Thursday, October 21, 2010

Opinion: Why I Don't Do Opinion Articles

I don’t do Op-Ed. It is my belief that opinion pieces exist for one of two reasons: promote an agenda, or slip in a rant under the auspices of polite debate. I rarely have cause for either. What follows here could be considered a rare exception, but I’m looking at it as mental house cleaning. Bear with me (or don’t) as I vomit this out of my psyche.

I have been known to scour the internet for anything vaguely 40K related. Army builds, rules debates, unit effectiveness, tactics, rumors, “what works”… all the electronic flotsam one could stomach, and more. So while I’ll never refer to myself as an expert in such things, I am certainly perceptive enough to grasp trending. And the trend in the blogosphere (or whatever you want to call it) I am seeing as of late is a relatively consistent mix of:

- Competitive vs. Non-Competitive, and Why Your Style Sucks
- Comp Score vs. no Comp Score (or Sportsmanship Score, or Painting Score… insert any variation here)
- The Metagame (?!)
- Unit Spam
- “We Knew About This Yesterday, POST FASTER!”
- “So-and-So Sucks Ass, and Here’s Why”

In the midst of my latest bout of masochistic perusing of article comments it hit me like a locomotive…

I. Don’t. Care

My game. I paid for every last bit of it. I glued and sanded and primed and painted every piece. I would have to try really hard to care less what the collective “you” considers correct/appropriate. I don’t like tournaments, and I don’t care if you do. I can’t stand brutal players or sore losers, and have no time for you if you are either. I have a great time rolling dice with a ridiculous army build, losing, and laughing about it.  Metagame?  Seriously? I have a wife, two kids, a career, and impending economic doom to worry about. Why would I waste cycles caring what our little plastic men are thinking when we’re not around? I despise rules lawyers. If you’re playing with me, you’re in my house and a friend. Cookie-cutter your army all day long with 4x Missile Devastators... don’t care.  And finally… your opinion of why Joe Shit the Ragman is an asshat means exactly squat.

So… I just stopped. Lots of places I won’t be visiting any more as I can’t relate. They’re playing a different game than I am. On the other hand, tons of hobby-esque cool places I will frequent more often. Jim and his Killzone, Mordheimer and his Death Squads. Conversions, house rules, out of the ordinary 40K? I’m there.

That’s it. I’m done. All I wanted to say. No need to pontificate any further and justify ten ways to Sunday why I’ve written what I’ve written. Know why?

My blog.


Big Jim said...

I concur wholeheartedly! Living outside the officialdom box is alive and well!

Here are my thoughts:

Don't tell me how to play with my toy soldiers, because they are exactly that, My Toy Soldiers!

If you don't like a rule, by all means you should use some common sense and change it.

You want to create a new unit, get together with you groups and come up with an entry. Then playtest the crap outta it.

These three things keep my hobby experiences fresh and exciting.


Anonymous said...

I. Don’t. Care.


DaveHowitzer said...

Ok, I completely see your point, but your entire middle point just completely broke the article for me. You don't have to read these blogs. People post what they like on thier little space on the internet as you say with the whole "my blog" thing.
So in that respect ok, you see MSU lists, internet rants and all that jazz; just ignore it. There isn't a need to moan about it.
Very much like yourself writing about YOUR hobby, perhaps that is their hobby, which gives them the right to write about that without being called out for it. I'm not a fan of that style either but I'm not gonna call it irrelevant because its not my style.

Dryw said...

Agree completely Dave. Especially the part about not reading it.

Everyone is entitled to do a write-up on their particular interest on their site. In fact, I'd shout anyone down who tried to say otherwise.

The point, which may have been lost in multiple thought fragments, is that I _was_ reading and realized I couldn't relate... so was wasting my time.

Not sure I'd call it moaning so much as an epiphany.

Schnitzel said...

This is simply one of the best blog posts I've read anywhere. This is a game after all, not some competitive sport! I happen to like building, painting and writing a cool story... And occasionally, putting my toys on a board and rolling some dice! Why does the game have to be so much more than just that with some people?

DaveHowitzer said...

Agreed with your point Dryw. In response to some other comments, including Schnitzel I put this to you:

It isn't these blogs like YTTH and 3++ (tho I love Kirby) thats hurting your hobby, if your hobby is hurting its YOUR fault for not playing it the way you want to be being dictated by someone else.

Who cares how the game is for some people, I thought the point of this article would be to say "each to their own" but it seems not =[ and thats a shame.

Guys, if you take anything from my ramblings take this: if you rag on people for playing the game THAT way, are you not just as bad as them for ragging on the way YOU want to play?

Dryw said...

Hard for me to find fault with your middle-of-the-road approach Dave.

I am somewhat disappointed that the concept I was attempting to relay (I'm not wrong if I don't do it your way) didn't come across 100%. It's the zealous persecution of those who disagree with "the only way to play is..." that turns me off.

By all means... play however you want. Write about whatever you want. You paid for it just like I did. You're no more wrong for not doing it like I want than I am for the inverse.

The rest? My game-view.

Loquacious said...

I have to say that I'm not smart enough to write those well thought out interesting commentary on why something is awesome or sucks- yet nearly everything I write is my opinion.

I am new enough to the game that most of what I post is along the lines of "well, I like this. Is it worth exploring, or does it suck?"

And I'll argue forever that my Command squad does NOT need a ride (even if they will get shot to shit) because they just LOOK cooler walking across the board.

But I ignore the dudes that are asshats and pay attention to the ones that are willing to listen, just like I do in real life.

Dryw said...

You're my kind of player, Loquacious.

"Looking cool" being in your top reasons for playing something a certain way? With you 100%.

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