So, I think a good idea for a first post would be to write a bit on what I love about the games I play. Since this blog will mostly focus on Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 game, I’ll start with that.
I’m a keen 40k hobbyist for many reasons. Firstly and most simply, the universe Games Workshop has created and the hobby that expresses it lets me use my imagination in a way the grown-up world rarely allows. I loved imagining fantasy worlds and action-packed battles as a kid, and I still do. There is only so far that reading a book or watching a film can go – after all, those are passive media, where you consume someone else’s creative vision. Warhammer 40,000 gives me a set of familiar guidelines wherein I can create my own stories and characters, and make them jump around and shoot each other and perform assorted epic feats. It is an involved, creative activity rather than sitting back watching or reading.
I really enjoy the freedom the vast 40k universe gives me to bring weird imagined characters to life. I can think up some strange image and it probably exists somewhere in the 41st millenium. To express the image I then have to build the model. Painting it is another, different challenge. Eventually, I can get together with like-minded mates and we can match our guys against one another. This is yet another challenge, but one more in the vein of a traditional game of skill and chance.
In the end, the answer to the question “why this hobby?” comes down to a whole bunch of reasons. It is the only thing I know of that is a game, a story, and a creative activity all in one (well, except for role-playing games but let’s not get sidetracked yet). I love painting, I love building models, I love concocting lists and matching them against my friends. I even love playing in the odd tournament, despite the humiliating defeats! This hobby is a creative and mental challenge and I like that.
Games and hobbies are important things, but not serious. They allow us to actively use our brains in a harmless environment with no real consequences, and I think that’s actually a very valuable thing.