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Branimir's Open Letter to Games Workshop


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FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
Supporter
Fundamentally, if you wish to be inclusive, if you wish to open for everyone... you do not have the option of being tolerant of people who disagree with you. If you allow people who disagree that "WARHAMMER IS FOR EVERYONE" to be part of WARHAMMER, then they will drive everyone else-- people of color, gays and lesbians, the disabled-- out, because that's their goal.

There are certain things a person has to agree to in order to be included as part of a welcoming community. Otherwise, their ideology makes the community unwelcoming for others. People can't stop being black or gay or disabled to make bigots accept them-- literally, all the bigots have to do to be welcomed back is shut their goddamned mouths. They don't even have to change their minds and believe that the other people at the table with them are real people-- they just have to shut their mouths and keep their politics to themselves, like they're demanding everyone else do for them, for a few hours at a time.

And yes, that's what we are talking about: if you don't agree that your game of choice belongs to everyone, if you are morally opposed to gaming fandoms being inclusive of members of minority communities, you are a bigot and your opinions are bigotry and grownups shouldn't have to keep making excuses to mollify your fragile, bloated ego.

If you're fighting for people's God-given right to mistreat other people at the gaming table and complaining that they will not be missed: you will not be missed.
 
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FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
Supporter
Everything in your post was fine except for that statement. Intolerance for homosexuals or disabled people is not just a white issue.
Maybe not, but take a survey. If someone posts a long internet screed about how we need to be "tolerant of intolerance", they're white. People of color might not like the gays, and the gays might not like the handicapped, and the handicapped don't like anyone, but if there's one thing we've all got in common: we all know this dogwhistle when we hear it.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
And yes, that's what we are talking about: if you don't agree that your game of choice belongs to everyone, if you are morally opposed to gaming fandoms being inclusive of members of minority communities, you are a bigot and your opinions are bigotry and grownups shouldn't have to keep making excuses to mollify your fragile white ego.
There, fixed that for you.
Bigotry comes in all colors/creeds/etc.
 


MGibster

Hero
For those of you unfamiliar with Warhammer beyond what you likely see at your local game store, I think we need to put GW's statement in context. Historically speaking, Warhammer was a game developed in Great Britain with their target demographic of adolescent middle class whites. And you can really see that reflected in old photos where just about every painted miniature is a white male.

Over the last few years, GW has sought to expand their market by, among other things, increasing the diversity of the characters in their fiction and games. They introduced a series of books for younger readers called Warhammer Adventures, they released new plastic sculpts for Sisters of Battle (largely female force), and more recently a new book titled features a black Ultramarine on the cover.

Ultra.JPG

In case you're unfamiliar, the Ultramarines are the poster children for the entire game.

Here are what some very prominent Youtubers have been saying about this over the last few years. I won't name them specifically because I don't want to give them any traffic. I stumbled across them because they have many videos where they go over the lore, miniatures, game strategy, etc., etc. so you can watch several of their videos before they show their ugly side.

Warhammer Adventures: There were some legitimate complaints of the series, namely that perhaps the Warhammer 40k setting wasn't really appropriate for children, but they moved on to criticize the characters in the book partially based on what they looked like. There are three adolescents on the cover of Attack of the Necrons, audio version read by David Tennant, one of which is your standard issue white male, a black female (I think, I honestly have trouble telling with some art), and a white male with a malformed arm who created his own cybernetic brace so he could still use it. There were several snide comments made about forced diversity at Games Workshop, how of course the leader had to be a woman of color because white men are evil, etc., etc. It was just ugly.

For the Sisters of Battle release, if you go to the GW website, you will see that they made a concerted effort to paint some of their models with skin tones that weren't just just a bunch of pale people from Northumberland. Some of these Youtubers mocked the inclusion of people of color because, "hur, hur, diversity bad,"and complained that the models weren't sexy enough.

There's a new fiction release called Avenging Son which has on it's cover a black Ultramarine, a bunch of other Ultramarines, and a regular human woman (I don't know who any of them are). There are actual videos from these people seriously debating whether or not black Ultramarines is canon. I mean, sure, they both come to the conclusion of yes. Though one of them says it doesn't make sense for them to have African features, but I guess a yes is progress.

But why the hell is that even up for debate? If I were a black adolescent looking at getting into Warhammer and watching videos on Youtube on how to model, select my army, how to play, learn about the lore, etc., etc., how would I feel about people, prominent people in the Youtube Warhammer video sphere, debating whether or not someone who looks like me should even be represented in the game?

People like that make the hobby look bad, and, by extension, they make Games Workshop look bad. In addition to Black Lives Matter and everything else going on right now, this is the context in which GW released that statement. I actually wished GW had ended their message with "You will be missed" rather than "You will not be missed."

And here's the Bob Ross of miniature painting talking about how important it is to say that Warhammer is for everyone.
 

So I am really confused by all this. Is this Branimir person just hiding behind that wall of text that he is just another racist who is upset that his kind is no longer accepted in more and more parts of life? I agree with GW on that. I don't want racists and bigots and misogynists around me either. If I owned a business, their money would be worthless to me. too.
 

Gradine

Final Form
Yeah, this is an awful lot of words for what ultimately amounts to "I don't like that GW re-used a familiar quote that I, a lifelong GW fan, definitely recognized said something that sounds hostile to racists, so I'm out."

Which is a hell of a take for any amount of words, let alone several thousand.
 


Immeril

Explorer
Yeah, this is an awful lot of words for what ultimately amounts to "I don't like that GW re-used a familiar quote that I, a lifelong GW fan, definitely recognized said something that sounds hostile to racists, so I'm out."

Which is a hell of a take for any amount of words, let alone several thousand.
Or he could be part of the moderate majority. Social networks don't give a fair representation of demographics, it's mostly the vocal extremes on both sides of the debate. Real life isn't binary, most discussions have more answers than just a 'yes' and a 'no'.
'You will not be missed' implies that there is no room for disagreement whatsoever.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
'You will not be missed' implies that there is no room for disagreement whatsoever.
But there isn't, is there? They say they will not condone prejudice or abuse. Disagreement means somebody condones prejudice and abuse. If the silent majority condones abuse, then... well, let's just say that I do not believe that the silent majority condones abuse.
 

Immeril

Explorer
But there isn't, is there? They say they will not condone prejudice or abuse. Disagreement means somebody condones prejudice and abuse. If the silent majority condones abuse, then... well, let's just say that I do not believe that the silent majority condones abuse.
But people can disagree with part of a statement, or with a certain method, while still condoning prejudice. I'm not going to derail this thread by bringing the BLM and Oriental Adventures debates into this. Suffice to say that I see these debates a bit differently because I don't live in the US.
I'm going to give a ridiculous example to demonstrate that the argument in itself can become ridiculous.


For those who don't speak Dutch: K3 is a music group whose fans primarily consist of pre-adolescents. They've got a lot of merchandise, including feature films. Apparently, some people think that dressing in the style of Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra (again, in a movie) is cultural appropriation. When I say that this accusation is asinine, I am not automatically denying the very existence of cultural appropriation.
 


Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
from a narrative point of view, this just sounds like a story about some guy who discovered Warhammer as a kid and thought it was magical, but then he became an adult and refused to take serious issues with any real maturity.

also iirc both the 40k and WHF canon have changed radically multiple times since I first got into it 20 years ago, the sudden inclusion black Ultramarines apropos of nothing is peanuts compared to some of the other stuff I heard of over the years. like having little to no narrative justification seems in line with how things usually go.
Or he could be part of the moderate majority. Social networks don't give a fair representation of demographics, it's mostly the vocal extremes on both sides of the debate. Real life isn't binary, most discussions have more answers than just a 'yes' and a 'no'.
'You will not be missed' implies that there is no room for disagreement whatsoever.
okay, not sure why the moderate majority would feel the need to be offended by the statement GW put out. if "WARHAMMER IS FOR EVERYONE!", if Warhammer is just a game then it shouldn't matter to them if their space marines are suddenly not just a bunch of white dudes.

also, let's think about this. I am a Latino and Asian man who actually got into 40k as a child. what if I met someone at a game store who thought Asians or Latinos shouldn't be part of the community? what if I learned there were regulars at the store who didn't necessarily have the same views but were still friends with him, and the owner thought he was a totally cool dude? can Warhammer really be for everyone if this guy is accepted as part of the community? keep in mind in this scenario I'm just someone wanting to play 40k, and didn't say certain groups shouldn't be allowed to play.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
But people can disagree with part of a statement, or with a certain method, while still condoning prejudice.
So, OK, let's go there. Which part would you say you disagree with. I'll list the three things in the statement:
  • Values of mutual kindness and respect.
  • Non-acceptance of prejudice, hatred, or abuse.
  • Diversification of the 'cast of characters'.
I'm curious which one is the one you disagree with?
 

Immeril

Explorer
I don't disagree with anything of that GW's statement. But as I have said: some people actively try to find social injustice in everything, and call those who oppose them bigoted.
 

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