Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Dude, where's my hobby?

Came across this entry on a wargaming blog. I probably should find the article referred to.

My train of thought, however, is more on the phrase 'my hobby'.

The wargaming hobby means different things to different wargamers. I will quite gladly admit that I do not consider all 'manifestations' of the hobby as equal; some rules or standard of painting/modelling/terrain-building I consider as superior to what I am doing, and some I consider inferior (stop sniggering, you lot!).

Despite that, I believe that it is every wargamer's hobby, regardless of whether you are a rivet-counting tank-modeller, or a play-straight-out-of-the-blister guy who has never touched brush to figure. What's more, I believe each wargamer makes the hobby what it is.

As a relatively small hobby, it is fair to say that the purchasing pattern of each and every gamer has an effect on the market. If all of us refuse to buy any tank model that has not got the precise historical number of rivers on the turret, that should surely spell the demise of many model companies.

On the other hand, if we didn't care about the quality of sculpting on a figure since we don't ever paint (or indeed base) figures, then companies that make superior sculpts at a higher price will go out of business.

In reality of our hobby probably spans both extremes, with most of us crowded in the middle in the shape of a bell curve, and most likely never giving a thought to where the peak will skew to in the future. I believe that each and everyone of us in our purchasing habits, our communication to other wargamers (either face-to-face at the local club, or in the form of forum posting, blogs, or review articles), and in the games we play do push the curve towards one end or the other.

So what does that mean to us as individual wargamers? My take is that whether you play with a few teenagers at a local level, or a major club putting up annual conventions, your buying habits and choice of rules directly influence your fellow gamers. And when they subsequently move on to form their own wargaming group, they carry with them part of this 'standard'. To put it in a twisted Darwinian way, as we pass our gaming preferences on to other gamers we exert a selection pressure on the hobby. The hobby evolves the way we make it.

Kinda makes you feel important, doesn't it?

2 Comments:

Blogger wahj said...

It's the gaming that makes the hobby old buddy ... the gaming that makes the hobby ...

(welcome to the blogosphere, both of you!)

10:45 pm  
Blogger Lord-Horatio said...

We cyber-guys call that "Viral" not "Darwinian".

Interesting that favourite sets are very much a group decision.
Or at least an individual's choice verified by the group.

Most groups I have ever gamed with are also hungry to try something new.
We may well be sitting on the greatest rules ever written for period X. (Examples I might quote for this would be Fire and Fury for ACW and Crossfire for company level WW2).
But we are still keen to try out the latest - rather than miss out on the next greatest.

So a small hobby, with some notoriously tight walleted hobbyists generates huge quantities of discarded rules.
Don't even get me onto unpainetd figures....

3:57 am  

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