Posts tagged Games

Warhammer 40k: Greenskins and toddlers

The Warhammer 40.000 universe is a very, very special place, a place where you will most likely die in a horrible manner. This universe is populated by a few different factions, which are all very extreme and kind of over the top (I think). We have the Imperium of man, which are crazy fascist and accuse everything that is different for heresy or being xeno (which ironically is also heresy). The factions are in some sense personifications of certain things. The Tyranids can be seen as the personification of over consumption and the sin of gluttony, since all they do is eat and hunger for more to eat.

Among all of these factions the orks are probably my favorites, because they lack a overarching goal (sort of). Orks in WH40K are savage barbarians, destroying civilization where ever they go. Like an unstoppable tide wildlings they plunder and burn all in their path, be it humans, eldars or even other orks. Orks could be likened to the Mongols, an unstoppable horde which brought destruction on Europe and Asia, nothing could stop them. In the WH40K canon it is said that if the orks ever united, they would become a unstoppable horde unlike anything ever seen. This is one aspect of the orks, but it’s not the one which I love.

What I love about them is that they are children; big, brutal, green, murderous children. What drives orks isn’t a greater goal, what drives them is joy. They are joy mongers. Most orks likes to fight, because a good fight is fun, they make war on other races (or themselves) just to get a good fight. But it isn’t just their simplemindedness.

All orks have weak psychic powers and if enough orks thinks that something is a certain way, than reality adjusts itself to their thinking. For example: Orks think that red things goes faster, therefore if they paint something red, it goes faster than it should.

They have the logic of children. Most of their weapons are just pieces of scrap hammered together, so that they look and sound dangerous. And since they believe it is dangerous, it becomes dangerous. The whole WH40K universe is their playground and they make up the rules as they go along, all in the name of fun. Just like children. If a child thinks broccoli is poisonous, than broccoli is poisonous (not really, but I hope you get my point). In a universe full of death, suffering and all around horribleness, the orks are a fresh breath with their quest for joy and childish shenanigans.

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Censorship: Slavery edition

Are you offended by slaves? I’m not… Well let me clarify, I don’t like slavery nor do I think that people should be able to own another person. Slavery is wrong. But I am not offended by a slave; I am not offended by playing a game with slaves and slavery in it. If I did I wouldn’t like playing Puerto Rico.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3076/puerto-rico

But I love Puerto Rico; it is an awesome worker-placement game. But the narrative it presents is one about slavery and how slaves were used to richen people and used to build societies. So if you think about it, it is pretty horrible game. But I won’t stop playing it.

  1. Because it is too much fun to play it.
  2. We shouldn’t shy away from these kinds of topics; instead we should use it as a base for discussion.
  3. Why shouldn’t games be allowed to touch on hot topics?

I will point out that the rules book for Puerto Rico calls the slaves for colonizers (at least in the version I read), to that I say no. They are represented by brown wooden cylinders, you get them by boat and you also get points from having the most of them. Sure, it could be colonizers, but since it is port cities you are building, and the colonizers are put to work in different fields I don’t think it is that plausible. Also slaves were most often used in port cities during the early days of Puerto Rico’s history, when it was still a Spanish colony.

This brings me to the series Tabletop, with Wil Wheaton. When he plays the game Five Tribes on the show he decides that the slave subject in the game shall be “censored”. Instead they call slaves for assistants or/and helpers. He also explains why there are slaves in the game and why he doesn’t like it. Tabletop is also meant to be a “family show” so he could have used that as the reason to not call slaves slaves.

(4:54-5:45)

I don’t think Wil Wheaton is stupid, narrow minded or a “political correctness lover” for doing this. It’s his show and he decides what to do with it, and he also explained his decision. However, if he hadn’t explained himself I might have been more concerned. As I said/wrote in the beginning, slavery is bad, but you shouldn’t scuff it under the rug. We need to be able to discuss things that happened in the past, no matter how cruel or horrible it was. Why? To learn from it and also see how things changed. We are a product of our history. Just think about yourself, you probably have done a few things you aren’t that proud of. You don’t need to tell everyone about the unproud moments in your life but you should try to use them and think about why feel ashamed for/by them. They are a part of you and will shape you as a person.

As a wise person said (L.P. Hartley): “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

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Tiny Wooden Pieces

I like webcomics, not all of them cause I haven’t read all of them, but I like most webcomics I come across. They are often small bursts of fun/joy in a evergrowing ocean of information. Just a while ago I stumbled upon a webcomic which scratched a certain urge/craving which had mostly up till now been unfulfilled. A webcomic about board games and board gaming.

http://tinywoodenpieces.com/

It is a little rough around the edges, but they’ve only been making it for about a year, but it might just be a diamond in the rough. I truly hope Tiny Wooden Pieces will gain popularity cause I think it has shown potential and it deserves a chance to grow. I therfore sacrifice a whole blog post for it gain some free PR.

(Heartpillow gained +2 Paragon points)

DISCLAIMER:

There might be another or many other webcomics about this specific subject but I haven’t found them nor looked for them, cause I’ve been busy.

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