Family friendly 40k

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Family friendly 40k

Postby me_in_japan on Tue May 22, 2018 7:33 am

I’m interested in people’s thoughts on this. Not sure of my own, actually...

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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby Dekana on Tue May 22, 2018 7:48 am

I have high hopes for the memes that could come from this.
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby Primarch on Tue May 22, 2018 7:53 am

Can't be any worse than some of the dross BL pump out, but probably not up to the standards of their more talented writers.
I can't see how they will keep the same GrimDark tone in these books that they go for in their main series'. I think these will be very watered down.
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby The Other Dave on Tue May 22, 2018 8:04 am

Eh, anything that gets people interested in the universe and the hobby, really. These aren't for us, y'know? It's not like "the canon" is some monolithic thing that can't be approached from a different angle, either - quite the opposite. It's a huge universe with room, I think, for some fairly unapologetic tales of heroism that ignore or downplay the darker aspects of the setting. And I have an "Internet friend of a friend" whose opinions I trust on points of taste who's seen proofs and days the writing is good, so there's that, too, as far as it goes.

(My only worry would be inadvertently teaching kids that Fascism is Pretty Cool, Yo - a message that all too many adults have taken away from 40K fiction - but what with the huuuge market for dystopic YA lit I think there's room for optimism, or at least non-pessimism, on that front.)

Edit: Also they get support from me just for the joy I get in watching terrible nerds get into a frothing rage about the existence of girls and brown people on the covers.
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby Miguelsan on Tue May 22, 2018 10:26 am

Fascism is the least of out problems when we are facing the existential nihilism of the chaos legions :lol:
Jokes aside, I don't mind the books for YAs, it's just that after years of Grimdark (TM) I cannot wrap my head around the idea of kids running around inhuman, soulless killing machines, that would commit any crime imaginable in the name of their beliefs... and I'm talking here about the loyalist space marines. The others... :roll:

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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby The Other Dave on Tue May 22, 2018 11:02 am

A twitter post from the author that boosts my confidence a bit:

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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby YellowStreak on Tue May 22, 2018 2:22 pm

I'm fine with it, as ToD says it's not for 'us', we're already into the lore. If it helps gets kids reading and even brings some into the hobby, then great.
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby Primarch on Tue May 22, 2018 10:14 pm

Well, obviously the books aren't aimed at us directly, but perhaps at those hobbyists who have a family they want to share their passion with. If the range is successful and kids can get into it, so much the better. GW also seem to be pushing the diversity issue as well, something the all-white-males (except for the Salamanders) image of 40K kind of ignores. Obviously some of the less progressive types found on the internet are freaking out about it, but they can largely be ignored. (But, muh racial purity...)

So overall, this has no impact on my life, except to provide some interesting threads to read on my way to work.

But...

Thinking about how I got into this hobby, I got Hero Quest when I was 11 and Space Crusade when I was 12, closely followed by Space Marine and Space Hulk. HQ and SC were obviously simplified games, and the setting wasn't fleshed out in any great detail, but at the same time, it wasn't that watered down. It wasn't until I picked up a White Dwarf that I was really introduced to the brightly painted miniatures, heavy metal music and dark settings. Inquisitor was the first GW novel I read and John Blanche was, while not necessarily to my taste, hugely influential in defining the setting to me. I loved all of it because it was more mature than the material marketed for my age group. It was grim, it was dark and it didn't really pull any punches. The second GW book I read was Deathwing, which had allusions to sex, possession, body horror and a few other topics Saturday Morning Kids Cartoons didn't really cover.
For the company who defined the GrimDark setting to try to introduce their worlds to a new generation by doing away with the GrimDarkness, I feel that they may be doing themselves and their target audience a disservice. 40K's appeal is it's more mature setting and I don't think I would have cared about the universe half as much if it hadn't had that edge to it.

That's my two yen's worth anyway.
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby Miguelsan on Wed May 23, 2018 1:17 am

I will add something to Prim's words, something that does affect us because it hits the mature side of the setting. It won't be the first time that something that started with an adult market target has been marketed to kids. And in many cases that causes a watering down of the original setting, after all you cannot sell such a violent anime (e.g. Ninja Scroll), or sexual video game (GTA) to kids! Excuse me? If my child is watching Ninja Scroll the problem lies with me for not monitoring what he is watching, not with the movie.

So the risk is there. Parents won't bother checking that little Timmy is reading until someone points out that Deathwing is filled with allusions to sex, demons, body horror... then they will flip their lids and DEMAND in capital letters that GW changes the background and censors/disowns huge parts of the setting because 8yo Timmy was reading a book aimed at teens or adults that happens to be in the same universe that 40k for kids.

We have age codes for video games and in many cases parents don't bother, yet the scandal when they see some boobs or inappropriate sex (AKA all sex) is huge every time.

Laugh at the "less progressive types" that are freaking out all you want but there is a real risk that the 40k setting gets hijacked for the worse by "progressive" values. It has happened to Star Wars, a much bigger IP, and it gave us that Rei in all her marysue glory.

Think of the children! is a very popular battlecry in the US I'm told.
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby The Other Dave on Wed May 23, 2018 2:00 am

(I'll leave, for the moment, the idea that a strong female protagonist in a Star Wars movie is somehow pandering to a progressive audience...)

I mean, the "watering down" ship has already sailed, though, hasn't it? No more human bombs, no more "ratskins*", no more rules called "psycho bitch" on female characters - 40K has moved very far towards the mainstream from its roots in satirical / cloistered-white-guy 80s British culture over the past 30 years. And personally I'd happily argue that this movement is largely a good thing, especially as we get farther and farther removed from the culture that spawned and gave context to the satirical elements, and as more and more people who aren't, well, white guys get into the hobby.

Really, we like to talk up how dark the setting is, but if you look at it there's very little explicit (in the sense that it would freak hypothetical parents out) description of the minutae of 40K's grimdarkness outside of some (not even all!) of the BL books - certainly not in the rulebooks or codexes, and I'm sure that's entirely deliberate. Even BL (from what I understand) has a wide range in it, from some pretty grody stuff to some stuff that's essentially comedy, and - as Miguelsan says - exposure to any part of that is all on the reader or their guardians, just like for any other media. Expanding the range of fiction in the universe isn't going to hurt or change what's already out there in any way, any more than the Ewok movie existing prohibited them from showing Anakin slaughter children in Episode III, or from killing *everybody* in Rogue One. Big fictional universes have room for many kinds of stories - it's one of the joys of 'em.

Personally, I think the potential good of getting more people (and more kinds of people - having actual girls and non-white people on the covers of these books is fantastic) into the hobby far outweighs the (I think much smaller) potential of no longer being able to see explicit descriptions of how terrible life is in some corners of 40K in the already limited places in the fiction that go into that detail. (TBQH, considering that there are, say, a lot of people who will defend to their dying breath a certain famously well-executed but stomach-churning diorama, I sometimes think the hobby might deserve a good brain-scrubbing - some people will gladly take "grimdark" and run with it to places where they really shouldn't...)

*And if you think a Native American analogue called "ratskins" is OK, I have a hypothetical African analogue called "nigg-ghars" that I'd like to pitch to you. (That might need some explanation for people who aren't from North America - "redskin" is by far the worst thing you could possibly call a Native American.)
Miniatures painted in 2018:
28mm: 91 infantry, 6 vehicles, 2 buildings, assorted other terrain-y bits
Currently focusing on: 40K, Shadespire, Age of Sigmar?, Malifaux
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