Gaming… be careful who you tell….

 

I’ve just got back from a rather good day’s gaming in Sheffield (I’ll blog on the two games I played later on) but whilst I was there I was made aware of this video:

 

Scary stuff in a way and it is terrible that his family’s health has suffered too.

Nonetheless it gotr me thinking about how open people are about their hobby. I know that in recent years ‘geek culture’ for want on a better term has increased in prominance and exceptance but it is still not something that I readily volunteer that much… Through my misspent 20s I still gamed but I hardly told anyone; I figured that very few people I met through my DJ-ing and writing in the goth/ industrial/ experimental scene would care and anyway other things could be discussed. Now that I have stepped back from that and most of my social circle consists of gamers I am obviously far more open about it. It did get me wondering how everyone else felt about it?

I’d be interested to hear your views….

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

Advertisements

45 comments on “Gaming… be careful who you tell….

  1. Yeti says:

    Good to see you back posting and everything’s great in real life Pete.

    This topic has been pressing on me recently and your post has great timing. It’s a shame something in this hobby can be seen as a negative. While it feels like “geek culture” itself has become wildly more accepted, the difference in other people’s opinions and thoughts has become less accepted it feels, a team mentality. How do the anti terror police get called over a freaking miniature!? It’s baffling. Look at the poor lad, head down and absolutely dejected.

    I am hesitant to mention my more edgier gaming endeavors due to what this video exhibits. I am not scared that the topic may be controversial to some, I am just tired of trying to explain to people who have already made up their minds. If presented in a tactful and an all encompassing manner, miniature wargaming can provide so much more than just enjoyment.

    History can be ugly, does that mean we should ignore it?

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      I agree: I find gaming an incredibly useful tool for exploring history and as you say history can be ugly. I toop would only game/ explore certain topics in a none public setting.

      The lad in the video does look rather put out by it all- it would be a lot for a teen to take in.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

    • I do not think history should be ignored just because it is deemed unpleasant. Gaming or any industry for that matter does have both good and bad sides. Other industries such as the movie industry are on par with what is happening to gaming but it all comes down to which one is more popular at the time for the purpose in my opinion.

      • Pete S/ SP says:

        I agree – all of history should be considered. I do think that all of it can be gamed too, but not neccassarily in the same way, when it is approached sensibly.

        Cheers,

        Pete.

  2. I have always been open about my hobby. Even when I was a paratrooper in the army and my squad mates would give me shit for it.
    Or when I was in my punk collage seen, no one seemed to think ill of it or me.
    It’s fun and therapeutic.
    Of course what happened to that young man and his famly is some Orwellian bull crap. But I belive it’s more of an indictment against the school and it’s group think factory. Then against wargameing or gamers. I hope the school and thr person who cried wolf is dutiful punished. But I doubt it.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      The funny thing is I can’t remember getting that much stick for it really- I think a lot of my peers have dabbled in gaming at some point in their lives so it could well be the case of ‘the pot calling the kettle black’….

      I think in the case of the school they may have felt their hands have been tied by UK government legislation, they felt they had no option but to act in that way.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  3. Le Bim says:

    Sheffield, vincent road 🤗😳 . One of my last student home ! Blades powaaaa !

  4. I’ve always thought that as long as your hobbies harm no one, no one should worry about them. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that way.

  5. Steve says:

    I used to be fairly open about it in school but took a lot of shit for it. I tend to be quite quiet about it in person now to be honest.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Schools can be pretty rough at time, kids can be very cruel. I also think it forms a major formative period of our lives too so it is no wonder that if can still influence you years later. I got more grief at my sports club than school if I’m being honest though….

      Cheers,

      Pete.

      • Steve says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I took a lot of shit from all directions at school. I just thought it was easier to retreat and not give folk any more ammunition- as you say, those years have a huge effect on our lives. What was your sports club like, if you don’t mind me asking?

  6. This kid was treated shamefully. He needs a Gadsden Flag: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_flag

  7. The hell???? That’s utter lunacy 😣😣😣 kudos to the chap and his family for pulling together against state sponsored hysteria 😫😣

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Yeah it was evidently a rough time for the family. It will be interesting to see if there is, as mentioned in the video, any comeback on the school by the police.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  8. Azazel says:

    I dunno. The whole “those teachers these days are so left wing” sounds just as ignorant as the school in some ways. In my experience while at High School, some teachers were reasonably cool while others were morons and most fell somewhere in the middle, and that hasn’t changed in my experience with them since then.

    To be fair, we don’t know how it was presented or what was said, and teenager with a little flag that potentially has a swastika on it “for a game called British Civil War” would be something potentially of concern to someone with no knowledge of wargaming, so if you step back from *our* “We know about this stuff” level of insider knowledge and look at it from a different perspective, you can see how this might have happened.

    You’d think they’d contact the family first, but then again, if the swastika/British Civil War is “a game I play with my dad”, then maybe not. I know schools have directives to follow as well that come from the Education Department if something smells fishy, and even if teacher-who-is-wargamer is on staff (there seems to be a bloody lot of them), that’s not going to be the first thing a principal/head teacher thinks of in a situation like this (also, privacy concerns).

    I’m not defending the school here, as I obviously don’t know much about the situation, but the point here is to think about what the other perspective might be. I had a friend of a friend who was a Star Wars cosplayer (501st) who was on his way to a troop for some charity or other. Unfortunately, he had the back stock of his plastic E11 (stormtrooper gun, based on the Sterling SMG) sticking out of his backpack for some reason and he got pounced on by the Sons of God. They let him go in the end with a warning, but they kept his toy gun. It’s the world we live in today, unfortunately – but with the shit that actually goes down, you can’t blame people too much for being cautious or careful when confronted with things that look suspicious…

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      I pretty much agree with you- I think the school had to act due to government guidelines. From speaking to a gamer friend who works in a school, not as a teacher but as a lab tech, he says they are compelled to act. Given recent events the far right is as dangerous as islamic terrorism even though the latter is ostensibly what the legislation was put in to combat.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  9. Sad state of affairs Pete but whatever the rights and wrongs of this incident It’s good to learn that the guys are getting back in the saddle. In terms of modelling (rather than gaming) I grew up in an era where it was common to have indoor hobbies of which this was one for many kids. Of course some moved on and some like me one way or another kept their hand in. Personally I have always considered myself to be a winner because I did so. When I look at others and how they moved on I cannot say I am in anyway envious so bollocks to what people think as far as I am concerned!

  10. I’ve wargamed for a long time and I generally never advertise the fact, because I know what the majority of reactions will be like. I maybe have to think in such cases that the problem doesn’t lie with my attitude to life but with other people’s attitudes. I think Cupcakes is absolutely spot on with her comment!

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      It does have a bit of an image problem… it has never been that high profile either, not sure whether that is a good thing or a bad thing though in this situation.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  11. Wudugast says:

    Aye, that’s a bit rough, poor kid. Obviously I’ve only got the content of that video to go on but it’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for him. Sounds a bit like the old D&D/Satanism thing doesn’t it? Mind you I find myself agreeing completely with Azazel’s comment above. I’ve not been in England very much lately so I can’t speak from personal experience but you certainly get the impression that the far right are trying to push their agenda a lot more these days (EDF, Britain First and that lot seem to be on the news nonstop). Add in the nutters you see trying to radicalise young men online and I can understand the school feeling a bit jumpy. I know even when I was at school if I’d turned up with something like that the teachers would have had words – and times haven’t moved on for the better. A Union Jack with a swastika on it is the sort of thing you do see being waved by very real, very scary people who do get violent, so common sense says even if it’s just for a wargame it’s best to keep it quiet and not take it to school.

    Wouldn’t want to cast aspersions on anyone but it makes you wonder if there’s more to the story or how they presented the situation to the school than we’re hearing. Even then though he’s just a young lad, should be left alone to get past it now, chalk it up to experience and get on with his life. It shouldn’t put him off doing something he enjoys – I know things like that seem like a bigger deal when you’re young but at least he didn’t find himself founding the Guantanamo Bay Wargamers Club!

    Anyway, as for how much I talk about my hobby, I’d say I tend not to advertise it but it’s not a secret either, if someone is interested then I’ll happily chat about it but I’m not looking to recruit anyone or proselytize either. Mind you when I was the same age as the young man in the video I’d have kept it quiet I think, I was already a fan of fantasy and sci-fi books and films, computer games, bird watching and heavy metal so my social pariah status was assured! Nowadays though I wouldn’t worry, what I like is what I like and who’s going to tell me otherwise?

    I know not everyone shares my sense of humour and I have had one or two people, mostly from America, worried about the name of my blog. I think a cursory glance should be enough to tell anyone I’m not a front for extremists though!

    I think it helps that I’m mostly into Warhammer/40k. I’ve tended not to get into historical miniatures precisely because it’s hard to escape the real world context that surrounds them. A war may have finished hundreds of years ago but you don’t have to look far to find someone who’s keen to refight it round the back of a pub! People tend to be quite positive about GW stuff though, they usually laugh and say “Oh wow, I/my brother/cousin/mate was into that when I was a kid!”. I can’t recall anyone ever trying to give me shit about it and certainly no-one has called in the anti-terror police, although there’s always a new experience around the corner eh!

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      In my experience a venn diagram of my childhood fellow metalheads and Warhammer players would just be one circle… at least we were pariahs together.

      I understand what you mean about historical gaming, far some it is always too soon, for others the distance of history can render it more palatable: I did a post on it here https://spprojectblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/a-blog-post-worth-sharing-ethics-and-the-skirmish-game/ whilst I have my own views onthe subject I’d never begrudge anyone else theirs.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

      • Wudugast says:

        Funnily enough that’s exactly how it was for me at University (not a lot of other metalheads around and no wargamers that I knew at my last school. Plenty of both at the second school I went to but they were older and cooler than me so I didn’t really hang out with them). Once I was at Uni I made friends with a couple of guys who had similar musical taste to me and then they turned out to play this thing called Warhammer…

        That post you link to raises some very interesting points, definitely lots of food for thought there. I’ll need to give it some proper consideration and another read over to digest it properly (but it’s been a long day and I’ll have to sleep first!) 🙂

      • Pete S/ SP says:

        First time I went to uni, at 18, I didn’t game. I dropped out fairly quickly due to health issues anyhow and didn’t game for a few years really.

        I’d be interested in what you make of the earlier post.

        Cheers,

        Pete.

  12. Being A WRAP trainer (part of the Prevent strategy of the UK Counter Terrorism strategy)the school overstepped the Mark, it is happening more and more, they should have done a bit of checking, a quick Google would have shown them what he was talking about. If they were unsure there would be a single point of contact to discuss things with. Looks like (from the commentary) that the school is in a bit of poop!
    But possibly taking a swastika into school wasn’t the best idea. But although people are getting a bit jumpy, the explanation given by the young man should been investigated before calling in CT officers. Looks like the school needs to have some Prevent training….I did a booklet on different terrorist organisations… I was waiting for someone to knock on the office door, I was working in the education department

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Great to have your view Maenoferren, being both wargamer and educator. As you said a little research on the schools part would have gone a long way.

      Do you think that schools, in general rather than just this case, would play ‘safe’ and report it rather than risk something passing them by?

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  13. I don’t hide what I do, but don’t exactly shout about it either, I dress up in funny uniforms so people already think I am bonkers so little metal men aren’t much of a difference to how I am perceived. School and college, I don’t think I talked about it much, which does make me wonder how the heck I met any other gamers???

  14. redcaer1690 says:

    Pete,
    This has got to be the most thought provoking post I’ve ever read. Brilliant reportage my friend!
    Common sense seems to be completely lacking in this case and many others. It would appear that everyone from Roger Scruton to teenagers playing wargames, are all at the mercy of the thought police. Would school kids wearing anarchist or communist badges/ icons be reported!? Should we all avoid the artist who painted your avatar?
    I must say the father and son appear to be worthy of our appreciation.
    Great article Pete!

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks Redcaer.

      Interesting that you have picked up on my avatar- the first to have done so- I’ve long been interested in Wyndham Lewis and his work, as you have intimated he was a complex and controversial man. I was lucky enough to have manage to get to the last big exhibition of his work at the IWM North.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  15. Joe Collins says:

    Good god! Even the ‘Satanic Panic’ in the ’80s was not as brutal as these modern PC monsters are now. I am glad to see that these two individuals are getting their life back together, but that was horrible for them.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      I am more aware of the 80s Satanic Panic when it applied to heavy metal music rather then the gaming side of things. I think the backlash against D’n’D was mostly an American phenomena and it was a bit before my time.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

  16. Sapper Joe says:

    Hmmm…I forgot to log in using my normal log in

  17. lunamarie33 says:

    Any hobby I talk about it and always have.in a gamer and a fashion designer- make clothes and play games afterwards. I’ve always had a big mouth so maybe that’s why lol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s