Matt L. from the Chainsword Diaries brings us some positive thoughts and ideas for the Wargaming community to contribute to helping our communities during these turbulent times.
Greeting Fellow Nerds, Nerdettes, Armchair Generals, Loyal Lapdogs, Degenerate Xenos, Hidden followers of Chaos, and Future Subjects of Grandpappy Nurgle. My name is Matt and none of you know me or if you do I’m probably a bad meme. I’m here today to talk about the thing I love most about our hobby, the positive outcomes it can produce. We find ourselves in a scary and uncertain time. Tourneys are being cancelled left and right, Hobby shops are temporarily shutting their doors, the world is facing a global pandemic and there’s no clear path to an endgame as of yet. In times like these it is easy to focus on the negative of how this affects us. I would like to take a moment to point out some of the ways we as hobbyists and Gamers are in a unique position to help out.
WE ARE CREATORS
Love it or hate it a large part of our hobby is Creation. We spend hours assembling tiny soldiers in intricate ways (DAMN YOU NEW JUMPPACK MODEL STANDS!) We overcome obstacles like packing up Mortarion for travel without snapping off his gorgeous wings as he rolls through TSA. We magnetize models to make the most of our options and maximize our flexibility. We design and create NEW options when things don’t exist to allow us to play our miniature battles.We figure out ways to give our army that little extra somethingto wire electronics and lighting in to Halos and Headlights. Some of us even have 3d printers that we can use to print parts for the machinery needed in this dire crisis. Our fine motor skills may be useful in upcoming manufacturing needs that we never even knew we had. We can help plan and design new products that ease the burdens we face as a people. We can develop entertainment to pass the hours of isolation that some of us may be forced into. We can be like our dear friend Geoff and just spread a little sunshine through silly animal Memes and videos. These are all things we do on the regular. It is outside the skillset of the population at large and we are uniquely suited to be of service.
WE ARE ORGANIZERS
I help run local and statewide tournaments and leagues to help people better enjoy this hobby. Reece grew a small local shop in the suburbs of Oakland into an international leader in the gaming field. We run charity events that span the world over, ranging from memorializing a little boy who just loved Space Wolves, to funding pet shelters to get our friends new furever homes, to helping veterans who have come home meet needs they never knew they would have. We mobilize to find lost armies online so they can be returned to their owners. We write blogs, we sell hobby equipment. We figure out ways to get things done. Right now the world is in dire need of that. People are going to be out of work. Food kitchens are going to be slammed with demand and our communities are going to need planners and organizers. Do not be afraid to stick your chest out and volunteer. Your unique skills at recognizing situations and bringing order out of chaos (This is the last time I will ever advocate against Chaos, I swear by Slaanesh) are in huge demand.
WE ARE INCLUSIVE
We are a crazy diverse population, who welcomes people who love to paint, those who love the mythology of it all, to the best tabletop generals in the wargaming world. We celebrate people of color, female champions, and those who are other. We bring huge groups of people from around the world to get together and roar with a collective WAAAAAAAGH in our love for this hobby. In a world that feels more and more isolated we know how to bring people together to feel welcomed. I will never forget the first time I walked into Reece’s store, when a kid who was maybe two years older than my 10 year old son just gave him a Chaos Lord because he heard my son was going to start playing. We weren’t locals. I drove down two hours to play in an Apoc game with strangers, and here was the love of the game on full display. When we are at our best we know how to make people feel welcome when they are unsure. The world needs that now more than ever.
WE THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
In a time where the global community is going to face challenges we have never even thought of before, people who can innovate and overcome will be the stars that we set our ships to. We read intricate rules systems and optimize armies to create better outcomes. We figure out bold and creative strategies to conquer an ever changing meta. We look at grey plastic and see a riot of color, light and shadow at the end of it. We created statistical analysis to find optimal solutions. We build armies just to prove people wrong. We are different, in the very best of ways. In a world that is going to be facing a whole bunch of no, we are the champions of yes.
I am encouraged because I am a member of this hobby. I see in us the potential for humanity’s finest when all seems the bleakest. Know that though we revel in the gritty reality and horror of the grimdark we find ways to shine. I look to us to lead and create, to organize and innovate, to do what gamers do best. Now is our time to step up, to offer our talents and perspectives to face problems we have not faced before. We are uniquely suited to be the answer that the world needs even before it knows the question. To quote my favorite motivational speaker.
“We were made to conquer the galaxy, not to rot in Hell and die upon our brothers’ blades.” –Tony Robbins
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