Dragged into Turbolasers

Episode 73: Black Lives Matter and building a more inclusive hobby community

June 03, 2020 Adam Wier, Eric Wier, Gregory Wier
Dragged into Turbolasers
Episode 73: Black Lives Matter and building a more inclusive hobby community
Chapters
Dragged into Turbolasers
Episode 73: Black Lives Matter and building a more inclusive hobby community
Jun 03, 2020
Adam Wier, Eric Wier, Gregory Wier

In light of the killing of George Floyd, we talk about the Black Lives Matter movement and how people can support it. We also talk about how it relates to our hobby community and how we can all work towards making the community a more welcoming and inclusive place for all.

Some place you can find more information and help:

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Black Visions Collective

Reclaim the Block

Campaign Zero

A moving message and story from a member of the Warhammer community, Omegonedge.

Show Notes Transcript

In light of the killing of George Floyd, we talk about the Black Lives Matter movement and how people can support it. We also talk about how it relates to our hobby community and how we can all work towards making the community a more welcoming and inclusive place for all.

Some place you can find more information and help:

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Black Visions Collective

Reclaim the Block

Campaign Zero

A moving message and story from a member of the Warhammer community, Omegonedge.

Eric Wier :

Welcome to Dragged into Turbolasers, a Between the Bolter and Me podcast. Today we have somewhat of an impromptu episode, where we talk a little bit about the Black Lives Matter movement and its importance and also just how it pertains to the Wargaming community in general and how we can all play a part in reducing racism and making a more welcoming community. So with that, sit back and enjoy

Adam Wier :

So the next topic we're going to talk about is maybe a little heavier than what we typically talk about. But I think in kind of the light of recent events throughout the world, but I guess particularly in America, there been, there's been a lot of unrest about, like racial inequality in America, particularly due to some pretty egregious actions from different police officers in the country and the deaths of several individuals in America and...

Greg Wier :

Well it feels like ever, at least every month, there's a new black individual that has been killed at the hands of the police. And as you know, the, or as I'm sure everybody knows the death of George Floyd just recently feels like the thing that finally set everybody off, not that people weren't upset about the other incidents, but this, I guess was the final straw because there's lots of rioting in the streets now, which particularly is interesting in that we're still in the midst of a pandemic. So yeah, amidst one unprecedented situation, now another one has risen up. And normally, like it's good for people to keep distance from one another at the time of this pandemic, but I feel like standing up for people or black people is something that's important to do now and who knows if we'll see a rise in COVID-19 cases and stuff. I mean, we probably will but I guess time will tell for that.

Eric Wier :

I feel like there's particularly today like I feel if anyone has been on Instagram, at least in this sort of the miniature gaming community and probably all over there's been like kind of a whole swath of people posting stuff like blackout Tuesday and such, I think is, you know, is good that people are kind of trying to promote some solidarity there, although it is good for people to acknowledge it. But I think we want to be able to still be able to maybe take it further. Like if you can, particularly with a very capitalistic society, I feel if you're able to like donating money to various causes and stuff, I think, is very beneficial.

Greg Wier :

And it does more than just, you're gonna throw up a black screen on Instagram and say that you're in support of the protests and the safety of black individuals is I feel in some sense, it would be easy to just throw that image up and then kind of wash your hands of it and say that well, I did something when if you do I have the means to do more, like, would it be good if you did.

Eric Wier :

Particularly with the president now, being kind of the childish man that he is talking about sending in the military and such, like I feel the more people in general that are compassionate, the better.

Adam Wier :

Yeah, I mean, it's interesting. Like I feel most of the protests and stuff started out as peaceful and kind of what devolved to make some of the different riots and stuff and like, what the different people's agendas and stuff are, that ultimately doesn't really matter. Just the notion that I think everyone has to do everything they can to make it such that everyone in America in essentially the rest of the world can feel safe, wherever they are, whoever they are.

Eric Wier :

And yeah, I feel it's, it's interesting too, and I feel that bring this up also seemed like kind of a natural thing, generally just to its importance, but also in the hobby community, as well. There's certainly lots of kind ofunderlying racism there. Just recently during kind of that reveal stream, there was a Black Library book, new book cover revealed that had a black Ultramarine Space Marine on it. And it caused a fair amount of kind of backlash and people being like, oh, there can't be black Space Marines. Their geneseed prevents that. Just a lots of dumb shit like that.

Adam Wier :

Yeah, I mean, I feel it's easy for people to sort of say like, oh, none of this stuff, like keep this out. I like the hobby that we love all this other stuff. And like, to me, there are a lot of things it almost seems like as soon as you bring up something that could be changed or could be improved, there are tons of people who will lash out and say like, oh, by you improving this or changing that you're taking away something from me and like...

Greg Wier :

Leveling the playing field that maybe seems like it's taking away rights from people, but it's not.

Adam Wier :

Yeah, I mean, I feel while, this is a little different, a little different in terms of the focus, but I know like on our blog, we've had a few posts about, talking about female representation and stuff in miniatures, and sort of calling to different companies, mainly Games Workshop to try and do a better job with their portrayal. And in it, we talk about a lot of notions like just having a little diversity. We don't want everyone to look look like pinup models and stuff like that. And I feel on some of those blog posts we've received by for them then largest number of comments and like a huge number of them are just people who come on super angry who obviously read nothing, what we wrote and say like, oh, you're, you're taken away like stuff from us when...

Greg Wier :

Or like all these social justice warriors want to ruin the hobby. And we're not, we're never saying that we want Games Workshop to like get rid of particular model lines like we just would like some diversity in at least with the female models. It would be nice if you could buy models that weren't of the pinup variety with their sculpted boob armor and whatnot. If you could buy things that are more realistic, not necessarily take away old classic design but give more options.

Eric Wier :

Well, then the same can be said about like different races and stuff. Like they don't all have to be white dudes and clearly like in most of the novels and kind of lore, like there are a lot of other races and stuff such like when they talk about race and these novels and stuff they were affirming, referring homo sapiens, humankind versus xenos. Like they're not doing these sort of petty distinctions between skin color and such.

Adam Wier :

And I guess in Games Workshop's defense over the past few years, they've gotten a lot better on essentially all of these fronts, but I sort of feel like the more that can be done, the better. And I know it's, it's easy to think, oh, like, I don't really have to do anything about this or go keep it out of keep like politics and other stuff out of my hobby and whatnot. But I think a lot of this in the end, it really has nothing, at least in my opinion has nothing to do with politics.

Eric Wier :

What's that feel about being decent human beings and trying to be welcoming to other people. Like I want as many people as possible to enjoy the same hobby I do, and I don't want to, like have to talk about when I will try to share it with other people to feel like embarrassed like go I don't want people to see these female models or I don't want them. I don't want my like black friends to look at it and immediately realize that it's not really welcoming. Yeah, and I feel we've certainly, at least tried to sort of silently address these sort of things over the years by just painting some of the models like have different skin colors, different things like that, not making a big deal about it. It shouldn't be a big deal. Like the fact that this book cover was and there was like a black Ultramarine shouldn't have been a big deal. It shouldn't have caused, like, all this talk and stuff like that's, that's stupid. It should just be normal. And in that sense, like, that's why we've been trying to do it for you know, for a while just, you know more trivial thing but like with the firearms and stuff we do. Like we certainly complain about scale and stuff and weapons and all this stuff, but I've just been, while voicing that, trying to change them and show like how we would like to see it. And I think that's something everyone can, you know, try to do themselves without like making a big deal about it. I think you kind of have that in your power to do and I think that's worthwhile.

Adam Wier :

Yeah. And I think also the notion to just, if someone, to just think a little harder about some of the things you like, do and say because I think we're... Pretty much everyone, they all... Everyone has things they could change and do better and be better.

Eric Wier :

Eli mentions here that, unfortunately, the absolutely insane fake science behind the geneseed, or miraculously does not work in the sense of real genetics. Yeah.

Adam Wier :

I mean, all the stuff they've come up with is kind of like bullshit. And like it's changed over the years. And I know like I've seen countless people write like super long, like essays and blog posts talking about how the stuff doesn't make sense and could be changed, etc.

Eric Wier :

No yeah, like, just like these keyboard warriors, like trying to talk about all this like, you don't know the lore and shit, just like so dumb, when it was like stuff that a lot of it was probably written in the late 80s kind of tongue in cheek coming up with stuff that says seems sort of cool. Even with the geneseeds stuff about, you know, sure, maybe it influences the Marines genome to some extent and makes them a little bit more similar to their, their primarch. They still have their entire genome from when they were recruited from often various different worlds, all different kind of environments and things like that. And in the novels, they it's very clear that the geneseed doesn't turn them into like carbon copies of their primarch. So I feel that just waving around stupid pseudoscience.

Adam Wier :

I mean, it's literally anytime you bring up a change, like, Oh, this could be bad or like, you could make this smaller or change this arm or whatever, depending on the community you're in, there's always someone who will come on and say like, Well, that doesn't make sense based on this or that.

Eric Wier :

Yeah, people defending like the ridiculous anatomy on like a Terminator, trying to say like...

Adam Wier :

Oh, they're hunched over in that armor. It's like, yeah, that still doesn't make any sense.

Eric Wier :

I know, it's just um, so I guess all of this is to say that I feel the society in general kind of puts just some passive sort of racism and prejudice on us all. And it's good to try to be aware of it, and do what you can and be open minded to listen to other people and take them seriously. And I think that'll be important going forward in the future, both for just the future of humanity as a whole and even just more limitedly just into our hobby as a whole, I guess towards that and Omegonedge. He's on Instagram. He's a UK player that has like a lot of cool alpha Legion models and stuff and he actually posted something on Instagram, a video of him kind of talking about, you know, the Black Lives Matter and, and stuff. Being that he's actually a black man. And he kind of relates some stories about kind of racism that he's experienced, from Games Workshop, people, staff members at Games Workshop and such and how it's not like super overt racism, but it's still racism.

Greg Wier :

Yeah, he makes the distinction between like blatant racism and covert racism, where I feel like a lot of us are, probably most people like to think of themselves as not being racist or not being sexist. But I feel the world that we grew up in, the size society we grew up in, makes it such that all of us have our own subtle forms of racism or sexism that, I mean, so long as you're able to recognize those things. accept criticism from others and then try to work towards bettering ourselves. That's what we need. We need to be able to accept that nobody's perfect but if you're willing to try to better yourself and listen to others and do your own self-betterment like...

Eric Wier :

Yeah cuz I don't think too many people are actively trying to be assholes but...

Adam Wier :

Except maybe on the internet.

Eric Wier :

Certainly you can find them on the internet but like all this shit about like, oh don't political politicize the hobby, keep that out if here, I just think maybe that can be to some extent, like don't fill it up by talking about how Donald Trump is an a****, which I mean, he is, but you don't necessarily need to do that. But like in something that's just so based around just general humanity and about creating a welcoming environment such that other people can enjoy the hobby like I think that is very important. And it's I mean, honestly it's important just for Games Workshop as a business, like if they want to grow and expand and still be successful, like in general their most of their market is from what like 30 to 50 year old males? By being able to tap into like an expand that will be important. Because yeah, as lifeboat says here, like it needs more diversity, like the more voices and stuff that are there, there will be like new interesting ideas and such. Yeah, and I think that's important, particularly for like just even the lore behind 40K and such. There's always or almost for like the entire time has been a lot of diversity mentioned in like the novel. And all this stuff, it's just hasn't really been seen in the models a whole lot. But again, as we sort of mentioned to GW's credit, they've certainly tried, they've started to do better there, and I think they'll continue. So, you know, I think that's good.

Adam Wier :

Yeah. So yeah, I guess that's that's sort of what we wanted to say like, keep an open mind, do what you can do improve the situation. Because ultimately, we do want everyone to feel welcome in the hobby and to be a part of it. And I know that the three of us I feel we've we've been pretty lucky to like have avoided to avoid like a lot of, a lot of criticism and like constant ridicule and stuff that I know some people have heard and have been a part of.

Greg Wier :

Yeah, like we largely on our blog, Don't get negative comments don't get trolls. So we've been very fortunate in that. With the exception maybe of all of the posts about female representation, those are the only ones really, that we ever got trolls, or people purposely trying to be dicks. Or we've been lucky in that sense. Mm hmm.

Adam Wier :

But yeah, so thanks, everybody for listening what we've had to say about that. And yeah.

Greg Wier :

It was maybe a little rambling, but I hope it all made sense.

Adam Wier :

That's what that's what we do on these streams.

Greg Wier :

Yeah.

Eric Wier :

Yeah. Thank you, everybody, for taking the time to listen to this. And let's talk a little bit about some of our thoughts about you know, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a little Bit of how it pertains to our hobby community. And I would encourage anyone to go out there and do some more research and donate to various organizations if they can. And just generally try to keep an open mind about this within the hobby and just within your lives the whole because it's in all our power to make other people feel welcome and make just the world a better place. But yeah, again, thank you for listening everybody and we will talk to you again soon. Transcribed by https://otter.ai