After the hootenanny around GMT’s cancellation of their Scramble for Africa game, there was some introspection, soul-searching, and, well, let’s face it, a bunch of flame wars over (pick any two): political correctness run amok, GMT selling out, just another leftist censorship campaign, the slippery slide into no wargames ever for the rest of our lives, snowflakes ruining everyone’s fun, Eurogamers telling wargamers what to do, if I don’t get to play Nazis then I don’t want to be a wargamer, etc, etc, etc.
Things died down (we thought).
Then here comes the New York Times, with a remarkably thoughtful piece that pretty accurately describes the changes going on in wargaming right now (increasing diversity in the audience, leading to increasing questions about how we handle the subject matter) and now the hootenanny graduated into a full-blown kerfuffle that ultimately included at least one guy on social media making physical threats to those with whom he disagreed.
Moreover, it was painfully obvious that maybe 15% of the social media bloviators had actually read the article, instead of just reacting to what was a dreadful Buzzfeed-quality clickbait headline.
So here’s a super-sized special edition (1:40!) of the podcast wherein a couple of pretty thoughtful guys (Rex & Matthew) join us to talk about the latest blowup in the culture wars as they visit the wargaming world. Rex, no stranger to our podcasts, has joined us to talk about Aftershock and “SWEAT” in past episodes, among other things. Matthew was a co-editor of Zones of Control and is a frequent attendee & panelist at Connections.
The articles / discussions mentioned either directly or obliquely in the podcast? Here’s some of them, but hardly all.
- GMT’s original cancellation announcement
- Robert Zacny’s column on Vice about the German Army
- The New York Times column
- BoardGameGeek blog post wherein the author compares treatments of slavery in different games
- Our own column about the original GMT controversy
- Discussion about the Battles Magazine #5 “Nazi Love” column
- BGG poll about which sides/conflicts people most enjoy playing
- WargameHQ covering the original hootenanny
- Examining the social media firestorm after the hootenanny
- How colonialism haunts board gaming
- Diversity in the professional wargaming ranks
- Daily Kos weighs in
- Facebook thread about a student reported to school authorities for playing wargames
As always, thanks for listening 🙂
You can always catch up with past episodes on the “podcast” tab of our site.