Family friendly 40k

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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby Konrad on Wed May 23, 2018 6:39 am

The Other Dave wrote:(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.........


I did do a double take when I saw that. This is not the GW I remember. And well, hey okay. I've grown up (a tiny bit) these last 30 years too. TOD makes a good point about the ship sailing. His fricken' Bigmarines don't even have any skulls on their armor for chrissakes!
And the "darkness" of the old settings is positively quaint compared to today's standards set by stuff like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead.
After my double take, I had an image of a meeting of all the executives at GW (with stock options) where they are all on their knees praying, "Finally, maybe Disney will buy us out. Oh please. Oh please let this work. Oh please......."
...and now his Head was full of nothing but Inchantments, Quarrels, Battles, Challenges, Wounds, Complaints, Amours, and abundance of Stuff and Impossibilities.....
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby Primarch on Wed May 23, 2018 7:03 am

The Other Dave wrote: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.

*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.)


Hmm. How did you get from "The grimness of the setting is it's main appeal" to "You must want more racism in your fiction"? That is quite a leap you've made there.

Yes, the setting has become more mainstream and more diversity is a good thing. Not all of the original ideas put forward in Rogue Trader were good, nor should they be propagated going forward.
The point I was putting forward was that taking away the main factor which differentiates your product from your competition (in this case kids cartoons, toys and TV games rather than other wargames) may not attract the people you want in the long run.
"Dad, I really liked those Scooby Doo style characters, why do I have to play with these monsters covered in skulls?"
Kids who like the dystopian imagery of the full setting probably won't like the twee kiddy stuff in the new books and vice versa. It's like expecting people who loved Twilight to become huge fans of The Strain.

A good example of a company making their products more inclusive without radically altering their fundamentals is Disney/Marvel's Black Panther. It had one of the biggest box office takes of all time simply because it changed the precedent of all white superheroes (with the occasional coloured side kick) and instead presented the exact same kind of story but with a cast full of talented African and African American actors.
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby The Other Dave on Wed May 23, 2018 7:27 am

@Konrad - they’ve got skulls galore actually! Boxes of ‘em on their belts even! :D

Primarch wrote:Hmm. How did you get from "The grimness of the setting is it's main appeal" to "You must want more racism in your fiction"? That is quite a leap you've made there.

That wasn’t the leap I was trying to make, sorry. My point (made using, I fear, a too-extreme example or two) was that while there may be some baby going out with the bathwater, many of the changes made to the setting have been positive.

I'm having trouble expressing myself clearly (arguments elsewhere may be bleeding in), so I'll back out here for a bit.
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Re: Family friendly 40k

Postby YellowStreak on Wed May 23, 2018 5:55 pm

The Other Dave wrote: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.)

Call me dense, but i never mentally associated 'Ratskin' = 'Redskin'. Obviously they're native american analogue, but to me the more objectionable stuff (in modern eyes) is in the fluff with their love of 'firewater' etc...
Didn't stop me playing them as a kid, actually even spurred an interest in reading some Native American legends...
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