Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Unseen background battles

So I went down to the rabbit hole of personal demon hunting ala Diablo III, together with the massive fog of war kicked up by arrival of 6th edition -- next thing I know months have passed without a single post being posted on my little blog.

Today I went up to bells of long soul, an action which long ceased to be my daily ritual on the ending days of fifth edition and saw this little gem titled IN PRAISE OF FALLEN TITANS, and it turned out to be one of the best 40k related read I had in a long time.

Then within the gem there is another gem, on the comment section some one actually wrote a long story which IMHO really reflects the complicated relationship between 40k and its player(s) with the unseen real life battle in the background.


Bjorn says:
I took a job a the local GW store a number of years ago when i was in my mid-20s and New England still had Games Workshop stores — all are now shut down, and Holyoke 131 was one of the first to go. blah blah independent retaliers, but the fact is that GW-US got cheap and abruptly screwed their fanbase. While I worked there, though, it was a huge turning point in my life.
See, i had been in a bad rut for awhile — clinging to the friends of mine who never moved on after college, spending a lot of time with my alcoholic roommate who did everything he could to sabotage me (including trying, successfully in the worst possible instance, to date all my exes). It was then when i started playing 40K, giving me an outlet that took me to new groups of people and better quality of interactions — alcoholic roommate spouted some BS about how any game with randomization was not fun, because you could lose by luck instead of by skill, so while an ardent RPG player, he would never stoop to minis gaming. GW effectively gave me an outlet.
then, i went through a terrible portion of time — the end of which saw significant turmoil in my life, and a lot of bad decisions. the following summer came to me unemployed until school started again, with a new roommate-couple who never paid bills on time or left their room, and another one who blamed his belated lapse into depression on everyone else. Meanwhile, i had just started dating this great woman, who bought me food over the summer since all my savings went into the bills my roommates screwed me out of.
I had an interview at the GW store, and while it didn’t kick in until the fall, the new job was again GW saving me. This time, though, it came with a difference.
The lovely lady from before, now my wife of four years, sleeping in next to me on this Saturday now-afternoon, moved in to help with rent, and the hermits moved out. We worked in the same mall, and i had a day-job as an English teacher, so the only time we got to spend together was minis-related. she’d stop by on break, or come in with me on a day that she didn’t work, or we’d paint together on a night off. depressed roommate nearly got us evicted because he spent all his money on pizza and video games, but we had plenty of time together.
The only problem with this scenario was that, no matter how much i tried, this game took so much of my life with it and yet it was inaccessible to my significant other. I had been charmed and entranced by the greek-myth-esque story of the Primarchs and the war for Terra, the brief hints of Commoragh, the bravery of the first Deathwing, and the tragedy of some of the failures of great figures, such as Magnus and Ahriman. my painting was nothing special. V — my wife — was an artist, and loved the painting aspect of the game, but cared little for the fluff and nothing for the actual game. As time has gone on, and the 40k universe teeters between being an interesting, compelling world and a 15-year-old boy’s wet dream, it has lost most of what would bring many female gamers to the table in the same way that the comic book industry has.
40k saved my sanity and marked the growing-up i did in my life. But while V is quite willing to paint daemonettes, and vaguely assemble a collection of Sisters of Battle minis (to be equipped with chaos backpacks and greenstuffed out of their nun-bobs), she becomes less willing to engage with the fluff the more she reads. War is a heroic topic and setting, but the greatest war movies have complicated plots that involve people being human despite their responsibilities. 40k has genetic supersoldiers and xenophobia. women are virtually uninvolved — besides the joke that is the current incarnation of the Sisters, the bondage-themed deathcult assassins, and the uglified birdlike new daemonettes, there’s nothing explicitly feminine in the entire world. Eldar are blended together, but in a way that loses distinction instead of accentuating it.
As immature and 80s as it sounded, building-sex on a daemon planet is better than the unnecessary and inexplicable butchering of Sisters to anoint the armor of the Grey Knights. Over-the-top ridiculous, true, but that’s the appeal — better that than needlessly misogynist in the mane of gritty grimdark. Every example of the latter makes it that much more impossible to share my hobby with a majority of my friends and loved ones. Despite having saved me the better part of a decade ago, the modern GW has done wonders to complicate my life rather than make it better, by sinking into a different kind of immaturity than its relatively innocent predecessors.
There is something missing from the current embodiment, perhaps an effect of the wrong writers or the wrong understanding of audience, but it’s only gotten worse lately. Much like in the 6th ed book, the game itself stand on the edge of a great leap forward, but is threatened to be dragged down the wrong path…
Well said.

On a separate story here is a definite prove of 40k influence in Diablo III's demon hunter... a legendary suit only equipable by demon hunters named The Inquisitor, very subtle indeed.

"No spawn of Hell can hide from the gaze of the Inquisitor, no matter what form it takes."

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