but an industry responding to market forces. Capitalism in action, really.

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Re: <t>Is 2020 the year the tide turned in the struggle for diversity in wargames?</t>

Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:24 am

Funny thing is... in all the years I've been playing computer wargames, I've never once thought about or considered the race, gender, orientation, or identity of anyone involved in those games. Probably because it didn't matter, whatsoever. The same applies to anyone posting on this board. I came here to find people interested in wargames, and don't care in the least what your preferences are outside of that. Apparently, I've been doing it wrong.

It would also appear my fears of the direction of wargamer.com under the new editorship were well founded.
Last edited by @Sigwolf on Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.


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