Precinct Omega Podcast - News #41 - Storms & Teacups

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This week, the news is going to take a slightly different twist. This is a one-time-only thing, I promise. We’ll be back to the regular programme of highlighting small manufacturers and loosely connected trends in a fortnight. But the last couple of weeks I’ve felt my irritation at some stuff building up and as it’s relatively sort-of, kind-of, current affairs in our world, I figured it was more “news” than “design”.


So, y’know. Here is the news.


Perennial industry-dominator, and hobbyist bete noir, Games Workshop, has announced a new range of miniatures for the Orruks in Age of Sigmar. The Orruks are the re-branded version of GW’s classic fantasy orcs range and some people are irrationally angry that these orcs don’t look like the old orcs.


Meanwhile, online general gaming e-magazine, The Wire, has published an article asking why there aren’t more women in wargaming. Everyone agrees that its a stupid piece of click-bait, but no one seem able to agree why it’s a stupid piece of click-bait.


And in a related spat, two adults on Twitter who should know better and who don’t deserve the added publicity of me naming them have interrupted their normally reliable stream of hobby-related content to have a public trolling competition.


By the time I get to have my say in a podcast, most of this has, it must be said, blow over. But I wanted to take just one episode to look at these as examples of regular storms that crop up in our hobby’s minuscule little teacup and try to give them some rational analysis.

WAITER? THERE’S A STORM IN MY TEACUP!

All hobbies create their own ecosystem of disagreement and controversy. This was, it has to be emphasized, always true. But the 21st Century’s interconnected world and the opportunities that the Internet has created mean that, for all of the many positives that have resulted, there are also some significant negatives, and one which absolutely works both ways is the ease with which people can engage in debate.


Something I’ve always enjoyed is getting unreasonably passionate about things that don’t matter. I’ve mentioned before that they are scones not scones and that the cream obviously ought to go on first. These are things I feel strongly about and can have years-long disagreements with loved ones over. But they ultimately don’t matter.


It’s fun to have these pointless, silly, interminable arguments. Right up until someone decides that, for some reason, they do matter.


For example, does crochet count as knitting? If you’re listening to this podcast you may be hazy on what the difference is. But if you’re into knitting or crochet then, I can assure you, tempers run pretty damn hot in the knitting and crochet worlds and knitters, in particular, have literally made death threats over the idea that crochet “counts” as knitting. Along similar lines, academics specialising in the works of Edgar Alan Poe have had a long unwritten rule that one doesn’t talk about the orangutan. But amateur fans don’t know this. Let me warn you: if you ever find yourself in a Poe chat group and the subject turns to whether Poe was or wasn’t a racist, for heaven’s sake… don’t mention the orangutan!