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Author Topic: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration  (Read 1375 times)

Offline Featherstone

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On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« on: March 12, 2018, 06:34:49 PM »
I was raised on tabletop miniature gaming, with about fifteen years off-and-on experience of my 20 years... which puts me in an interesting age predicament.

Most of the conventions I’ve attended (Historicon, Bayou Wars, Pensacon) show many more gamers in the 35+ Years demographic than below, and having recently stumbled upon Meeples & Miniatures / The Veteran Wargamer / WSS podcasts (I look foward to new episodes, if you’re reading this) I find that even these commenters occasionally note the “aging” of the community, or competition of the hobby with “younger” forms of entertainment, video gaming, etc.

Now, I have no trouble whatsoever with gaming with the war-wizened veterans of the hobby, but what I’m interested in is preserving the hobby in the next generation. Whether by some chivalric need to carry on the helm of my wargaming forefathers, or a simple desire to get more people to game with, I want to network with other twentysomething gamers across the globe, glean the advice of the veterans, and figure out how to spark a tabletop revolution one new gamer at a time. (Hurrah!)

I’ve tried to locate the WSS Great Wargaming Survey to get more info... can’t seem to... but to the point:

How many of us twentysomething gamers are out there in the world community? (Or on this forum?)

Secondly:

What’s the current outlook on gaming among the iGen from veteran gamers?

Offline Normsmith

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 06:45:12 PM »
I can't answer the first part of your question, as my eyes, back and knees can barely remember by 20's :)

I know what I like playing, but I have never felt that somehow gaming has lost its way because a younger generation or any one else is interested in a different type of game. I just like to see people getting together and gaming and I think the passion and the pleasure is as much for one as it is for the other. So gaming may aesthetically change, but in most regards it continues and I am pleased that there is such a strong resurgence, driven by the younger gamers, in playing physical games (as opposed to something on a screen). The future of gaming seems stronger now than it has for 35 years plus, when the sales of boardwargames first started to heavily decline.

Offline v_lazy_dragon

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2018, 07:32:30 PM »
Alas, I am 30 so don't count :-P
But I have 10 friends between 23 and 32 that are gamers. Some, like me, have gamed all the way through. Some have returned to wargaming after a 10 year or so  hiatus. Most play 40k, although this mainly seems to be nostalgia/tradition related,  along with a couple who find it difficult to get non-GW gaming in locally. Most also play non-GW skirmish games such as SAGA (helped by many of them being dark age reenactors) and have considered other historical periods. A couple of us are odd in that we don't play something GW based. We normally meetup for a dedicated gaming weekend once a quater although some are also members of other clubs.

So for us it's a positive outlook - plus those of us who are parents stand a reasonable chance of introducing it to our children... Whether it takes is a different matter!
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Offline Arlequín

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2018, 11:52:53 PM »
I actually just think that there are many more gamers than there were twenty or thirty years ago. With life expectancy so high the over 35 group will naturally be the larger always too.

Don't let that put you off though, I think that younger gamers should be thinking forwards and contemplating where they want their hobby to go. The alternative is to be dictated to by the older majority, however well meant and benevolent our rule.

 :)
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Offline nic-e

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 12:39:22 AM »
23 here.

I play a bit of everything and model a bit of everything else.
i guess i differ from your standard veteran in that i don't play BIG battles, But I lack the finances and space to do so.



« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 02:40:57 AM by nic-e »
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Offline N.C.S.E

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 05:56:37 AM »
21 here.

The internet has been a positive boon for me since otherwise I simply wouldn't wargame due to knowing exactly 0 opponents. Now I have many. :)

I was brought in via the GW route, but I've always been interested in history so I transitioned to historicals relatively quickly (it helped that here in Aus historicals are 1/3 the price of GW, says something about GW).

Finances preclude me from traditional big battles of 15mm or similar, and to be honest I've always found big battles to be more about bashing blocks units together and dicing to see who wins than anything else. Give me a war of manoeuvre any day!

Smaller scales (eye sight not being a problem for me (yet!)) have come into their own for me. That said I am no more immune to being unable to finish a project than anyone else. My mountains of 3mm sit for the most part in varying stages of incompletion.

LAF probably isn't the place to get much of an idea of the demographics of Wargamers in general. The chances are most of your 20 somethings are on Facebook these days.

As for video games, I balance my enjoyment of both video games and wargames pretty well I believe. Video games are easy to get on with, but are always far more restricting compared to wargames. If I don't like an aspect of a particular video game I can't do a thing about it (without skills I don't have). Don't like something in a wargame? It's dead simple to houserule or even homebrew to your heart's content.

The tactile nature of wargames as well as the timelessness of them, relative to video games, which have generally reached their use by date a year or two after release makes them, means that I'd suggest that they belong, if not in a different market, then in a different headspace. I enjoy every wargame I play. Perhaps not for the game itself (see comments on big battles above) but for the social aspects of talking about the history and all that. In a video game, I might not enjoy myself much at all.



Offline Sbloom141

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 12:20:33 PM »
I’m in my early 30s and grew up with a lot of video games, and in fact it’s my interest in these that really kickstarted me into tabletop gaming. I remember playing ‘Fog of War’ on the Amiga and enjoying the strategy of it all so would play similar games with my friend’s toy soldiers (his dads napoleonics) or his Lego Pirates (the redcoats and bluecoats). These were very simple narrative games without much in the way of dice play though we did use some.

Later I became a big fan of SSI’s ‘Chaos Gate’ and ‘Final Liberation’ games which got me, again via a friend, really interested in 40k.

Interest in CRPGs like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale led me into Pen and Paper RPGs, which has fed into a semi regular smattering of fantasy minis.
The same goes for Fallout and post apocalyptic stuff. I also like Zombie gaming though that was probably more influenced by movies.

Even now, though I don’t get much time for gaming in any sense anymore, a good computer game will get me interested enough in an idea and period to start thinking about projects. Because I’m loving the new Asssasins Creed game, I’m currently tentatively thinking about a small ancient Egyptian project.

So, for me at least, gaming has helped. As for the more social media type influences such as Facebook; I’m not on it, so wouldn’t know! But I suspect t will never damage the appeal of holding models in your hand and the satisfaction of painting some up.

Offline jon_1066

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 01:54:28 PM »
I grew up in the 80's and despite what my children think we did have video games even then.  I got into miniatures via D&D.  I am sure you can find articles from the 80's lamenting the fact that kids these days are playing RPGs not wargames and that the hobby is full of oldies.  So long as companies like Games Workshop and the like are going strong there will be no shortage of gamers.  Even if you think AoS and 40K are not "proper" wargames there is still a big pool of players to convert to the light.

Offline warlord frod

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 02:34:33 PM »
Well I am one of the white-haired old timers (65 years young) and I wanted to say that over 45 years ago when I started gaming they where asking this same question  :o The fact is there will always be an influx of younger people because of old guys like myself inviting them to join in the fun.

I do believe that interests change and you will probably find the interest in historical gaming is less prevalent among the 20 somethings but that's OK. I also agree that some prefer the skirmish style games but over the years I too have come to enjoy them more as well. I think the hobby is better than ever and there are more people playing a greater variety of games so invite your 20 something friends to join you in a game and our hobby will continue to flourish.  8)

Offline WillieB

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 04:53:57 PM »
Not really sure if this is even a partial answer to your question. I myself am one of the ancients (65) but I've seen an influx of younger gamers in our club since about two years ago.
Out of the 7 'new' gamers we welcomed in our club in 2017,  1 was 16, another 17. Two were in their twenties. (22 and 28),  one 31,  and two over 40s. Perhaps more significant is that two of the 'younger' members from a few years ago are now also  committee board-members  and doing a really fine job!

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Offline FramFramson

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 07:33:00 PM »
I wouldn't sweat it. The kids'll be alright.

Whatever form the games may take, painting miniatures is something which will always have a certain appeal to children of all ages.

Offline nic-e

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 12:47:09 AM »
I think the best question is when do we start gaming the cyber warfare of today and how do we scratchbuild it?

Offline N.C.S.E

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 03:28:38 AM »
Cyber warfare always struck me as fodder more for boardgames than miniatures.

Offline Vanvlak

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 07:12:27 AM »
I think the best question is when do we start gaming the cyber warfare of today and how do we scratchbuild it?
Wargames are based on logical rules + random events + decision taking*, proportioned in different ways under different rules. Cyber warfare (the real thing) is horribly similar.
The biggest problem is building a representation, I'd say -
Cyber warfare always struck me as fodder more for boardgames than miniatures.
That's one way out.
An alternative would be to come up with abstract models representing functions; or less abstract ones, in other words, go all Tron (by the way, not many models of that, are there?).

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Offline carlos marighela

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Re: On the Preservation of Wargaming in the iGeneration
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 08:13:21 AM »
I think the best question is when do we start gaming the cyber warfare of today and how do we scratchbuild it?

That’s easy. Just send me your email address and I’ll forward you a couple of emails. It will be more of a rebuild than a scratchbuild mind. ;)
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