Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A new name!

Project Kill Team finally has its new name thanks to you voters! When released, it will be known as Strike Force!

Thanks to all who voted and make sure you guys keep sending in your comments and suggestions to help make Strike Force one of the greatest community-made rule-sets on the web!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Real-life, you cruel mistress!

Heh, well, didn't see this one coming.

Alex and I have made a promise to update Terran Forge more. I was working on painting some stuff up plus I've got the Project Kill Team to focus on and when he returned from California he was going to do the same. Well, this past week (those of you who follow me on twitter may already know this) I have been in Charlotte, NC to help the System Engineers from Harris figure some stuff out and collect data (I am currently on co-op which makes me, basically, a paid intern). I worked some 63 hours this past week so to say I have had little time for my beloved hobby (even going online and looking at blogs) is a vast understatement. I'm not used to this kind of work schedule! Now, to make it worse (for the blog at least), I have to go to Broken Arrow, OK tomorrow at 5am and am there till Thursday. THEN I go BACK to Charlotte, NC for the week after to help get the southern part of this massive communications system for Duke Energy live. It will be hectic, rest assured! However, after that it will be pretty much smooth sailing. I'm in Lynchburg, VA for two more weeks before going home for a relaxing two or three weeks (can't remember the exact amount of time) and then head back to RIT for school. 40k time will be back in full swing (hopefully) by then!

BUT! I have some good news (I think). I am rejoining The Astro Mag, but instead of an editor or something like that I am working on promotion and popping in on the creative side of things (article ideas, etc). I can promise you a BIG, BIG, BIG issue for our next release. It's all still in the works, but I can guarantee you that every bit of your 40k side will be satisfied! GET EXCITED!

-Kevin

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Female Gamers: Ya Wanna Fight About It?

Ok, so maybe I'm a little late on this subject like Apple was late in realizing their phone doesn't actually work as a phone. Regardless, I feel like I should talk about this subject a bit even if no one gives a crap (which they shouldn't!).

So, neat. You spotted a female gamer throwin' some dice down. So what? Quite honestly, it is hard for me to understand what the big deal is about any minority demographic entering into a realm dominated by a different demographic. This, obviously, doesn't only apply to female gamers but as this is a 40k blog, I will limit myself to this very small aspect. Bringing attention to a minority demographic, like I am hypocritically doing now, serves only a few functions. The first is that is validates their minority status and becomes an almost impossible barrier to break down. This is not really anyones fault, but is more of a subconscious collective effort on the part of all wargamers because there is this stigma that cannot seem to be erased that wargaming is strictly a man's hobby. Second, it feeds the so-called "attention whores" who, more likely than not, are in it just for the attention of other males (this, I feel it should be said, does not apply to just females, but as it is the subject of this post it is the only thing I will address). Thirdly, and this I feel is the biggest problem in the wargaming community, is it highlights many-a-males severe ineptitude when it comes to talking to women.

Again, the general male ineptitude when it comes to conversing with women applies not only to wargaming (duh). Quite honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if most of the people reading this post right now are pretty bad at it (I mean, good enough to get by, but sometimes everything just comes out wrong). I'm definitely in this camp. In the correct setting or correct mindset I can easily talk to girls just like I talk to my male friends, and this is how it should be. However, sometimes a genuine hand at friendship can be misinterpreted quite easily as a flirt. Again, I am in this camp. In fact, a few years ago when I worked at a public library (as the only, and I cannot stress that enough, only male working there) a girl approached me and starting talking about one of my favorite authors, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and so naturally I engaged in harmless conversation with her. We became friends. No big deal, right? Well when I started dating another girl that works there (still am too! As far as I'm concerned she's way out of my league but I guess the drugs still haven't worn off after three years :p). Anyways, Dostoevsky girl was pissed because apparently she thought I have been flirting with her for the past few months.

Uh... what?

A simple gesture of kindness, becoming friends by talking about an atheistic Russian author from the 1800s, was turned into something else entirely. And this happens all the time.

Now, the problem with wargaming in regard to the subject at hand is that it is a male-dominated hobby. I am going to stereotype now, something I'm not a fan of doing, but I'm going to say that in general all of 40k wargamers have a much larger proportion of male friends to female friends. I will also make the assumption that, in general, this is due to a lack of perceived interests. Why, then, do male wargamers tend to suffocate female wargamers (whether in a club, or in threads on forums, or whatever)? Could it possibly be because the male wargamers lacking a good base of female friends (who are great to have because, honestly, they are incredible to talk to about a variety of subjects, mostly sensitive ones, that men are just terrible at. I know I am)? Could it be that they just are getting overly excited at the thought that they have found a potential female friend with similar interests as themselves? Absolutely! Are they sometimes overly aggressive? More times than not! HOW THE HELL DO YOU APPROACH THE SITUATION?

Be normal. Be yourself. Other than a difference in anatomy, there is no real reason to treat them any differently you would treat another male playing the game. Why should you, especially if you just want to be friends? The real female gamers (I say real because, as mentioned earlier, some are just out for attention. That is pretty unavoidable with any demographic in any situation, sadly) are the exact same as you. They love 40k. They either want to crush your army with cheese like Power-Gamer Joe or show off their stunning minis like GD Tom (or, you know, anything in between!). Why act differently if you really just would like to be friends or you just want to welcome them to a forum or what have you? There is no reason to. Treat them equally, not like they should be put on a pedestal and praised nor like they should be placed below us on the proverbial food chain. Treat them as a fellow gamer you have thrown the dice with countless times before, the only difference is, quite literally, on the surface.

The reason I posted this was just that I've seen so many disgusting blog and forum posts that just baffle me. Why talk about a subject that, honestly, doesn't really deserve a second though. Women are not all pretty-little-pink-princesses that play with barbies and watch Disney movies all the time. Just like men are not all beer guzzling "bros" who can't control their bodily functions and watch only sports and can't pick out the beautiful subtleties of well written screenplays instead opting for potty humor comedies. Phew. Humans are complex creatures with incredible ranges of emotions, interests and ideas. To stereotype (despite me doing it earlier, sorry) is to simplify humans into cookie-cutter forms that do a disservice to the amazing grey-matter that occupies each and every one of our skulls. No one person is alike, but we're all equal. Why treat one differently than the other?

And I leave you with a most appropriate xkcd comic: