Monday, January 5, 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around, Eventually


For about two months now, my son has been expressing an interest in starting up a Warhammer 40,000 army. Briefly, for those not in the know, Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop wargame. It uses models (british english: toy soldiers) to represent the personnel and vehicles of an army based in Games Workshop's science fiction universe. You battle an opponent who has their own army on a set of miniature scenery. WH40K, as the game is usually abbreviated, is Games Workshop's most popular game, although not my personal favorite.

In any case, it was probably only a matter of time. My son remembers, dimly, a time when he ran around a warehouse full of toy soldiers, or barged in on friends of mine slaving over layouts and copy for White Dwarf magazine. UK design studio staff have met my kids. So now that he's ten suddenly he's put two-and-two together and realized he has some sort of heritage in this stuff. He probably would have found it cool and gravitated to it even without my employment history with them. It's hard to say. But knowing what he knows just injects that much more fervor into the hobby for him.

I left GW on good terms. My years with them were almost all positive, and I will never say a bad word about the company. A lot of GW fans and stockists have held negative opinions about them (as any popular company is going to generate), but being on the inside, and hearing the reasons why some decisions had been made I 'get' GW and why it does what it does. Really the only reason I'm not still working there is the move of their manufacturing facility from Baltimore to Memphis, and not making that move with them was my choice.

So I have no hard feelings. But I do miss that job. It was a large part of my identity and a lot of the residue still informs me today, even though I don't actively cultivate the hobby itself into my daily activities any more. Really my avoidance has more to do with feelings of melancholy and nostalgia than any sort of dislike.

But as I've said, it was probably only a matter of time before I had to face GW again. I don't know how ramped up I'll get about this stuff, I have enough things on my plate in both responsibilities AND pastimes... but I know that if my kid shows enough persistance to actually build this hobby for himself, I'll work with him. After Christmas when I started to help him paint some of the new soldiers he got, I found the old methods and rhythm to doing the work just fell right into place. Like riding a bicycle. Often when I worked for GW, people would quit, only to find themselves back there after months or even years. I used to joke that it was like the mafia. Once GW had their hooks into you, you could never leave.

I may be finding this to be true for myself. Truer than even I knew.

No comments:

Post a Comment