We all know one. The one who wears all sorts of swag from the game, just in case anyone doubt his true fandom. If you’d ever confront him with the object of his affections, he’d probably react in a most un-chill fashion.
He’s that guy. He’ll show up to tournaments before everyone else, spend the waiting time preaching how he will lose every single game because the system is broken (he’ll use the word “imba” though). When he’s drawn against you, he’ll tell you in no short terms why your army is OP and your list is cheesy, regardless of what army and list you’re actually playing. He’ll spend setup measuring every single model to both the absolute minimum to his deployment edge, and absolute maximum coherency (and then proceed to yawn and whine demonstrably when you set up your own forces in a normal manner). He’ll ask all manners of questions when you play your army, because in spite of claiming the inherent OP’ness of is earlier, he doesn’t actually know any of your unit’s special rules. And when you beat him, he’ll be sore as fuck because the game was unfair since he didn’t know half of what was going on (he’ll probably blame this on not affording to keep up with the rules release schedule).
This week, however, that guy took it to a whole new level. Most of you that have been around the wargaming news and blog sites this week know exactly what I’m talking about – that guy who recorded a seven minute rant about all manner of sexual deviancies Games Workshop should get to performing on themselves, before putting his army on fire.
Generally, I’m not one to post long rants about stuff like this. If he wants to burn what is literally hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to somehow prove a point, go right ahead. Personally, I’d eBay the lot, but hey, to each their own. That guy, however, got to me (and not because that was a sweet amount of Dark Elves he burned).
No, what got to me was the incredibly entitled bullshit he managed to shout off in between all the accusations of perversions and suggestions of all manner of unpleasantness. OK, you didn’t like Age of Sigmar? I get that. It took me a few days to get over it as well. Unlike that guy, however, I decided to give it a chance, played a game and had fun with it. And then I posted a battle report saying, “Hey, this was pretty cool.”
The problem I have with that guy, is that he more or less sums up everything that’s wrong with the loud minority of the wargaming community. His opinions are extremely shallow, his arguments are one-sided and generally uneducated, his accusations are completely irrelevant and his main focus of the presentation is not to actually present an argument, but to get attention. And if you dare disagree with him, be prepared to be labeled a fanboi or “GW crusader” for daring to actually not blindly jump on the hate hype.
So I’ll admit it – this kind of behavior, it irks me. When I first got into wargaming, it was such a minor hobby. Whenever you met someone new also into the game, you’d exchange phone numbers without even knowing each other, just to have a potential gaming partner. When you organized campaign play or tournaments, every single player in attendance would matter. It was as much a social hobby as a competitive or creative one – a former girlfriend of mine once noted that she would never cease to be amazed at the fact that wargames could gather five, six, seven guys in their early twenties on a Friday evening for fun without getting drunk. And for all her flaws and faults, that one time, she was pretty spot on.
Wargaming, to me, has always been about creativity, fun, friends and yes, a certain competitive aspect. But I’ve always valued sportsmanship and a beautifully painted and converted army over a monster list that wins games. I’ve lost and won with grace (mostly), and I can genuinely not remember more than a handful of games that really got me upset or angry for any reason. Maybe I’ve been lucky. Maybe it’s a result of hanging with the right crowd. Maybe it’s because I try hard not to be that guy, and it rubs off.
Being able to take a step back and watch the game as a whole, and your own role in it, is what separates regular gamers from that guy. Simple things like reading through your post in the comment field before pressing enter. Like knowing the rules of the game before you get shocked at your opponent’s tactics. Like not being an asshole. The notion that people on the internet, or at tournaments, are somehow less worth than the people around the table with you at your local gaming club, is a dangerous notion, and it’s also very indicative of that guy. He doesn’t give a crap, so long as he’s right. And when he’s not, he’ll find someone to blame, be it Games Workshop, the tournament organizers, your army list or who the hell else he’ll come up with.
So this week, the morale of the story is pretty simple. The next time you get annoyed with something regardring the hobby, be it a rules change, a bad game, an expensive release, you name it – remember these four simple words.
Don’t be that guy.