Sunday, 28 July 2013

Ban tabletop gaming..?

Following that post on banning Warhammer from last week, look what's just turned up at Slashdot.

A request for details of the web filter that may be introduced in the UK reveals it could also block "esoteric material". What does esoteric mean..?

Choose your dictionary. From the entry at Wiktionary:

  1. Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest, or an enlightened inner circle.
  2. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations.
  3. Confidential; private.

That's pretty open. Could it cover niche interests - like wargaming and roleplaying - not always shown so positively? Or dungeons, dragons and made-up worlds, god-emperors and grimdark sci-fi? Could it just collect them up accidentally? Or not so accidentally..?

That's even before we get to "violent material".

In fact, it looks like it could be extended to cover any non-mainstream interest. Blocking an interest could mean it vanishes or declines. It could mean whole areas of knowledge being hard to find or access, maybe lost. With a tool like this you could remake a world.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Ban Warhammer?

Back at the wheel here, briefly at least, to share with those who might otherwise miss it the thinking of a blogger at the Telegraph, supposedly a 'quality' daily British newspaper.

It's arguably not much of a paper today, but UK national media may have gone off a cliff, or been pushed, with just one less-flawed gem pushing back to keep us better informed.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, the blog post itself skips a fair few reasons for banning the hobby, if anyone did want to make the case. It seems to be a joke piece. A few tasters:

... The whole experience is pitched at teenage boys, but some of them never quite grow up and you’ll find men with dank pony tails still collecting well into their thirties. Emphasis upon "boys" and "men" - this underworld is no place for a lady.
Although it now makes me sick to my stomach to think about it, I can’t deny there was some joy in my Warhammer problem. Boys get a unique kick out of collecting and owning things that other boys don’t have, in beating them in wits or being able to show off a magnificently painted griffin. But it did function like an addiction. Once you get hooked, you find that the price of the models creeps up and up with every year. New ones are always coming on the market, and every five years or so they change the rules completely - which necessitates buying a whole new bunch of stuff. ...
... Lonely and gripped by self-loathing, I succumbed. A few days later, unshaven and sleepless, I found myself sitting amid a pile of skeleton warriors - looking on at the ruination of my life. A little while later, I threw it all in a dustbin and tried to get my stuff together. I’ve been clean ever since.

More here.

Don't forget that gem, the Grauniad. They may be the last looking out for us globally too.