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Did Warhammer and/or 40K get caught up with the tabletop games satanic panic hysteria of the 80s?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




secretForge wrote:
Just Playing 'Devils Advocate' Here.

But we are oddly placed to actually appreciate where these concerned religious individuals were and are coming from.

Picture if you will, a universe in which evil forces exist, with godlike power, and seductive corrupting influence. Picture in this world that humanity protected itself against such very real corruption with empowered individuals who would hunt down such avenues of evil into society and destroy it, in whatever form it came in. In such a universe, destroying a game for the mere inclusion of symbolism of the great enemy, would not only be reasonable, but an entirely good idea.

Back to the real world... If you happen to believe that such a powerful entity as the devil exists, and concerns themselves with the corruption of humanity, protecting our children through removal of their taint from children's games, is a perfectly reasonable and sensible precaution to take. regardless of the 'its just a game' defence.


I mean, sure. But in 40k the chaos gods are real. In our universe the devil is a dualistic concept stolen from one religion and pasted on to another via three separate characters krazy-glued together to become one guy, popularized by a couple bits of 1500s-era fanfiction and drawn using the likeness of some old statues of even less related deities from another religion entirely.
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut






If the Devil really was/is concerned with corrupting children, you'd think that - as one of the most powerful beings in the universe - he'd have a more effective method than via toy soldiers and/or roleplaying games...
   
Made in us
Thunderhawk Pilot Dropping From Orbit




San Jose, CA

My mom didnt like me playing D&D so I was looking for another thing to do and Rogue Trader was just starting to hit its stride.

She saw no pentagrams(in what I bought) and liked that it was futuristic. My dad dug it cuz it had guns so it was an immediate win for me.

But there was significant uproar in my boy scout troop by parents afraid that we'd all start wanting to kill children and worship the dark gods. A couple of scouts parents pulled them when they found out that we were playing the devils game. This is especially hilarious looking back after almost 30yrs and I've yet to kill any small children(not for lack of trying) and haven't worshipped satan(that I know of).




Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Lord Damocles wrote:
If the Devil really was/is concerned with corrupting children, you'd think that - as one of the most powerful beings in the universe - he'd have a more effective method than via toy soldiers and/or roleplaying games...


that's how insidious the whole thing is.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/26 03:02:41


 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps




 solkan wrote:
As someone who grew up through the satanic panic in the US, I thought Chromedog's characterization was pretty accurate. Have you seen the US on the news recently?

I don't have my books handy, but I could have sworn that Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness in the US had an advisory label on it.


I got mine in the UK, and it had a label as well.
   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok




Douglasville, GA

 solkan wrote:
As someone who grew up through the satanic panic in the US, I thought Chromedog's characterization was pretty accurate. Have you seen the US on the news recently?


It's not that I disagree that America is less secular than many other developed nations. It's that I take offence at the antagonistic way they presented the information. Basically the equivalent of saying: "Of course they did this; they all descended from douchebags". Which is, obviously, not a very accurate or nice thing to say.

Additionally, their statement was extremely one-dimensional, ignoring many other factors in those religious groups being "kicked out" of Europe, as well as inferring that the groups that did the "kicking out" hadn't committed any atrocities themselves.

Lastly, yes. America is in the news a lot. You can attribute that to a lot of things (a large population, most media being American owned, a far more heated political climate, an extremely vocal populace, etc), but the most important factor is just human nature. We want to be entertained, and as sad as it is to say, we're entertained more by the "bad" things than the "good". For every Westboro Baptist picketing, there's hundreds to thousands of untold stories of churches helping those in need. But you don't hear about that, because those stories don't get good ratings.
   
Made in us
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Norwalk, Connecticut

MtG has DEFINITELY pissed off some hyper-conservatives. Growing up, my friend’s mom took his Magic cards for being devil-worshipping and tried to take mine to destroy them too.

Meanwhile, I have my Daemons in a glass case in my dining room; had a Pastor over a year ago, he looked at them and said “cool, these look like the World of Warcraft game my daughter works for”. So...YMMV?

Reality is a nice place to visit, but I'd hate to live there.

Manchu wrote:I'm a Catholic. We eat our God.


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Made in ca
Courageous Space Marine Captain





secretForge wrote:
Just Playing 'Devils Advocate' Here.

But we are oddly placed to actually appreciate where these concerned religious individuals were and are coming from.

Picture if you will, a universe in which evil forces exist, with godlike power, and seductive corrupting influence. Picture in this world that humanity protected itself against such very real corruption with empowered individuals who would hunt down such avenues of evil into society and destroy it, in whatever form it came in. In such a universe, destroying a game for the mere inclusion of symbolism of the great enemy, would not only be reasonable, but an entirely good idea.

Back to the real world... If you happen to believe that such a powerful entity as the devil exists, and concerns themselves with the corruption of humanity, protecting our children through removal of their taint from children's games, is a perfectly reasonable and sensible precaution to take. regardless of the 'its just a game' defence.


except that's a weak defence because it can be applied to anything you dislike (nothing in the bible says "thou shalt not play D&D" instead the whole backlash agaisnt it required some mental gymnastics and reading into things beyond the intent) and the thing is it is applied to other things. this whole "PROTECT THE COMMUNITY FROM DA DEVIL" additude is whats responsable for homophobia, religious discrimination (I've encountered people who seem convinced an atheist must be immoral, thats religious discrimination no matter how you slice it) and all sorts of other ills. It's simply unacceptable.

Ultimately the power of an Inquisitor extends as far as he can make it extend 
   
Made in gb
Stalwart Dark Angels Space Marine




East Midlands UK

leopard wrote:
used to visit the Derby store in this period, yes, they got Christian nut jobs outside every so often. usually they were there for about as long as it took the local paper to take pictures then cleared off.

did ask one of them what they were protesting about, they didn't seem entirely clear


I was working there at the time, they were trying to grow a small church of an evangelical conservative type, most of the rhetoric was aimed at recruiting like minded people rather than converting GW fans. They aimed quite a lot of abuse at me as I am a practicing chaote who made the pages of the Derby Evening Telegraph from time to time. However, when not being observed by anyone of influence they were really quite nice people and I am still on nodding terms with a few of them. On the whole, from the early 80s to the mid 90s Britain was experiencing a move away from the established churches to more "New Age" forms of spirituality so the "satanic panic" just didn't have the same impact as it did in the USA.
   
Made in pl
Regular Dakkanaut




 Irbis wrote:
 Argive wrote:
For better or worse, "small minded fools" are allowed to have opinions.

Ah, yes. "Allowed". And then you wake up with anti-vaxxers, birthers, ultra-fundie churches, or, to look for EU side things, stuff like Brexsh*t, pegida or league.

It would be one thing if the sewage at least stayed in host country, but unfortunately, it spills everywhere and you end up with stuff like US bible belt nonsense influencing priests of mainstream church right in the middle of Europe to burn Harry Potter, Twilight, and a few assorted RPG and wargames for SATANISM, this very year:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/01/harry-potter-among-books-burned-by-priests-in-poland

The only reason you don't see 40K there was probably it was too expensive for the kids in that rural town to buy and people who could afford it are among these sick of the church and already bailed.

I wish such stupidity was either punishable or met with reeducation to modern standards


But stupidity is punishable! If you make something stupid you are punished by it. Practically every single time except if you can put a blame on some other person
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran



London

No. Satanism wasn't seen as cool, but wargaming (a fairly major hobby back then, even if Warhammer was just starting out) was just murdering fleeing soldiers with artillery by rolling dice, and no-one saw any harm in that.
   
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Screaming Shining Spear






Interesting. I suppose historical war games have been around for ages.

Does anyone know whats the oldest TT game is that we are aware aware of?
I define that to mean: Uses miniatures to represent units, and has a battlefield board the game simulates battle.

Chess uses a grid so would not classify as a TT war game, although highly strategic and arguably still the most masterful game to learn so gotta give props to chess! Still have never beat my dad in 30 years although we have reached a stalemate many times...
Sorry if this is moving way off topic I will shortly create a new thread as its moving away from 40k..

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/27 02:42:35


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AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "
 
   
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Agile Revenant Titan





Fayetteville NC

I started playing 40K in the late 80's and never experienced it. Played D&D prior to that and didn't have any issues either. This was all in Florida.

Have I really been playing 40K for nearly 30 years? 
   
Made in ca
Courageous Space Marine Captain





 Argive wrote:
Interesting. I suppose historical war games have been around for ages.

Does anyone know whats the oldest TT game is that we are aware aware of?
I define that to mean: Uses miniatures to represent units, and has a battlefield board the game simulates battle.

Chess uses a grid so would not classify as a TT war game, although highly strategic and arguably still the most masterful game to learn so gotta give props to chess! Still have never beat my dad in 30 years although we have reached a stalemate many times...
Sorry if this is moving way off topic I will shortly create a new thread as its moving away from 40k..


modern wargaming in the reckongizable form dates back to the 1800s and Prussia IIRC

Ultimately the power of an Inquisitor extends as far as he can make it extend 
   
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East Midlands UK

The_Real_Chris wrote:
...but wargaming (a fairly major hobby back then, even if Warhammer was just starting out) was just murdering fleeing soldiers with artillery by rolling dice, and no-one saw any harm in that.


Not necessarily these days though. I ran a school club for a few years in the 1990s/early 2000s and we were told to keep it all fantasy if possible and if not then no Colonial, no Crusades and nothing later than the Napoleonic Wars. Satanism is seen as being far less harmful than inflaming real life tensions.
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





Well 40k had been a target of:


1) PETA - cause Space Wolves wear fur


2) Feminists - cause females can't be space marines


3) Other virtue signalers - cause it doesn't represent [insert "marginalized group"] like they want it to


Nothing new, just various kinds of insaneous trying to get recognition by attacking a visible brand
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Some, but not much, in my experience.

It expressed itself in things like "You play with demons?" and "You can't have a God Emperor" One parent I knew wouldn't let their kid play because there were evil side(s) in the game (Well, who DO the good guys fight then?). By the same token, the kid wasn't allowed to read Harry Potter (it's got magic in it).

Going back before GW, WW2 wargaming got bashed every now and then (you put swastikas on that tank!), and, as has been said before "wargaming glorifies war, and creates a violent mindset" (chess, rugby, anyone?)

There's always been a whisper of objection, and from an anti Satanist perspective, GW sets itself up with several easy targets (pseudo-church, daemons, xenophobia, etc). I don't expect it to end in a grimdark environment, but since it's not REAL, it doesn't bother me much either.
   
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Dakka Veteran



London

 Argive wrote:
Interesting. I suppose historical war games have been around for ages.

Does anyone know whats the oldest TT game is that we are aware aware of?
I define that to mean: Uses miniatures to represent units, and has a battlefield board the game simulates battle.


Would you believe it is still played today...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriegsspiel

The discerning Victorian, for whom it was something of a craze at one point and played int he drawing rooms of the wealthy as part of a social occasion, would use lead figures for units. Some military units did as well but most used wooden blocks.

In terms of wargaming a battle it was used in various forms as part of military planning for some time, but as a narrative way. Kriegsspiel was I think the first to regularise random chance being a guiding factor for some battlefield situations.

In terms of a common mans hobby that came along in the 20th century with the first recognised publication being https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Wars - Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books by H. G. Wells.

It spread and become more common and for a look at how the media viewed it check out this Pathe reel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stbxQxGz1UM

Also http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.com/2012/04/while-idly-browsing-british-pathe.html

And for a general overview of hobbies...
https://www.britishpathe.com/video/men-will-be-boys
   
Made in gb
Norn Queen






 Argive wrote:
Interesting. I suppose historical war games have been around for ages.

Does anyone know whats the oldest TT game is that we are aware aware of?
I define that to mean: Uses miniatures to represent units, and has a battlefield board the game simulates battle.
The oldest (published) one I could find with a quick search is "Rules for the Jane Naval Wargame" published 1898.

https://thomo.coldie.net/wargames/naval-wargame-rules/rules-for-the-jane-naval-wargame/

However, much as J.R.R Tolkien didn't invent the fantasy genre but helped re-popularise and define it, it was the English writer H. G. Wells and his 1913 game "Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books" (imagine releasing that book today, yikes!) that is considered the modern precursor of miniature tabletop wargaming.

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/16th-august-1913/24/little-wars-by-h-g-wells-frank-palmer-2s-6d

Edit: Dang it Bobby I was too slow.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/27 14:39:10


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Dublin, Ireland

Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books


Yee Gods

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By 1-irt: Still as long as Hissy keeps showing up this is one of the most entertaining threads ever.

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 ZenBadger wrote:

Not necessarily these days though. I ran a school club for a few years in the 1990s/early 2000s and we were told to keep it all fantasy if possible and if not then no Colonial, no Crusades and nothing later than the Napoleonic Wars. Satanism is seen as being far less harmful than inflaming real life tensions.


Yes, we have moved away from worrying about what are to some people imaginary devils to the real ones from our history

It is a remarkably touchy subject in Wargames forums, with threads often being shut down as they descend into proxies for America's (bizarre to my eyes) culture/identity battles.

An example was this piece
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5waqd/games-have-always-tried-to-whitewash-nazis-as-just-german-soldiers
Which talked about computer, war and boardgames. It was basically denounced on various forums by people who had seemed up until that point fairly unremarkable wargamers as being by lefty/pinko/communist/liberal/whatever journalists who knew nothing. It was actually written by a fairly well known individual in wargaming and simulation circles who has done a few games of their own.

It did though lay bare some of the stuff that bubbles away inside people.

End of the day for me I am reasonably well acquainted by the horrors and evil of these wars and past conduct by Europeans and others in their own countries and the world, with an understanding of morality and rationalisations of the day, and I know that constant use of imagery makes it more acceptable (indeed it is a key point for psyops and communication campaigns and units like 77 Brigade have done work around how to use this to NATO advantage or at least counter it). But I still like having my Germans and Brits fight it out in the cruel seas for example.

   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





 ArcaneHorror wrote:
I'm sure as you all know, during the 80s and beginning of the 90s, there were certain groups, many of them parents and religious groups, who were convinced that tabletop roleplaying was luring people, particularly kids, to engaging in deviant behavior and possibly getting involved in Satanism and various other largely-imagined cults. D&D took the brunt of this due to being the most popular, but I'm curious, did the original Warhammer and/or its 40K split-off come under noticeable attack as well? Were there any 'scandals' connected with GW/Citadel, or any events of note, or did the hoopla largely just pass it by? Warhammer was birthed during this period, and I'm just curious if it fell under the scopes of anybody who thought that tabletop roleplay, with or without models, was corrupting the youth and/or leading them to eternal damnation.


This must have been an American issue. People in Europe know that god, the devil and all their various minions belong in the realm of fiction.
   
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Douglasville, GA

I'm relatively certain that the headquarters of the Christian faith is in Europe, so I don't know how factual that statement is.
   
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Norn Queen






 flandarz wrote:
I'm relatively certain that the headquarters of the Christian faith is in Europe, so I don't know how factual that statement is.
I mean, if you want to get technical, the only non-heretical branch of Christianity (the Eastern Orthodox Church) has no central doctrinal or governmental authority. Did you perhaps mean "Roman Catholic Church"?

But then again, Christianity is just heretical Judaism which is just heretical Canaanite religion which is just heretical Mesopotamian religion.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/06/27 21:23:41


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Rome is the capital of the catholic faith - The oldest formalized/centralized form of Christianity. (The one with all the high profile child molesting scandals and wealth).

However, Christianity in general is pretty spread out with many sects and off shoots and diverse as people practicing it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/27 21:24:42


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AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "
 
   
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 Ratius wrote:
Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books


Yee Gods


Yeah. Can you imagine the amount of angry neck beards that would be blowing up the internet if you implied some girls might be as smart as they
   
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Norn Queen






 Argive wrote:
Rome is the capital of the catholic faith - The oldest formalized/centralized form of Christianity. (The one with all the high profile child molesting scandals and wealth).

However, Christianity in general is pretty spread out with many sects and off shoots and diverse as people practicing it.
The Roman Catholic church is not the oldest formalised Christianity, just the most popular one.

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 flandarz wrote:
Yup. Thus why I didn't engage.


As an american I don't see anything wrong with the statement as is. It's pretty clear that he/she is right, that is what happened, and now 250+ years later we're back at it again!

I can remember a specific event that happened at my local game store around 15 years ago when I was still in middle school with a parent coming into the store and ripping it to shreds. Turning over tables, ripping up magic cards, brandishing a knife she threatened to castrate the store owner. She did several thousand dollars worth of damage and for months she and a group of 3-4 other parents protested the store for hours and hours per day. Holding religious signs, singing hymns and constantly attacking verbally anyone who tried to go in the store. Twice she was charged with assault for hitting customers with her bible. Every legal trick the owner came up with to make her leave, only emboldened her more and she would always find a way around it. We tried to ignore her, and that only angered her more.

Eventually she stopped coming though. As I understand it, she got hit by a car and was paralyzed from the waist down a few months later on her way to the store.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/27 22:39:49


 
   
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Iowa

 Strg Alt wrote:
 ArcaneHorror wrote:
I'm sure as you all know, during the 80s and beginning of the 90s, there were certain groups, many of them parents and religious groups, who were convinced that tabletop roleplaying was luring people, particularly kids, to engaging in deviant behavior and possibly getting involved in Satanism and various other largely-imagined cults. D&D took the brunt of this due to being the most popular, but I'm curious, did the original Warhammer and/or its 40K split-off come under noticeable attack as well? Were there any 'scandals' connected with GW/Citadel, or any events of note, or did the hoopla largely just pass it by? Warhammer was birthed during this period, and I'm just curious if it fell under the scopes of anybody who thought that tabletop roleplay, with or without models, was corrupting the youth and/or leading them to eternal damnation.


This must have been an American issue. People in Europe know that god, the devil and all their various minions belong in the realm of fiction.

Should probably lock the thread. It seems as r/Atheism is leaking in.

If the truth can destroy it, then it deserves to be destroyed. 
   
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Lets just stick to the rules instead, like being polite. It is not polite to make gross generalizations about a vast swathe of humanity, nor is polite to insult people because they happen to believe in a creed that you may not, or even if you do.

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 chromedog wrote:
Google "Mary Whitehouse" in reference to the "satanic outcries" of the 80s. This is the main name for the UK side of things.

A house proud town mouse. Charade, she was!

"One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to such heresy" - Nietzsche 
   
 
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