The first rule of wargaming club is you don’t talk about wargaming club

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Earlier this week I was browsing dakkadakka and came across a thread by a guy who had something of a bad reaction when he mentioned his hobby to a colleague.
This got me thinking about the hobby and its geeky connotations. I wonder if airfix/model plane builders get the same reaction, or chess players, or creative writers? Why is it that when you combine all the elements this hobby gets the man child reputation it has?

I tend to keep my hobby on the quiet, probably some of my friends I’ve known for years don’t really know I paint, collect and game with little toy soldiers. But then perhaps that is the problem right there… People think of it as just that, a hobby for kids. A toy.

I have always been like this, I am a fairly private person as a rule anyway and that combined with it being a pretty neiche hobby means I don’t tend to put it out there as much. I would if it came to the subject in a social setting go to my other hobbies first. It is much easier to talk about how I also enjoyed Breaking Bad, or Xbox gaming or reading or whatever.

When I am forced to visit the local GW – something I try to avoid – I prefer to visit it on my way back to the car so as to not have to troop around the town centre with games workshop emblazoned all over my shopping. Or at least I did, as I get older I care less and less what people think.

So why did I do this? I guess because I expect this same reaction from people as discussed on dakka. Which is lame on many counts. Firstly that I cared and secondly that people automatically go to the ‘wow you’re such a man child’ response.

Of course not all hobbyists are like that, even amongst my group some of us are right out there with our hobby and I of course am not.

All that being said whenever I have been approached outside about GW it has always been positive, I have been asked for directions on a train because a guy saw I was reading a GW book and knew I was a kindred spirit, never the heckling in the street my awkward and shy younger self expected.

So dear internet, I am interested. what is your hobby standing? Are you in the closet like me, keeping your hobby to yourself or out there, fabulously resplendent in your hobby glory? Have you been congratulated on your choice of carry case or chased out of town by a roving mob for daring to collect toy soldiers? Let me know in the comments.

Martin

By day a mild mannered Web Designer from Swindon, by night a horder and shaper of bits in his mad kit bash laboratory.

  • Duncan Cormack

    Personally I’m well and truly out. I even use the term toy soldiers, I find that if you are completely blatant about it it tends to be more easily excepted. That and I don’t think I give of the musk of a victim.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Me too, the toy soldiers thing is helpful as it makes it sound a little eccentric and charming, whereas ‘Tabletop Wargaming’ is somehow bloodthirsty and militaristic. I often find that because I occasionally post the odd picture on Facebook of a game that people I never suspected were gamers will come out of the closet to me- usually slightly alternative men of a certain age.

  • Bowlzee

    I used to be the same. Embarrassed to have a GW bag when wandering around the city centre. Now I’m old and wiser (give less f***s?) I really don’t care. I’m open with my colleagues about what I do and I can see it in their eyes they are impressed and very interested. Nothing ever comes from it, perhaps they are embarrassed I used to be.