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Calculating Commissar




pontiac, michigan; usa

I remember a saying I've heard before though. If you try to appeal to everybody then you appeal to nobody. It's just hard to find common ground with so many.

In the case of women it could be good in some cases but the more different groups join a hobby the more it changes and in any hobby of decades long hardcore fans they hate change of most kinds.

I see this as a tough balance. You want new people because without them a brand becomes stale and stagnate and eventually loses money. However if you change all the time then you have no loyal fans and they won't buy all the various crap you make and brand loyalty (hopefully for positive company decisions) is definitely nowhere to be found with new customers.

So sure I'd want some more women but I can't help but wonder if there aren't many greater issues to address with the game that would make it more accessible for people that already wanted to play but lacked something.

-----

I think gw for all its faults I think new management gets how to get gw's image out there to the public like with those bobble head dudes.

I suppose I'm derailing the thread though.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/03 00:09:22


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 flamingkillamajig wrote:
I remember a saying I've heard before though. If you try to appeal to everybody then you appeal to nobody. It's just hard to find common ground with so many.

In the case of women it could be good in some cases but the more different groups join a hobby the more it changes and in any hobby of decades long hardcore fans they hate change of most kinds.

I see this as a tough balance. You want new people because without them a brand becomes stale and stagnate and eventually loses money. However if you change all the time then you have no loyal fans and they won't buy all the various crap you make and brand loyalty (hopefully for positive company decisions) is definitely nowhere to be found with new customers.

So sure I'd want some more women but I can't help but wonder if there aren't many greater issues to address with the game that would make it more accessible for people that already wanted to play but lacked something.

-----

I think gw for all its faults I think new management gets how to get gw's image out there to the public like with those bobble head dudes.

I suppose I'm derailing the thread though.


No, it's a valid concern. Bringing in new customers by doing something that will alienate much of your existing customer base is a risky move. It paid off for GW when they blew up WFB and replaced it with Age of Sigmar, but how much money did Hasbro lose (or fail to meet projections, which to corporate executives is the same thing) on D&D 4E?

Of course, such corporate moves are far beyond the scope of what you can expect the participants in an online forum to undertake. We can support them when they do make such moves, but they have to make the move before we can support it.

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pontiac, michigan; usa

@Vulcan: I'd say WHFB being replaced with AoS was bad timing more to do with Vermintide and Total War: Warhammer being released right around Fantasy's death which could've been potentially huge for Warhammer Fantasy but i think New Management managed to fix AoS enough since it was first conceived. I imagine there's a lot to figure out when you work for a company. For all the odd choices New GW Management has taken it has made some decent ones. They even took Sisters from on life support to very popular which is honestly incredible.

I suppose my choice would be more to make Warhammer more accessible for people that want to play but maybe don't have several hundred or thousands in cash just lying around and nowhere better to spend it. Being priced out of the hobby even for hobby lovers is a huge concern. I think Specialist Games made Warhammer more accessible price-wise and for a time they were big locally but i dunno where that is now and where it's going.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/07/03 01:55:54


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Affordability is a problem for GW, meanwhile they release a more inclusive Cadian upgrade sprue which when combined with recent price rises has taken the price of 10 Cadians from $41UD to $77AUD But at least now you have female and varying ethnicity heads on the models you can't afford.
   
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Calculating Commissar




pontiac, michigan; usa

There's also the issue of 40k as a setting. I think a woman on this very board mentioned she preferred WHFB to 40k just because 40k is a dark ugly universe where everything is overly bleak. I'm not sure if most women think this way but when actual female warhammer players are saying this that might be an issue.

Dunno if AoS is better in that regard but oddly I felt WHFB had some somewhat good sides or shades of gray in good guy factions rather than 40k's different shades of black. Sadly 40k can't really change this without becoming something very different than what it's generally been and fluff rewrites are bad enough.

As far as getting women into the hobby. I'd rather just see if a game or book does it. I imagine a dystopian universe doesn't work so well for women but old warhammer fantasy and AoS books might work. I really don't expect 40k to have many women wargamers in it. It's just too dark and gritty. That said I've seen women cosplay 40k so maybe that's one way to go about it.



This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/03 05:39:30


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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Honestly I don't know if GW did do better with AoS over Old World. Lets not forget Old World had issues with its system that could have been fixed - heck just giving it new models and attention led to End Times making it popular again.

GW also spent a lot of years with AoS not selling well after the disaster of a launch.

Plus, as said, almost everything AoS does, Old World could have done as well. In the end I think however well AoS does is as good as Old World could have done had it been properly supported at the right time with the right marketing.


That isn't to say AoS is in any way bad, just that its not outright superior to Old World as a creative setting.

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This made me wonder...do women have power fantasies? You know, the ones about gaining attention and respect through acts of recklessness and/or violence.

My wife says she never had anything like that but I know it's a regular thing for boys and it's a trope for male characters in stories.

A quick search with a 'site:edu' tag didn't provide a satisfactory answer.
   
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Tunneling Trygon




Mexico

Power fantasy shows and characters for women exist: She-Ra, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, etc.

Although I do believe power fantasy for women are usually more about gaining freedom or some other higher goal than just gaining attention or respect. Power and violence in the sake of something rather than for its own sake, and 40k is violence for its own sake.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/03 14:43:01


 
   
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 Tyran wrote:
Although I do believe power fantasy for women are usually more about gaining freedom or some other higher goal than just gaining attention or respect. Power and violence in the sake of something rather than for its own sake, and 40k is violence for its own sake.
I was browsing the channels the other day and caught a little of 'bird girl' which gave me the same kind of vibes as bits and pieces i'd seen of the Harley Quinn cartoon. Lots of random violence for the sake of 'lol, random concequenceless violence'.
They seem like reasonably popular shows.
   
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Mexico

Harley Quinn also does have an extensive character driven narrative focused on character relations. It does have violence for the sake of violence, so yeah point, but also violence for the sake of violence tends to backfire on Harley as a recurring plot point and to highlight it as character flaw.

Moreover Harley Quinn is usually outmatched by more powerful heroes or villains, because she is a street level villain in the same setting that has Superman and Darkseid (both which she has personally met), so a lot of the time she is the underdog and thus not very "power fantasy".

I do wonder if this has a reflection in 40k. I mean, if the female 40k gamer is more likely to play "underdog" factions like the IG or the Eldar.

No idea about bird girl, never watched it.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/07/03 15:32:59


 
   
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 Tyran wrote:
Moreover Harley Quinn is usually outmatched by more powerful heroes or villains, because she is a street level villain in the same setting that has Superman and Darkseid (both which she has personally met), so a lot of the time she is the underdog and thus not very "power fantasy".
Only caught a few bits here and there, Harley leading an army of parademons to slaughter everyone in gotham and then just deciding after a while that nah, do something else.
Out of curiosity I had a quick youtube search on superman from the show and... he appears to have a room temperature IQ. As for Darkseid i'd lean more towards celsius than fahrenheit. I guess that's just the style the show decided to run with.

As for what factions are more common with female players, personally speaking i've seen - admech, custodes, marines, daemons, grey knights, and tyranids. No pattern at all.
   
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Mexico

A.T. wrote:
Only caught a few bits here and there, Harley leading an army of parademons to slaughter everyone in gotham and then just deciding after a while that nah, do something else.
Out of curiosity I had a quick youtube search on superman from the show and... he appears to have a room temperature IQ. As for Darkseid i'd lean more towards celsius than fahrenheit. I guess that's just the style the show decided to run with.

As for what factions are more common with female players, personally speaking i've seen - admech, custodes, marines, daemons, grey knights, and tyranids. No pattern at all.


I mean, to get that parademon army she had to get her ass kicked by Granny and only survives thanks to Psycho, and when she realized destroying Gotham wasn't distracting her of her emotional issues, psycho betrays her, hijacks the army and she spends the rest of the season almost being killed by parademons, Psycho or her mind controlled friends.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/07/03 16:27:35


 
   
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 Tyran wrote:
I mean, to get that parademon army she had to get her ass kicked by Granny...
"So I just gotta beat up an old lady and I get an army?"

Not really trying to make any point here other than that the mindless violence, with emphasis on the mindless, doesn't appear to have hurt the show. Birdgirl, for what it's worth (and what little i've seen) was literally violence for the sake of gaining attention and respect.
   
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Tunneling Trygon




Mexico

A.T. wrote:
"So I just gotta beat up an old lady and I get an army?"

Not really trying to make any point here other than that the mindless violence, with emphasis on the mindless, doesn't appear to have hurt the show. Birdgirl, for what it's worth (and what little i've seen) was literally violence for the sake of gaining attention and respect.


And then Harley got the gak beaten out of her by said old lady. No one gets a "Harley is a powerful woman" from that scene, but rather a "Harley's poor impulse control and poor decision making strikes again."

Mindless violence and power fantasy are related, but not the same thing. Harley does try to gain recognition and respect through violence, but it always backfires or only provides momentary satisfaction or it ends driving her friends away, it is basically a deconstruction of power fantasy.

This message was edited 7 times. Last update was at 2021/07/03 17:35:48


 
   
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 Tyran wrote:
Mindless violence and power fantasy are related, but not the same thing. Harley does try to gain recognition and respect through violence, but it always backfires or only provides momentary satisfaction or it ends driving her friends away, it is basically a deconstruction of power fantasy.
You make it sound like 40k.

Well, 40k if Khorne was fabulous and Slaanesh was a misunderstood anti-hero.
   
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Tunneling Trygon




Mexico

Which they aren't. Hell neither is really a character, both are mostly background concepts that once upon a blue moon actually do something.
   
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Now to really make myself unpopular...

We talk about how women don't want to be around wargamers who act in a... shall we say, skeevy manner? Always flirting when it's clearly unwelcome? Sometimes even going as far as outright sexual harassment?

Consider some of the places skeevy behavior is not just common, but almost expected. Bars. Nightclubs. Dance halls (if such things still exist). Skeevy behavior galore. And yet, young women flock there. Why? Because there's something there they want enough to deal with the skeevy behavior.

If women want something enough they'll ignore skeevy behavior. There's proof aplenty every weekend in bars and clubs all over the word.


Now with that in mind, should we condone or ignore skeevy behavior in our cohorts? HECK NO. If for no other reason than because it's rude and unpleasant in and of itself, and gets in the way of what we're there for - playing wargames. But I submit that occasional skeevy behavior is pretty far down the list of things that keep women out of wargaming, given that regular if not routine skeevy behavior does not keep women out of bars.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/05 01:45:04


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Bristol (UK)

I thought receiving the 'skeevy behaviour' was the point of going to bars and nightclubs.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/05 07:23:38


 
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

It's important to note that whilst we expect a baseline of behaviour from our fellow humans, there is also a huge amount of variety in the tolerance of behaviours based on the environment.

People will tolerate/expect that you'd behave differently in a bar or nightclub than you might in an office.


I think in part then saying that women have no problem with "skeevy" behaviour in a bar and thus it shouldn't be a barrier (or as much of one as its being made in this thread) is overlooking that the bar and the game club are two very different environments with two very different outlooks on the acceptable and expected behaviour of people in those environments.

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Solahma






RVA

In the end more gamers is better all round.
That gets said a lot, it sounds good, but I am not sure if it is true and there is nothing inherently necessarily true about it.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/07/05 09:42:48


   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

 Manchu wrote:
In the end more gamers is better all round.
That gets said a lot, it sounds good, but I am not sure if it is true and there is nothing inherently necessarily true about it.


What's the downside? Esp considering that many groups are lucky to have more than 10 people on regular game nights

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Bristol (UK)

I think it's less that the statement itself is necessarily false, rather the assumptions around it.

Even just introducing women into the hobby would change the dynamic. It's no secret that there's a large number of socially awkward people in wargaming.
In my younger days I wouldn't have felt as comfortable if there were pretty girls in the hobby as well, that may have prevented me from getting into it in quite the same way.
TBH that's still more true than I would like today, but I like to think I've improved.

The crux of sharing that is more women might mean less people overall.

Any changes to encourage more women (such as adding diplomatic solutions someone suggested earlier) would change the game in a way that people don't enjoy. So again, that might drive out more people that it brings in, and it would definitely change the game in a way many people would dislike
   
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Been Around the Block






 Overread wrote:
It's important to note that whilst we expect a baseline of behaviour from our fellow humans, there is also a huge amount of variety in the tolerance of behaviours based on the environment.

People will tolerate/expect that you'd behave differently in a bar or nightclub than you might in an office.


Yes, but... within cultural norms.

 Overread wrote:
I think in part then saying that women have no problem with "skeevy" behaviour in a bar and thus it shouldn't be a barrier (or as much of one as its being made in this thread) is overlooking that the bar and the game club are two very different environments with two very different outlooks on the acceptable and expected behaviour of people in those environments.


Me and my friends on a girls night out don't appreciate 'skeevy' behaviour.

The only reason I will put up with 'skeevy' behaviour is that's the cost of being where I want to be. Funnily enough, as I've gotten older the cost has exceeded the benefits. That, and other changes that come with age or growing up that happens as one gets older.

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London

 Easy E wrote:
Thanks for clearing it all up for me. In the meantime, please continue to discuss why there are not more women in wargaming. I am sure we will get to the bottom of it somehow.



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 kirotheavenger wrote:
I think it's less that the statement itself is necessarily false, rather the assumptions around it.

Even just introducing women into the hobby would change the dynamic. It's no secret that there's a large number of socially awkward people in wargaming.
In my younger days I wouldn't have felt as comfortable if there were pretty girls in the hobby as well, that may have prevented me from getting into it in quite the same way.
TBH that's still more true than I would like today, but I like to think I've improved.

The crux of sharing that is more women might mean less people overall.


Or it might not. This is all conjecture based on nothing but anecdote. I would argue that introducing socially awkward people to a wider range of other people within the context of a shared hobby experience would have a beneficial effect for those people in the long run.

Your position implies that every woman that takes up the hobby will somehow drive out at least one man merely by their presence. Given the under-representation of women in wargaming compared to other similar hobbies it seems like there's a fairly large untapped group of people there. It also seems like a stretch to theorise their inclusion within the hobby would lead to some exodus of the established player base.

 kirotheavenger wrote:

Any changes to encourage more women (such as adding diplomatic solutions someone suggested earlier) would change the game in a way that people don't enjoy. So again, that might drive out more people that it brings in, and it would definitely change the game in a way many people would dislike


Substitute "black people" for "women" in that statement. Are you still comfortable with it?

I'm not sure how having more people playing would "change the game in a way that people don't enjoy". Over the years I've met and played with a huge variety of people. Some treated the game like it was a genuine life-or-death contest, some had phenomenally painted armies and loved the fluff but were terrible gamers, some were uber-nerds, others were stereotypical jocks, some were extremely socially awkward, others were ridiculously charismatic and comfortable around people. Whether those people were male, female, black, white, gay, straight or anything else you can think of was irrelevant. The only thing that matters is whether the shared experience you're having is enjoyable for you. Even in cases where that experience wasn't enjoyable for me there were often other people in the group who would enjoy their hobby interactions with that same person.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Lets also not forget that a lot of the changes that have been suggested are not even going to touch the models or rules of the game.

They are social things like marketing, outreach, role models, advertising, social dynamic shifts, behaviour shifts, welcome groups, ventilation etc...


Basically marketing, social and environmental elements. The actual game, the sculpts, design, models and lore are less touched upon.

Meanwhile some things like more narrative and diplomatic elements to the pre and post game are things that, in general, are well received and purely optional elements to the game.



So in general we aren't looking at waking up to a massive night and day shift to the hobby; what we are more considering is a shift in attitudes and the composition of the social group and the marketing of it as well as behaviours tolerated within the group. Most of which are in general net gains (or present no loss) to current members.

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Slipspace wrote:
Substitute "black people" for "women" in that statement. Are you still comfortable with it?
I think you've missed the context of the earlier posts they were referring to - the suggestion that certain aspects of the game rules themselves are part of it's appeal or lack thereof.


Slipspace wrote:
I'm not sure how having more people playing would "change the game in a way that people don't enjoy".
Again in context it's what you do to get those additional people.

I guess the best example would be for you to think of a game that you don't like personally, and then consider something you do enjoy being altered to appeal to more people by bringing in the aspects that you didn't like from the other game.
You may end up with more people in the hobby, but would you still be one of them?
   
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A.T. wrote:
Slipspace wrote:
Substitute "black people" for "women" in that statement. Are you still comfortable with it?
I think you've missed the context of the earlier posts they were referring to - the suggestion that certain aspects of the game rules themselves are part of it's appeal or lack thereof.


Even if that's true (and I'm not sure your context argument is true after re-reading the last couple of pages) that sort of justification is all too common as a justification for continuing to exclude people for no good reason.

A.T. wrote:

Slipspace wrote:
I'm not sure how having more people playing would "change the game in a way that people don't enjoy".
Again in context it's what you do to get those additional people.

I guess the best example would be for you to think of a game that you don't like personally, and then consider something you do enjoy being altered to appeal to more people by bringing in the aspects that you didn't like from the other game.
You may end up with more people in the hobby, but would you still be one of them?


Again, not really seeing that context in the post I replied to. I don't think you need to change much, if anything, with the game itself to attract more women. Even if you did, the extreme lack of detail from people about what would need to be changed just comes across as another excuse rather than an honest analysis of the situation.
   
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World of Warcraft changed quite a bit over the years to appeal to a wider audience and many felt it made that game worse. Some changes contributed to the game reaching its peak popularity around late Wrath/early Cata, but it's steadily declined since then. I've played WoW Classic some and I would say most people I've encountered have zero interest in retail WoW so they killed some of their playerbase off in the long run...only to regain it via Classic.

Maybe a better example would be how The Elder Scrolls reached new heights in sales with Oblivion and again with Skyrim, but both games "dumbed down" mechanics, had inferior worldbuilding, and less creative main quests. Morrowind felt like a whole new world while Oblivion and Skyrim are generic fantasy settings, at least on the surface.


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Slipspace wrote:
Even if that's true...
You'll need to go back more than a couple of pages.

I mention this as the post you were replying to mentioned "such as adding diplomatic solutions someone suggested earlier" - which does refer to discussions of the differences between wargames, boardgames, rpgs, etc from a week or two back in this thread.

Hence the follow up example of how broadening appeal can also be shifting appeal when it changes how a game works. As compared to something like the recent increase in chess interest driven by fresh presentation of the same old system.
   
 
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