September 8, 2017 by crew
I believe that if you think back, we can all remember the moment when our love for hobby was lit.
I was nine years old and walked into a small local toy shop on a Friday afternoon after school. At the back of one of their shelves, I found a box of five Games Workshop single pose plastic plague marines. I knew nothing of Warhammer 40k at that time; my initial thought was they belonged to the Eavy Metal army.
None the less, it sparked a chain reaction and fire of imagination in me, that has lasted for coming up to 17 years now.
Now I have relocated to China for work where, unfortunately, there is not the abundance of hobby related material around that I have become accustomed to. I have grown even more thankful for the internet because of it, and have had to start living my hobby vicariously.
Before I left, one of my hobby send offs was to attend Salute 2017, where I dragged my father and we both had a great time. Whilst there I picked up the WWI Wings of Glory Starter Set for my youngest sibling, who recently turned twelve.
I have subjected her to my relentless hobbies her entire life, occasionally bribing her to go away with left over models; ranging from horses to elves. Later I’d find them incorporated into elaborate Lum band or Lego creations.
So while she has feigned some interest in my nerdy little world nothing has really come of it until Wings of Glory.
I do not know exactly why it is Wings of Glory that has caught her imagination but, I believe it is because it is the first game she has been able to see herself in.
Watching her experience this game has honestly reinvigorated the hobby for me, it has reminded me that sometimes we get bogged down in making everything perfect and we forget that it is there to be enjoyed.
I know I sometimes forget the enjoyment in the bullet point list of what I want. I cannot play because this unit is not painted, not the right force composition, haven’t got that terrain. The list of excuses I have given myself not to play is numerous.
Simplicity & Enjoyment
What has reinvigorated my hobby is what she has achieved with very little; it is this that is the beauty of a child’s mind, the green card for the ground, blue felt for water, brown pipe cleaners for a field, and my favourite…
…cotton wool clouds.
It is not some beautifully printed ultra-detail gaming mat. It is simple in its design, and elegant in its execution. It is a long way off the high standard we see from Beasts of War bootcamps, TheTerrainTutor or bombarded with from amazing miniature companies.
I want to illustrate to you the reader, that not everything has to be “perfect”, to be fun.
It reminds me of my first experiences of playing; I remember building Lego brick walls for my troops to hunker behind, carefully arranging books and magazines for mountains my men can scour up, and playing on any surface that can fit all of my models, even if that meant base to base the entire game.
The below image, for example, she has done the same; an attempt to take a photo, as if it is in WWI. It has been done simply for the enjoyment of doing it.
Since these photos, she has added a couple more aircraft to her squadrons; shooting down our father who is her regular opponent with rather alarming efficiency.
I am helping design some printable transfers so that she may customise her planes. There is no hang up over whether it is realistic, or which plane is better. Everything is done for the simple enjoyment of it all.
I feel that we can lose the enjoyment sometimes and I know that I have, telling myself ‘I cannot pick “X cool unit” for this game despite just finishing building and painting it because it has the “wrong weapon loadout”.
I think we sometimes give ourselves too many reasons not to play, or do something, and not enough reasons to just go out and do it.
Maybe we could try playing a game with the Mind of a Child, and then maybe, we will go back to the essence of what it is all really about for us.
What was your first spark for this hobby and how do you keep yours going?
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"...not everything has to be perfect, to be fun..."