I must confess that I have always enjoyed the column written by Mike Siggens in the wargames popular press. Love him or dislike him, he always brought up some topic that piqued my interest. Additionally being a bit of an anorak like him, his tips on paint and brushes were always of great interest to me. Hence the hundreds of jars of paint that I own.
Anyway and here is the but,....in his latest 'Thoughts from an Armchair' Miniature Wargames September 2013, he mentions that he is recovering from an operation, and this has led him to re appraise his wargaming.
I don't know Mike Siggens personally, but I would suspect that he is of mature years, ie, over 50.
Add to that having just had an operation, I would think he now realises that he is mortal, hence his look at life.
That seems fair enough, in fact, I have gradually been rationalising my wargaming, and selling off things I don't really require anymore. Mind I seem to be replacing them with bigger and heavier toy soldiers.
Anyway the crux of this post is where Mike Siggens states that, ''he now has some ethical concerns about what he is doing.''
I assume he means collecting and playing with toy soldiers. [ I assume he thinks this is glorifying war]
For me ethical concerns are for things like , starting an unjust war, telling lies in parliament, and cheating generally, ie Tony Blair.
This ethical concern about wargaming raised its head many years ago, when CND and the other loons saw wargamers as an easy target, hence the banners outside of some wargames shows and the change of name for the Reading show. Then of course we had the brief arguments about colonial/imperialist wars where the native population got a hammering by those terrible Europeans.
In some ways its a bit like the fracking protests, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Research something thoroughly before you become appalled and protest.
So I am going to generalise here, but most wargamers are not warmongers, are usually non violent,
[ unless someone picks up their figures by the pikes, ] and are all round decent people.
A bit strange sometimes, but there should never be any doubt about the ethics of collecting toy soldiers. It is a hobby that encompasses, reading, painting, learning to lose, model making and numerous other skills. I know some wargamers who won't wargame modern conflicts, and up until a few years ago, I wouldn't wargame past 1870.
I think that was more to do with the advent of khaki than any moral reason.
I also remember the brouhaha about the Waffen SS reenactors being at Salute, in bad taste probably, but ethically wrong, I dont think so.
So is wargaming ethically wrong? For me, no.
I would have been lost without the hobby.
Have I ever felt I was glorifying war? Never. Trying to understand it perhaps.
So for me, carry on playing with toy soldiers, and be proud of what wargamers do.
Here endeth the lesson........................