Social Wargaming Part 1: Social Justice Wargamer

Phil Millar has been a good friend of mine for a few years now. He is an active trade unionist, keen gamer, and lover of awful 90’s Cali-punk. The admins of Corehammer recently discussed how unhappy we were at the state of aspects of the wargaming community. Corehammer itself is a response to this. A haven for those of us who don’t like to scream ‘WAAAGHH’ across a table,  for the player who doesn’t want to attend a gaming club full of neckbeards making rape jokes. But just existing isn’t enough. It’s not enough to encounter those attitudes and just be glad that we’re not like them. I spoke about it with Phil and he agreed to knock up a few articles on wargaming with some basic level of a social conscience. And I’m really glad he did. – Kev

Tabletop wargaming is a social hobby, at its most basic level, you need to interact with at least one other human being. Any social activity depends on its members to be responsible for making sure its society includes those it wants to include. You get this self-policing in every subculture and fan group, but it feels to me (maybe because its my main hobby these days) that the general and overarching world of wargaming is lagging behind when it comes to making a safe and welcoming place for everyone interested in fucking about with plastic models.

“Geek culture” – if you can contain that idea in your mind without being violently ill – had a turning point in the last few years. The success of feminist movement in pissing off the entrenched sexists of video game industry polarised the community and made it really easy to see who those sexists were. They quickly become a hideous, violent parody of themselves, GamerGate was quickly and correctly equated with chubby, neckbearded unwashed freaks who hated women because of the constant rejection in their lives. They struck back at women enjoying a pastime they liked with threats of rape and death and so excluded themselves from any serious debate. Feminism may have won the moral high ground, but it’s not over by a long shot. There is still a fight to be had, but women are ever so gradually getting more and more recognition from that industry because people grouped together and opened a dialogue. They were open about what they didn’t like and how it was stopping them from doing something they enjoyed.


Satan, according to Men’s Rights Activists

We need that dialogue to start in the tabletop community, Fantasy and Sci-Fi are in the middle of a resurgence in popularity and we’ve got more people than ever reading massive Fantasy novels, picking up board games, Dungeons and Dragons and all that good stuff.  It’s a small leap to miniature wargaming, but there are some things we need to clear up to make sure people are comfortable making that leap. I’m going to go through a few trouble areas, so if you are guilty of doing these things or are aware of others doing them and do nothing about them, take action. It’s a common thread of moving towards a better society that we have to stand up together and tell people how their actions are wrong, so let’s do this with our hobby and change some attitudes.

The big one is sexism. Women are people, women might want to take part in our hobby and that’s okay. The reason there aren’t many women doing it isn’t because they’re not interested, or because they can’t, it’s because of the environment that we’ve either created or have allowed to form, excluding them. People don’t feel comfortable being a minority, and so things that you might think are a part of gaming can be problematic. Stuff like looking at images of scantily clad women, which is great, but they have a time and a place. That time is when you’re on your own, and the place is your stinking pit of a bedroom, not in a hobby space you share with other humans.

Basically, if it makes other people uncomfortable and stops them taking part in the hobby we all love, knock that shit off. If you see other people fetishizing women like that, with their artwork or models or general attitude, tell them it’s out of order.

Woman as a typically submissive male fantasy

Woman as a typically submissive male fantasy

Another big one is using the word “rape”, this one isn’t so bad in wargaming, as in video games, but it’s creeping in because those two hobbies cross over a lot. Everyone knows this one isn’t good, you know this, rape is a heinous, demeaning and horrible act and can shatter the lives of anyone affected. Why the fuck would you think it’s ever appropriate to demean those people that have come through that shit by throwing that word around? Just hearing it triggers memories and feelings in people. Its not difficult to find a different way to say that you beat your opponent wholeheartedly, maybe try: “Ha, I comprehensively defeated you in the game we partook in just now, I hope you’re suitably humbled”.

Homophobia is fucking rampant, mostly it’s indirect and ignorant, but that doesn’t mean it’s not damaging. Saying “Eldar are gay” isn’t funny, we’re not 5 year olds who are vaguely aware “gay” is a bad word. Calling your mate a fag isn’t funny either, you might not mean that he’s attracted to other men, but it still hurts some people’s feelings, so just don’t do it. Again, challenge that shit when you see it and try to be aware of how your actions affect others, like a grown up. Let’s make sure that we’re creating environments where people can come and not feel uncomfortable, and just get on with having a fun time with their hobby.

When these things are brought up, when people are told they shouldn’t use certain words or make certain jokes, they act wounded, or as though you’re the one with the problem BECAUSE you called them out.  But the fact is, you’re sharing a space with people, you don’t have the right to say anything you want if it causes others to not enjoy their hobby.


Hilarious. Do the dance.

People get offended, you’re not ‘hilarious’’ edgy’ ‘comedian’ Ricky Gervais, it’s not your job to say ridiculously offensive things and then complain that those offended are being overly sensitive. You’re a nerd in a shop, other people deserve to use the same hobby space as you without being offended. This is all fine, your rights aren’t being infringed, you’re not being censored. You’re just being told not to be an arsehole. This isn’t about ruining jokes and ending fun, you can still make jokes, just think of something better than “I raped that gay fag”. Political correctness isn’t a bad thing, unless you like beating up gay men and calling them queers.

Another thing I think is a big part of the problem is how much right wing views are accepted, within the hobby. How much racism, homophobia, sexism and military fetishism is allowed to slide. Its only natural that a game about soldiers and tanks will attract some freaks that are obsessed with the military, loving tanks and that is fine, it’s just that it so often comes coupled with a slight reverence for fascist ideology. You know the types, period accurate Third Reich armies for Bolt Action and Flames of War, Iron Crosses everywhere, hatred of Jews. Again, it should be obvious that this is wrong. Call these people out, let them know that glorifying fascist regimes is in itself fascist, and that you don’t want any part of that. Solidarity with hobbyists can make people see the error of their ways, or at least silence them, so more progressive people don’t have to listen to their bollocks.

Cut this shit right out.

Cut this shit right out.

Anyway, that’s enough of telling you what to kick off about, next time, I’ll be writing about how Warhammer 40,000 started as a parody of the Right Wing and how the ideas there are still relevant today and what your gaming group can do to be a force for good.

This entry was posted in Gaming, Talk by Kev Walsh. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kev Walsh

Kev Walsh lives in Liverpool England. He has played in numerous hardcore and punk bands over the last 10 years including Seconds Out, The Last Chance and Down And Outs. Kev focusses most of his efforts on painting rather than playing, and is currently trying to push himself to learn some new tricks.

93 thoughts on “Social Wargaming Part 1: Social Justice Wargamer

  1. Good shit.

    I’m trying to take a different tack these days, though, because I’m bored of being told that I’m “offended” on other people’s behalf. Instead I’m hovering between “screw other people, *I* am personally narked off that we have all these female models in stupid outfits that look like they’d rip yer clunge open if you happened to fall over” and “you know, if you put more than two seconds’ thought into the stuff you make and buy and say, it’ll probably be better, and this lazy ‘well hobgoblins are basically Japanese’ malarkey is a product of about two seconds’ thought”.

    It’s worth noting, as well, that I have been part of a community or two which throws around the Bad Words like there’s no tomorrow and yet which manage to actually discuss problems of race and gender without the shrilling and stonewalling you often get in actual safe spaces. Might it be all right to call Eldar gay if you’re blowing off steam from a conversation about homosexual stereotypes and space elves and how that’s a bit lazy and what can we do better?

    Throwing this out there. Might or might not be what I actually believe/say/do. I’m generally in favour of communities that work and don’t alienate people, but – well, my missus has at least five levels in Social Justice Warrior and calls me a giant faggot all the time. I think there’s a nuance there that we’re missing if we’re calling people out on the Bad Words and not looking at what actually goes on in a community.

    • First paragraph: No idea what you’re trying to communicate.

      Second paragraph: Again nonsense, but at least you pose a question so some sense can be made of what you’re trying to get across. The answer is no. For the reasons below.

      Third paragraph: Context. The language you use when discussing whatever, in a social circle of people who know each others boundaries is very different to shouting “I JUST RAPED THAT FAG” after defeating your mates swastika painted space marines in a public gaming space.

      There is a shorthand that exists between friends that can transcend the boundaries of decency. Because you have a history and understanding of each others experiences and beliefs, that leads to conversations existing in a contextual bubble. The person hearing what you’re saying has that understanding and is able to take those non-verbal factors in to consideration when processing what you’ve said.

      When you yell “They have raped the lore of WFB” in public either verbally or online, you have no idea of the experiences or beliefs of the people reading/hearing it and thus could easily cause offence. That’s your fault for causing offence. not their fault for being offended. I’m only gonna reply to this one comment. Reply away but I’m only really interested in responding to these points, not having a debate with you.

      • No need for a debate, it’s a perfectly good set of answers. I’m not posting this in the expectation of a reply, either: I just want to clear a few things up since I’m worried I’ve come across like a Gamergate gobshite here.

        The first paragraph is… OK, it’s like this. Sometimes I can’t say what I want to say directly, or in boiled-down plain English, and all I can do is come at it sideways, through examples. Let me have another go. I’m trying to describe two ways in which I try to modify the behaviour of others, which are different from the direct challenges that Phil’s calling for. I think that’s necessary because sometimes the direct challenge doesn’t work: people have developed a ‘script’ for a particular kind of argument, and they know that if they say this and the other person says that, the conversation will bog down and nobody will actually have to change their mind. One of the things people say to derail conversations is “you’re offended on behalf of others”. That’s why I’m veering towards arguing about things which personally piss me off (cases in which I’m offended on behalf of myself). Another thing people say all the time is “what good does it do?”. To deal with that, rather than selling people on progressive choices or social justice for their own sake (which people tend to resist because they’re being told they’re bad people), I try to sell people on making better (i.e. less lazy and less conventional) games which happen to be more progressive or socially just.

        Second and third paragraphs: Basically, what I wanted was someone who wasn’t me to make the point about context and knowing what you can get away with in a given social environment. I’m tired of being the one who says that all the time and I can’t do it without sounding like a humourless keyboard warrior git. That persona doesn’t seem to persuade people that what I’m trying to say is actually right. That’s why, if I find myself in a community of people who throw around words like ‘faggot’, I pick my fights rather than trying to police every single bad word that comes up.

        Hopefully that’s cleared things up.

        • I think I get what you’re saying Jon, and it’s hard to expect one person to challenge things every time, I think that’s why the idea of solidarity is so important, knowing people have your back and that as a community you can achieve things together because you back each other in the approach, the idea is to work at building that solidarity in a community, which is something I want to explore

          • Yep, and recognising that there are going to be different tactical approaches within that community is important too.

            One thing that I have really struggled with, for instance, is the tendency to say “look, I understand you’re angry, but when you go into these arguments full of anger and looking for a scrap, you might say or do something that ends up undermining you and your point.”

            It’s no business of mine to go around telling people who are actually affected by [insert shitty behaviour here] that expressing their anger is bad form. It’s also no business of mine to project my attitude (I’m more likely to listen to people who cool their boots and stick to the facts) onto everyone involved in the discussion: that anger might well be a perfectly valid tactic outside my little ivory tower.

            I’ve had a few people threaten to deck me because of the way I put my points across before now, and I’ve lost enough arguments: I ought to know better: what works for me ain’t gonna work for everyone.

            We need each other because no one person can reach all of the people, all of the time.

    • Von,

      If these *might* not be your views and opinions, then why are you playing devil’s advocate on this? It sounds like you just don’t wanna get flamed too hard for your opinions, just in case there’s some push back for what you said.

      Also, if your wife is some sort of social justice wizard, I really hope that her peers in the social justice scene feel comfortable telling her that calling anybody a “fag” is never funny. On top of that, you can be a part of a community that uses bad words like there’s no tomorrow (I know, because I am one of those people) without being so shitty as to put down entire groups of innocent people while trash talking. And you can blow off steam in more creative ways than being like “that’s gay”. It truly says more about one’s intellect, how they choose to diss someone.

      • It truly says more about one’s intellect, how they choose to get all bent out of shape over playful schoolyard insults.

      • Or I might not be entirely sure of where I stand and be doing exactly what I claim to be doing: thinking aloud and trying to establish a point of view. Sometimes I say things in the hope that people will argue with them and start a process which refines the thoughts and in which I actually learn something or work something out.

        I have seen enough toxicity, slur-flinging and careless trash-talking of entire groups of innocent people FROM the social justice scene to be wary of aligning myself with it in absolute terms. I see that ‘side’ as having its own problems and its own counterproductive, repellent behaviours and its own tendency toward a rhetoric which doesn’t help matters. That tends to make me hedge my bets a little when I write about these things.

        I don’t really know what else to say, other than to invite you to look through my previous posts on Corehammer and see if that helps you understand where I’m coming from.

  2. “Another thing I think is a big part of the problem is how much right wing views are accepted”

    Right-wing = bad?

    • Extremist right wing views are, yes, any right wing views are damaging for the weakest in society

      • I’m amazed I didn’t have a brain aneurysm halfways through the second paragraph.
        If you want to kill people with common sense, this doesn’t seem the best way to do it though.

        Congratulations on making the biggest pile of ignorance I’ve read in a while.

  3. “…challenge that shit when you see it and try to be aware of how your actions affect others, like a grown up.”


  4. This article makes me feel like I’m not alone, someone is actually listening, and maybe I can participate in online groups and forums again if more people speak up like this.

    Being a female wargamers is hard sometimes, man.

    • Thanks, I am glad you liked it, the Corehammer community is so inclusive and pleasant that it’s hard to remember it’s not all like that, check out the Corehammer page on Facebook, there is always Wargaming talk to join in on

      • “We need to purge all the rightists. Only then can all wargaming communities become as inclusive as ours.”

        The sad thing is that you probably won’t admit to your shockingly hypocritical attitude even after it’s pointed out to you.

  5. So any and all right-wing views are by definition racist, homophobic, sexist, or militarily fetishistic and that everybody identifying themselves as falling within that spectrum actively endorses such things? Wow. Here you are trying to stick up for people with different characteristics (women, homosexuals) and yet you make a sweeping, not to mention scathing, off-hand remark towards a group you know damn well is more heterogenous than you make it out to be. This is on the level of “eldar are gay.” “Right-wing people are fascists.” Oh the irony.

    • I’ll let Phil defend himself here but at least let him respond before assuming that’s what he meant eh? Judging by the standard of your writing I’d suggest that you probably know that this isn’t where he was going with that comment. You’ve raised a really valid point that is a perfectly fair challenge, in what seems like a really glib way. Give the lad a chance before getting all Comic Book Guy mate.

    • The part about right wing views were mentions after the parts about racism, homophobia and sexism to distance the politics of the right with being inherently discriminatory. However, if you don’t think that the ideals of right wing political actions lead to issues of discrimination then you’re quite simply very wrong, or don’t care about the issues of equality.

      The problem is then conflated because people who are racist, homophobic or sexist generally have an easier time coming to terms with right wings views as they don’t clash with their particular abhorrent mindset.

      You’ve waded in to defend what is clearly about the glorifying of aspects of extreme right wing politics and decided to make this article about being a better human to people around you about you. Pretty selfish that mate.

      • I’ve been going to gaming conventions since before I was born. I’ve been to WorldCon and Aresia (when they had a tiny gaming room *and* when they had the massive gaming room with an overabundance of tables). I’ve played MTG with a transexual, a black kid, and a teenage girl at the same time. I’ve played with liberals and conservatives. There’s been zero racism or sexism that wasn’t handled with a “dude, come on”. All you’re attempting to do is create a problem which does not exist outside of the minds of a few people who have never stepped foot inside a gaming convention.

        • I’m stoked that you’ve seen such positive responses to people being treated poorly dude. That’s genuinely heartening to read. But a lot of people who write for this blog, me included, have seen plenty of people being treated really poorly. I don’t think it’s cool to judge an entire communities outlook on the things you’ve seen then disregard anything to the contrary if that makes sense? Also disagree with your point that we’re trying to create a problem, it really couldn’t be further from the truth.

          • “I don’t think it’s cool to judge an entire communities outlook on the things you’ve seen then disregard anything to the contrary if that makes sense?”
            Except that’s exactly what you and the Political Correct Police are attempting to do. You saw one tiny little thing, which may or may not have been a joke amongst friends, and you wrote an entire article about it.

            Any idiot can walk up to a WH40k table and scream “Misogyny! There’s no women in battle armor!”, but they don’t know the lore or the backstory of the Horus Heresy, or the gene seed, or even the Sisters of Battle. They don’t know anything about the game. If any one of them said “Why is this so?”, I would bet my entire bank account that they will have no less than five ecstatic nerds with at minimum three books each all eager to explain the who, what, when, where, and why of the WH40k universe.

          • Gamingconmember. I’m sorry that you’ve read the article that way and I hope you can accept it as truth when I say it genuinely wasn’t intended to do that. We’re not saying the whole community is this way, but we are saying that there is a problem, and that the problem is something that should be addressed. I accept your point about something being ‘a joke between friends’, but the thing that makes this an issue is when that joke comes out in a public space, where the context of the joke is missed by the people who overhear it.

            I’m happy to keep talking about this but do me a favour and swerve those glib dismissive remarks. Theres no need to say sarcastic snipey stuff like PC police.

          • “We’re not saying the whole community is this way, but we are saying that there is a problem, and that the problem is something that should be addressed.”
            By writing this article you are painting the entire community this way despite it being an isolated incident.

            “but the thing that makes this an issue is when that joke comes out in a public space, where the context of the joke is missed by the people who overhear it.”
            If someone’s having a joke among friends, why must someone else butt in and attempt to police what the friends say?

            I’ll stop the “snipes” when you stop making people believe these isolated incidents are the norm, not the exception.

          • “By writing this article you are painting the entire community this way despite it being an isolated incident.” I think you’re wrong there. We’re talking about a series of incidents that point towards a larger problem. You’re assuming I’ve seen one person shout ‘Fag’ and have ensured this article is up five minutes later. Which isn’t true in the slightest. Feel free to ask any questions you may want answered about where this has come from. But stop making assumptions.

          • You’re also assuming the guy yelling “fag” was using it as a slur against a homosexual person. People yell all kinds of obscenities during RPGs (both paper-and-pencil and tabletop) when something happens, good or bad. I know that my buddies and I use enough swear words to make a sailor blush during our gaming sessions. You’re demanding that we censor ourselves on the off chance someone may be offended on someone else’s behalf, despite not knowing the details surrounding the scene.

            If you do believe someone is using that term (or any other term) as a slur against another person, contact the nearest con staff member, don’t make an article on a website.

          • Again with the assumptions. I’m not demanding anything. I genuinely don’t know what the real-world non-utopian solution to this problem is. The simple solution is just “don’t be an asshole”, or maybe a better phrasing would be “just be cool man”. I’m demanding nothing.

            Regarding the ‘fag’ comment. I’m not. I am accepting that the word has connotations regardless of context. There are plenty of other terms for a piece of wood or pork ball or cigarette. I don’t get why someone would say that particular word, but thats me man. Why shouldn’t we write about it though? Calling someone out doesn’t negate the possibility for a discussion surely? I know that you feel that there is no issue here. But a lot of people do, us included. And that doesn’t mean we think all wargamers are sieg-heiling homophobes bowling around shouting ‘lol rape’. Literally all it means is that theres a problem and we wanna mention it, maybe get some discourse going, maybe net a few more gamers who share our particular mindset. I don’t see that as a bad thing.

        • Surely the response of ‘dude, come on’ is exactly what Phil is asking for when he talks about calling it out?

          You don’t have to crucify someone, and sacrifice them to a God of left winged views, just draw attention to the fact that they’re being a bit of a douche.

      • This is what we refer to as an “argument from authority” and it’s a logical fallacy, so it really doesn’t hold up in any sort of formal debate. And it especially won’t hold up with people on the internet.

        Props for never having been subjected to the terrible experiences that women and the LGBTQ community have when doing any sort of nerdy thing ever. But your experience is sadly not par for the course in the gaming community.

      • “issues of equality”

        To call the belief in substantial human equality a superstition is to insult superstition. It might be unwarranted to believe in leprechauns, but at least the person who holds to such a belief isn’t watching them not exist, for every waking hour of the day. Human inequality, in contrast, and in all of its abundant multiplicity, is constantly on display, as people exhibit their variations in gender, ethnicity, physical attractiveness, size and shape, strength, health, agility, charm, humor, wit, industriousness, and sociability, among countless other features, traits, abilities, and aspects of their personality, some immediately and conspicuously, some only slowly, over time. To absorb even the slightest fraction of all this and to conclude, in the only way possible, that it is either nothing at all, or a ‘social construct’ and index of oppression, is sheer Gnostic delirium: a commitment beyond all evidence to the existence of a true and good world veiled by appearances. People are not equal, they do not develop equally, their goals and achievements are not equal, and nothing can make them equal. Substantial equality has no relation to reality, except as its systematic negation. Violence on a genocidal scale is required to even approximate to a practical egalitarian program, and if anything less ambitious is attempted, people get around it (some more competently than others).

    • It’s pretty obvious that the article is targeting those with a more than academic interest in far-right imagery and ideology. It’s a bit of a knee-jerk leap to flip the argument. Thankfully I’ve never come across that type in a gaming situation before and hope not too!

      • I wonder what it’s like to be intolerant of total strangers solely because their political beliefs don’t align with mine.

  6. Excellent article. Not being a dick and taking notice of the environment you’re in is skill that too few people have these days. It’s painful going into places like GW sometimes because of the ‘laddy banter’.

  7. “Another thing I think is a big part of the problem is how much right wing views are accepted, within the hobby.”

    Perhaps posting something so immensely bigoted in an article about avoiding offense is not the best move.

    • I don’t think equating extremist right wing views with intolerance is particularly bigoted.

      • Ah, the post doesn’t read “extremist right wing” it only says “right wing”.

        If you wanna talk about gross and exclusionary behavior or language, a perfect example of that would be someone saying that a big part of what they consider to be wrong with something as broad as an entire hobby is that “right wing views are accepted.”

        “Another thing I think that is a big part of the problem is how much left wing views are accepted, in [the indie dev gaming scene]”.

        Reading that you’d roll your eyes right out of their sockets, or scoff and dismiss any other pearls of wisdom whoever uttered that sentence might have made elsewhere simply because they made such a lazy and sweeping generalization.

        That kind of language is not the way to move forward. You will meet nothing but resistance from the people’s whose cooperation you need most to improve the hobby if the attitude of “we are all already agreed” reigns.

        I say these things with the best of intent in the hopes that the dialogue and the hobby can improve, assuming you have the best of intent as well (and probably just forgot to write “extremist” before “right wing”). Talking tolerance while talking like that smacks of hypocrisy to many. So, just be more careful next time, I guess?

        P.S. As far as people making Nazi/Axis themed 40k armies, I don’t really see how much worse it is than already having an army of the Imperial Guard as the Commissars are a CLEAR reference the Soviets and we all know not only exactly what they did, but exactly the role that the Commissars played, specifically, in ensuring that Stalin’s will was, um, /executed/. Commissar cosplay was the most prevalent cosplay I saw at the last con I went to (general nerd stuff, not specifically 40k), but I don’t find it particularly problematic.

        • The thing is, right wing views tend toward putting yourself first over the collective good of others, this is inherently the problem as it if not directly but indirectly creates discrimination.

          If those people with right wing politics who, as you admit, are more likely to be the problem here, don’t agree with what I’m saying, I’m putting it to the rest of the community to correct that.

          My aim with this series of articles is comparing the community of wargamers with any other grass roots movement and using my experience, which has a definite left wing bias, to try to organise the collective good of that community to be a better place for everyone. The next article talks about the problems created by right wing capitalism and why we shouldn’t accept them as war gamers and how the history of the biggest game in the community began as a satire of those politics.

          I do personally believe that the right wing is an inherently bad and unsustainable thing because I think people would be better off if we all looked after each other, but this is about taking that macro view of the world and applying it to the microcosm of the wargaming community.

          If you don’t agree with that, feel free to let me know, but this isn’t a newspaper, this is very much an opinion piece and, in my opinion, right wing politics are not interested in the good of the people, which as a hobby community, is what we’re concerned about.

          • “right wing politics are not interested in the good of the people”


          • Thanks for the cordial reply.

            >”The thing is, right wing views tend toward putting yourself first over the collective good of others…..”

            I confused why you would say that in an article focused on fascism, of all things. People point to fascism as the BBEG of right wing politics, but fascist politics is ALL about putting “the good of the group” above the Individual. Fascism=fasces=that weird Roman symbol comprised of sticks bound around an axe. It’s all about subsuming the individual into the society at large; there is no aspect of life or culture that the government does not feel like it has the right to poke its fingers into. The unimportance of the Individual is baked right into the cake from the start with symbolism like that. The private sphere is nonexistent.

            I am unaware of any fascist system in the world that elevated the Individual above the collective. Can anyone can point to an example of a nasty, right wing regime in history that put the Individual before the collective?

            I think you may be confusing the more libertarian/anarchist “it’s my hot body I do what I want/AM I BEING DETAINED?!!1” crowd with the right wing. That’s a different part of the political axis (left-right/authoritarian-anarchist).

            I do look forward to the rest of the series, though, especially with respect to what who “them” the them following sentence is:

            “The next article talks about the problems created by right wing capitalism and why we shouldn’t accept them as war gamers.”

            All people with right wing views? All people with right wing leanings? Capitalists? People who think Nigel Farage is a complete boob, but says something insightful once in a blue moon?

            Is it impossible to simply try and make people behave in a welcoming manner without being unwelcoming to people with different political views, or do should we run them out even if they can bring themselves to abide by our social mores and behave inclusively? If someone casually mentions that they are a registered Republican, or that they volunteered for a Tory political campaign, do I get to kick them out guilt-free even if they’ve never done or said anything problematic? Because honestly that all sounds pretty harsh and I’m sure you don’t actually mean that, but, language is important, as they say, and there’s a lot of leeway in language like “we shouldn’t accept [people with right wing views]”.

  8. First up, great post.

    Just one thing stuck in my throat a bit: “having a historically accurate WW2 German army = supporting fascism”.

    Now, I’ve never met a gamer who thought playing as the Germans (or any other fascists) means one should espouse their political stance, but I grant that there probably are some overexcited teenagers out there who act that way. But a historically accurate German army won’t be rocking lots of swastikas anyway. Nothing on a uniform would show up at 28mm scale, and vehicles would have a balkankreuz, which is a German symbol but not a Nazi one. The Federal German army of today uses a modified form of it. Closest thing you’ll normally get a Nazi symbol is the SS symbol that Waffen SS vehicles have on their number plate (which is tiny). Bottom line is it’s not possible to game WW2 without putting the army of a fascist nation (or their client states) on the table. That’s what the war was about, beating fascists.

    I agree use of even the balkankruez in 40K is dodgy, and the swastika would be offensive. But nobody should have aspersions cast on their ethics because they’re using a correctly-painted miniature in its historical setting. I’m pretty sure that’s *not* what you were trying to get at, but the way you phrased is was a bit ambiguous.

    • Valid point Andy, and one we’ve been talking about on the Facebook group. We concluded with the fact that theres a big difference between your army being accurate and that one guy who has iron crosses all over his cut off denim! Apologies if it came across the wrong way mate.

      • Did enjoy this article and I back it. But one thing man is as a fan of tabletop games and warhammer 40 000 and an even bigger star wars nerd not only am i straight edge and into hardcore and punk I also identify as a skinhead and I can say that the ‘Iron Cross’ is not a nazi symbol but a benign symbol of power/strength. I have an agnostic front tattoo ain’t the Iron Crosses and I can assure you I am far from right wing….just wanted to put that out for the people that are into that side of punk/hardcore (boots and braces don’t make a racist ect) 🙂

  9. I wrote a lengthy post, but it got rather convoluted and confused (which I blame not being a native english speaker for!). So, I decided to shorten things down a bit and sum it all up.

    I agree with everything that’s been said, but would like to lift another issue aswell. This being the level of tolerance toward Soviet glorification in nerd culture. While I agree on everything that’s been said about gamers with an unhealthy obsession over anything nazi, the soviet counterpart seems perfectly accepted. To me, and others, these two are merely two sides of a totalitarian, repressive coin with the blood of millions on their hands. Hence neither should have a place in wargaming.

    I base this on personal experience in my gaming club and from experiences at conventions, where I’ve met both soviet-themed warhammer armies and people dressed in soviet red army officer uniforms and other soviet paraphernalia.
    The difference between this and people doing the same with facist/nazi counterparts is slim to say the least, and it should be treated with the same resentment. Political extremism and cuddling with the same, right or left, should be kept out of our hobby.

    On the matters of sexism and homophobia – I agree wholeheartedly. Luckily our gaming club is probably not representative of the hobby as a whole, with two openly homosexual members and part-taking in gay pride marches. Sadly that’s also the number of female members. There’s sadly alot of stigma about miniature gaming which we’re trying to overcome. For instance by attending social events ,like gay pride, to showcase the hobby.

      • Very strange comment: “left’s love for death cults”.

        Pretty sure the Italian Fascist’s “Se avanzo, seguitemi; se indietreggio, uccidetemi; se muoio, vendicatemi (“If I advance, follow me. If I retreat, kill me. If I die, avenge me”) and The Romanian Iron Guard (with their Echipa morții Death Squad) very much count as Death Cults.

    • This came up on the Facebook group too, as it happens, and a few of us were careful enough to point out that the Allied powers don’t have clean hands just because the Nazis are the designated bad guys of the twentieth century. Personally I don’t touch the Second World War with a barge pole – the Soviets can’t be let off scot free (and frankly the British are getting a free pass for a lot of colonial bullshit while they’re there).

      Funny you should bring up Soviet glorification, though. I used to have a serious hard-on for the Soviets (and for post-Soviet Russia, which isn’t exactly on the moral high ground), and even now I recognise that “sometimes history needs butchers not shepherds” tendency among some folks on the Left. I don’t think there’s an ideology around that doesn’t have its share of nutjobs. Some self-identified Social Justice Warriors will rip you to shreds for suggesting that their pet cause might intersect with someone else’s (or not), or for putting your awareness day too close to someone else’s or using the same strategies as them to build awareness, or simply because you weren’t aware of the latest shitstorm that hadn’t even been brewing when you went to bed.

  10. So we’re going invite the cancer that divided the gaming community into the tabletop one? Fuck off.

  11. Forgive me for not reading the entirety of the article, but I feel like not only are parts here rude and unnecessary, but also untrue. “GamerGate was quickly and correctly equated with chubby, neckbearded unwashed freaks who hated women because of the constant rejection in their lives.” Like I said, effing rude for the first part, and also simply wrong, but I’m not here to rant about that. There are people out there who have done so before me and far more eloquently.
    “They struck back at women enjoying a pastime they liked with threats of rape and death and so excluded themselves from any serious debate.” In my experience, there weren’t that many of those. Also, there are plenty of people willing to talk about the whole thing, myself included. (However I’ve been out of the loop for a couple months, so don’t trust me on the most up to date stuff when conversing).
    “The reason there aren’t many women doing it isn’t because they’re not interested, or because they can’t, it’s because of the environment that we’ve either created or have allowed to form, excluding them.” I would have to disagree here. I know that the “I know a girl that plays” is a weak argument, but I fail to see why this environment is exclusionary so long as someone willing to play and learn is doing just that, playing and learning. (This girl wrecked my shit with her Necrons recently btw).
    “People don’t feel comfortable being a minority, and so things that you might think are a part of gaming can be problematic.” “Basically, if it makes other people uncomfortable and stops them taking part in the hobby we all love, knock that shit off.” Last one, I swear. (Here’s hoping I don’t get taken down). I think that that is false that people are uncomfortable as a minority so long as they aren’t being persecuted for it. I can’t speak from experience being a white dude in California, but most people that I’ve interacted with, Indian bro, my asian friends, a black friend who I jokingly refer to as “token” all are very comfortable being a minority in Cali. (Before anyone starts anything, token was the one who coined (heh) the name in the first place). In that vein, I don’t think it’s the game creator’s job to make everyone comfortable. Rather if what they are making (i.e. Hatred) makes enough people uncomfortable enough to not buy it, the sales drop so the creator must fix things or go broke. These game creators have enough of a fan base that they need not concern themself with a new market if it would inconvenience them so much.

    So that’s my thoughts on the first half or so of the article. Again, forgive me for not reading the whole thing, but I’d rather not read this stuff that I’ve heard before. (Here’s again hoping this doesn’t get taken down)

  12. I love this article because I love meanspirited bigots seeing how much hypocrisy they can get away with. We are Good, other people are Bads. Now I am truly euphoric! Amen.

  13. ” Its only natural that a game about soldiers and tanks will attract some freaks that are obsessed with the military, loving tanks and that is fine, it’s just that it so often comes coupled with a slight reverence for fascist ideology.”- As a military historian fuck off with your judgemental bullshit, perhaps you should stop calling people “freaks” before telling them not to offend you.

  14. So your telling people what to do with their tiny plastic soldier men, instead of just not playing/ignoring them? Seems like your being the fascist here forcing your view unto others

  15. I’m tired of (typically american) holier-than-thou, I-am-correct people. How can’t you possibly understand how toxic this attitude is, how can’t you see how much resistance you create this way?
    Especially talking about “right wing is doubleplus ungood” and how owning accurately themed tanks should prompt people to call me out on my supposed support for fascism.
    Do you seriously expect me to establish a discussion with someone who acts this way rather than straight up telling them to fuck off? No one likes to waste his own time.
    You’re the one who does not realize how this type of misbehavior you label “Call these people out, let them know that glorifying fascist regimes is in itself fascist” could shut down any otherwise level headed discussion in the first place.

  16. ” They quickly become a hideous, violent parody of themselves, GamerGate was quickly and correctly equated with chubby, neckbearded unwashed freaks who hated women because of the constant rejection in their lives. ”

    You know you’re on the side of Justice™ when you sound like an eighth-grade bully

  17. I have a whole bunch of problems with this article and the mindset behind it and I will try to be as respectful as possible while bringing my points across.

    There are three main gripes which you bring up in your article.

    1. Perceived Sexism
    If you look at the average gaming club or store, you will find that that women are just as welcome there as any man, which is just as it should be. However I take major offense at the idea that women should expect any kind of special treatment when they walk into a gaming store. Antisocial behaviour is not a gendered issue and should be taken care of by the store management. The thought that pictures or models of scantly clad women should not be a thing in a gaming club because someone possibly might get offended is ridiculous and infantilizing.

    2. Perceived Homophobia
    I firmly believe that people should be allowed to express their sexuality in whatever way they want as long as they are not harming anybody. However, if you turn up with 2000 points of pink-armored eldar in fabulous poses I might casually tell you that this is possibly the gayest thing I have ever seen at the store. And if my buddy turns up wearing a pink shirt with a pony on it I will call him a fag. If you take offense at that, that is first and foremost your problem. If you then proceed to respectfully request that I don`t use that sort of language with you because it makes you uncomfortable I will probably be understanding about it and do just that. If you however demand that I don`t use that language, because “it isn`t funny” or “it is offensive to some” I will tell you to fuck off, especially if you are not gay and are getting offended on other peoples behalf. If you own the shop you can make the rules and police other peoples speech, if not, tough shit. You have no right to demand that I cater to your sensibilities.

    3. “Right Wing Views”
    I find this one especially ironic, since your own views that you are trying to force on an entire community are extremely left wing, which is in no way better than right wing ideologies. If I like tanks and WWII planes and want to play a historically correct German army (being German myself and all that) I am not a facist. If I paint swastikas and SS runes on my Warhammer 40k Spacemarines I am probably an edgy teenager and everyone is allready rolling their eyes at me.

    Lets move on to some general criticism.

    “There is still a fight to be had, but women are ever so gradually getting more and more recognition from that industry because people grouped together and opened a dialogue. They were open about what they didn’t like and how it was stopping them from doing something they enjoyed. We need that dialogue to start in the tabletop community[…]. “

    The problem here is that it was never about a dialogue when these things happened in videogames. It was about being morally superior and dictating certain ideas to the community and the industry. The most prominent “progressive” voice in this case is Miss Sarkeesian who has NEVER engaged in any kind of serious discussion or addressed any of the criticism leveled at her ideas.

    “I’m going to go through a few trouble areas, so if you are guilty of doing these things or are aware of others doing them and do nothing about them, take action. It’s a common thread of moving towards a better society that we have to stand up together and tell people how their actions are wrong, so let’s do this with our hobby and change some attitudes.”

    I find this statement in itself incredibly arrogant and misguided. You believe that is not only accebtable, but a moral imperative to force ones values and political views upon others to “create a better society”? And you see nothing wrong with that? You would have certainly made a splendid nazi or communist then.

    “Political correctness isn’t a bad thing, unless you like beating up gay men and calling them queers.”

    I disagree. I never felt the urge to beat up anyone because of their sexual orientation. Still I believe that political correctness stifles honest dialogue, harms artistic freedom and creates a climate of repression and fear if it is enforced. You should have a chat with somebody who grew up in a communist country, they could tell you a thing or two about politcal correctness.

    And last but not least lets address your references to GamerGate, sexism and Miss Sarkeesian in particular. People in GamerGate do not dislike Miss Sarkeesian because she is a girl. They dislike her for the same reason that I dislike you. You are both moral authoritarians that do not match up to your own standards. How dare you lecturing people about being more polite and sensitive to other peoples feelings while at the same time calling people “chubby, neckbearded, unwashed freaks“ dwelling in a ”stinking pit of a bedroom” and throwing baseless accusations of sexism left and right. Clean up your own act before you presume to lecture other people.

    • As a female I have experienced abuse online in Facebook and other groups simply because I am a woman. It makes me very gunshy to actually spend any time in my local gaming store besides buying my wardollies. “Wargaming community” is an all encompassing term that means more than just the store or gaming group level.

      Also, just because someone doesn’t scream out “rape! Lol” doesn’t mean the discrimination isn’t there in what is called “microaggresssions.” Things like “get back in the kitchen” jokes count here, or “its okay that you lost because women aren’t really tactical” or even just commenting on a woman’s appearance all count here in this case, intention doesn’t really mean anything because it is still drawing attention to the fact that equality is still not existent between the sexes socially.

      I can’t really speak too much for the LGBTQ or players of colour because I don’t experience what they do. And so, if you aren’t a woman you also really can’t comment on how they experience the hobby or community. You may not see the problem because you personally don’t live it.

      • As a gay man who plays wargames (mostly Firestorm Armada and battletech), I’ll agree with everything after he got passed the applying negative physical body traits to the anti-female gamers in that fight. I have a lot of those physical traits and actually ended up resenting this article because I felt I’d been shoved in with a group of people I didn’t agree with at all because I’m fat and have a beard.

        I will say that being a publicly out gay male and growing up in West Texas I’ve grown an extremely thick skin when it comes to people saying things are gay or calling me personally a fag. I don’t like it when it’s used as a slur against someone who is not in fact gay. I feel it has the same effect of lumping me in with someone else based on a bad premise (see my dislike for the chubby neckbeard thing). I HAVE found that talk like that disappears almost completely the second they find out I’m openly gay.

        I’ll stop rambling now and close with I think this article is well intended and I like that someone is trying to talk about it. But I feel his personal prejudices caused it to fall flat and I’m hoping part 2 will be better.

  18. This article gets it wrong on so many levels it’s outrageous.

    First off, your characterisation of Gamergate is as bad as anything published in Pravda in Soviet times. Gamergate was a grassroots movement reacting to an alien cabal infiltrating positions of influence in the gaming world and using that influence to denigrate and attempt to shut down gaming culture. “Sexism”, if one thinks such a concept is bad, was applied by the aggressors, the SJWs Gamergate opposed, against the predominantly white male audience of video games, simply because they were composed of white males who didn’t embrace postmodern Marxist memes that suck the fun out of everything and teach them to hate themselves.

    You say that the reason that womankind aren’t as involved in our type of games “isn’t because they’re not interested, or because they can’t, it’s because of the environment that we’ve either created or have allowed to form, excluding them. ” Frankly, you are looking at things entirely backwards. Wargaming isn’t a culture that exists with barriers to female participation, (and to suggest it is is a genuinely insulting slight against those women and girls who appreciate the culture) the culture is the result of a collective input where women and femininity are not dominating.
    You say “safe space”, but that phrase is oxymoronic (and regular moronic to boot). Every subculture and community exists because it excludes elements that don’t belong in it. In this case, your cultural Marxist pretensions to think yourself fit to police other people’s thoughts and actions are not only irrelevant to the subject, but actively harmful. You want to erase anything that makes our culture different from your social justice cult, and castrate our communities so that the natural interplay of thinking, feeling individuals is subjugated beneath your spiritually oppressive ideology.

    To illustrate the absurdities you expect us “neckbeards” to accept because you’ll call us names and throw hissy fits, I will use a hypothetical example.
    Your aversion to dealing with people with views and outlooks dissimilar to your own, and your passive aggressive demands that the whole culture change to incorporate your ideology, is like an ISIS-supporting Muslim demanding that women players wear burqas, or leave entirely. YOU are the aggressor, YOU are coming somewhere you’re not wanted and making the people who are the heart and soul of this community feel “unwelcome” and “excluded”, and as such, your toxic intrusion into our “neckbeard” “space” should be opposed until YOU learn your lesson to tolerate communities that exist to serve people other than you.

    This defence of what you object to being part of the wargaming community has so far been based on the impartial principles of libertarianism, in that people should be able to live their lives and play their games how they want to, but since you raised the issue of particularist politics, I will say that the politics you find most odious, sexism, militarism, and “racism”, are part of wargaming intrinsically to an extent the destructive rot that is cultural Marxism is not.

    As games of competition, where attention to detail, planning, creativity, and drive to succeed are encouraged and rewarded, wargames are inherently more appealing to aspects of the male psyche that females are less predisposed to possess, and hence the community will be composed primarily of males. There is nothing wrong with having “spaces”, cultures, or communities that serve male desires. This is really the crux of the whole “sexism” issue. If you think something is wrong and “sinful” if there are less than 50% women in it, then you are opposed to wargaming, regular gaming, STEM, and everything else that men are built for, in a way that will never be satisfied by any concession misguided members of these communities make to your type.

    In addition, your opposition to the “racism”, “homophobia”, and “militarism” that forms part of wargaming culture springs from the same bigoted disdain for male drives, and views of the world different from your own indoctrination.
    The violence and ferocity of both historical wargames and fantasy wargames, particularly Warhammer 40,000, appeal to men who are “in touch with their masculine side”, to turn a trite new age phrase on its head.
    I don’t see how I can explain this to someone so divorced from it in any tract of reasonable length, so I’ll content myself with merely telling you that whether you understand it or not, what drives people to play wargames, to build models, and to enjoy the extremes present in wargaming media, is something that stands in stark contrast to the primitive psychological phenomena that cause men to be such self-flagellating pissy whiners as yourself, and that this SJW pathology about “offending” or “triggering” people is a weakness utterly repugnant in any man, that only survives due to the softness of the world we find ourselves living in. It is a base, destructive urge that drives you and your comrades in delusion to rail against people who don’t take joy in submission, but its opposite.

    TLDR: Don’t be a fucking pussy, have respect for the fact that other people aren’t fucking pussies.

    War out.

    • Thanks for your input, person who doesn’t think sexism as a concept is a bad thing, I’ll take your views on board.

      • What a comeback, mate. Way to focus on one vague statement and interpret it in the worst way possible to deflect a whole bunch of criticism. Have you ever considered politics?

      • >Completely dodges the question and acuses the target of sexisim
        Do you use tumblr?

  19. your fat shaming is triggering me

    knock it of

    can’t imagine why you would choose that description of people you don’t like when it is exactly what you look like

  20. It’s a shame there is so much focus on the negative. For every 10 dodgy ‘sub/dom’ 80s cheesecake female miniature being produced there are 1 or 2 well defined characters. Criticism is all well and good in it’s place, but it tends not to change anything – people with entrenched points of view continue to hold those views and are just made more angry. Supporting and encouraging positive activities does sway fence-sitters.

    Interested to read your next piece about the transformation of 40k’s background from a ‘parody’ of fascism to it’s taking itself very seriously. I have decided to leave my thoughts on that matter, and some other aspects unpublished for now, perhaps seeing some movement elsewhere in that territory will change my mind.

    • Sorry, I haven’t been replying to comments, you may have noticed we had somewhat of a deluge, for Corehammer anyway.

      The piece should be up this week, its looking at the 80s roots of Games Workshops settings and how the politics of the time shaped them and how this resonates today.

  21. In that case I’ll invite you to have a look at McDeath and The Miners Strike if you haven’t already.

    Yes, I had noticed the small increase in activity, no doubt a sound signal boosting tactic for the Corehammer project.

    Welcome to the Culture Wars. Be seeing you!

    • I’d actually read this when you linked your blog to Oldhammer a while back, its was part of my inspiration to explore this side of things more, I knew I recongised your name from somewhere!

  22. thank you for posting this. the whole reason i’ve stayed away from wargaming since my early teens (the late 80’s/early 90’s) was because of the homophobia, misogyny, racism, and general macho bullshit. when my friends started getting into it in high school i thought it would be a safe place, where like-minded people who, at the time, were very much on the outer of soicety/pop culture could get together. The reality however, was that it was even worse than every other subculture in existence (even early 90’s militant sxe). it was full of codified abusive language and strict intolerence for difference of opinion/lifestyle.
    I’ve been wanting to get back into tabletop gaming lately, thinking things had changed, but recent visits to local stores had proven otherwise. the bullshit had clearly solidified long ago, forming the base the rest of the shit, horror, and codified language-violence has been built on. Avoiding GW related games seems to minimise exposure to it somewhat, but it’s definitely still there.

  23. Wherever humans gather, no matter the niche, stupid bullshit inevitably follows. One of the reasons we started Corehammer was to offer an alternative voice/community for people who are interested in these hobbies but are dissuaded by some of the more tedious or boorish behaviours that often accompany them. That’s not a damnation of the whole RPG/Wargaming community before anyone kicks off, it’s based upon specific personal experiences. I don’t assume that anyone who plays a German Bolt action army is a Nazi sympathizer. I don’t assume that everyone who plays 40K is a homophobe or hates women. Play the games you wanna play with the people you feel comfortable playing with. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find plenty of people on the same page. If you’re a Facebook user, go check out the Corehammer FB group. Decent community over there that sets up games days, tourneys, D & D groups etc just to get folk rolling dice together and having fun.

  24. Do you “call out” player which are playing red flags, CCCP Flags and hammer and sickle?

  25. I can’t possibly be bothered to read this long and exhaustive comment thread (and doing so would surely irritate me) so I’ll only add that I’m really glad you wrote this article in the first place. If people were expecting a fully measured debate, they’re in the wrong place. It’s clearly an opinion piece, and it’s an opinion I share on most points. I don’t think we talk about this enough.

    I have a daughter and it’s pretty clear she’s going to be a huge geek. I didn’t inflict it on her consciously, but she loves comics, board games, and has even shown interest in Warhammer. I’m a little conflicted about it, simply because I know the gaming environments I frequent are not very friendly to women. Not actively hostile, mind, just slow-burn misogynistic, filled with bitter divorcés and images of women that reinforce an unrealistic body image. I’ve seen some really positive changes, but I don’t know how complete they’ll be by the time she’s really ready to hang out at shops. I’m doing my level best to make sure she’s mature enough to handle herself, and there’s every indication she will be, but I would much rather that she wouldn’t have to ‘deal with’ a negative environment.

    Thanks for writing this, knowing full well it would incite a flame war.

  26. Article laments “neckbeards.”

    Guy who wrote it is a greasy neckbeard in a dumb hat.

    Is it possible to get that retarded?

    • Oh my bad, the guy that RE-POSTED it is a greasy neckbeard. Probably both of them are. Ironic.

  27. ” GamerGate was quickly and correctly equated with chubby, neckbearded unwashed freaks who hated women because of the constant rejection in their lives. They struck back at women enjoying a pastime they liked with threats of rape and death and so excluded themselves from any serious debate.”

    Stopped reading after this, you really should stop misgendering people with broad generalizations that have been proven false…last year… So keep on with your broad generalizations and misgendering people…arent you suppose to be against that?

  28. I have to say, you’re everything I ever expected in a social justice wargamer.

    I truly enjoyed how you say that feminists made headway into the whole gaming culture and that they’re a force for god and justice. These are the same people who who released documentation on people they didn’t like, threatened to kill a little boy for pointing out that the fact that humor is meant to make people think, and have swarmed over people like blood maddened zombies for even suggesting they were wrong about any of their viewpoints. Deities forbid you’re a woman who doesn’t share their views, which are hateful, denigrating, and misguided to the point of being everything they claim they’re fighting against. Replace the word “man” with “Jew”, the word “woman” with “Aryan” and the “patriarchy” with “Judaic” and every argument they ever make is suddenly transformed into Mein Kampf. I wish it were only a joke, but it really isn’t.

    Most women don’t play the hobbies because they’re not interested, not because they’re excluded. The kinds of women who DO play the hobbies are jut like the men who play them – atypical and largely shunned by other people because they’re different, i.e. not the properly manipulative pretty women they’re supposed to pretend to be. Sexuality is only an issue when you bring it up, and it’s inevitably brought up in gaming circles because not all that many people are getting sex, because, again, they;re not like typical everyday people. How shocking, social outcasts interested in something they share, which is being social outcasts. If a social outcast has a thin skin, they need to avoid other social outcasts; most are pretty reasonable about calming down or toning down the language when you ask, and if they don’t that’s the business of the host to take care of at that point.

    Bringing politics into this – especially one specific type of political leaning – is hypocrisy at its very finest. You’re painting a specific group of people with as broad a brush as possible to fit your definition of ‘bad’ because it’s convenient to do so. Exactly the sort of behavior the social justice warriors and the new feminists love to do. It’s amazing how easy it is to say “here is a target, blame it” when anyone and everyone an fit the target demographic. Social justice warriors love to do this, and its possibly the single most poisonous activity they indulge in. It allows them to say with absolute certainty that anyone who disagrees with them is in the wrong because they’re members of a group that they have painted with “The Bad Guy Brush” and any attempt to dissuade or correct them becomes an attack on their ideology.

    The reason I have no problem pointing these flaws in your argument out is because I’m a homosexual woman who actively participates in tabletop games, interacts with people at gaming stores, and really, not bloody much of what you described goes on in them. But your outrage and false reasoning sounds absolutely terrific, and like all the other social justice warriors, the only thing you’re going to do is cause harm to people in your way, because they’re going to look at you and say “no”.

    Because when someone says “no” to a social justice warrior, that means they’re fair game. Especially if they’re supposed to be part of your crusade.

    • “The reason I have no problem pointing these flaws in your argument out is because I’m a homosexual woman ”

      What you have provided as evidence is a mix of anecdotal evidence (congrats on not having asshole friends, I actually mean this. It’s improving for me since I came out to more people, separate the chaff from the wheat) but your argument basically boils down to “I am an authority on this subject”, you are not the sole authority on the subject. I am gay I am non gender conforming and I can say your experiences do not match mine.

      I am not trying to come down as harsh but sadly this is the moment.
      You compared white straight cis males to other minority groups that have been subjected to horrible legal treatment (don’t pull mein kampf if you don’t want to be called on it). When all of the world governments actually start passing laws against being straight and cis (excluding straight females since they are also treated horribly in this world) then can the comparison actually be made. But I will be in the camp that stands by the “hey that is fucked up” stance.

  29. Thanks for the post,

    As a non gender conforming queer it’s nice to read that people are noticing this problem.

    I was interested in learning napoleonic miniature gaming and my first teaching match I find out the guy I was talking to had a swastika tattooed on his arm.

    I knew him for only a couple of months and thought he was just your standard american conservative… I just ignored it and pretend the comments I heard never happened, but during that teaching game his sleeve was up and I noticed the tattoo. And now he wants to be face book friends which as you can guess will not lead to anything good, and from what I learned from history and my dental bills that will come down to my face mostly.

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