Monday, 9 May 2011

Being Human

 
Last night I was watching the series Being Human, the story of a vampire, werewolf and ghost sharing a house in Bristol. It is a charming and often hard hitting metaphor for life and the choices one makes when growing up. As often the case when such topics are written quotes from the Bible spring forth to hit the point home. In this case this one:
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1st Corinthians verse 12).
I mention it because to some extent one can consider hobbies like wargaming to be the anti-thesis of Corinthians. I rather like that it is.

I can't remember if I've ever discussed why this blog is called "Paint-it-Pink". No doubt if this were a graphic novel it would have been part of my origin issue, or in a more Po-Mo presentation an inserted back story to illuminate something like the Corinthians passage above. Me being me, I will use the telling to illuminate my thought processes around gaming, and in particular running campaigns; whether that is a traditional RPG, or more tabletop figure game.

I like to make my campaigns like onions. So that cutting them open provokes a strong reaction and reveals that there are many layers to the story. Once cooked onions become sweat and delicious, and my intent to always run games that delight the the desire to play games in much the same way as a good meal not only assuages one's hunger, but satisfies one's taste buds.

So why Paint-it-Pink? Why not. Pink is a girly colour. A Pink team is description of a Red and White scout and hog team in Vietnam. I could go on. What I will say is that the periods of conflict that interest me largely feeds into the games that I play, of which BattleTech remains a favourite, despite of, or because of its ludicrous elements.

So do I take elements of World War One and use them for games of BattleTech. Yes I do. Also I take elements from the Inter-War period, for example the Russian Civil War, Spanish Civil War, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, and of course World War Two. Though in the latter case, even though I play a large number of games over the years, it no longer holds me in its thrall, especially late war actions. This is odd, because to some extent BattleTech could be seen to be a paragon for disguising WWII scenarios, which is what appeals to me so much about the BattleTech rule setting.

However, Vietnam, remember John Wayne in Green Beret, is still the war of my childhood. Hence Paint-it-Pink, and funnily enough BattleTech and Vietnam play together well. Units that have an overwhelming advantage, US armed forces, choppers etc. versus battlemechs that stomp around owning the battlefield, but just like Vietnam no guarantee of a meaningful victory.

OTOH I still like to dabble in those areas that I steal from wholesale, because at the end of the day it is always good to go back to the source material that inspires one. As I said the very anti-thesis of growing up and giving up childish things, rather the acceptance of one's inner child and the value from having an open mind that is still able to learn new things.
   

5 comments:

  1. That quote is the opposite of us poor wargamers.

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  2. Nothing like a good mash-up; who knows, cowboys v dinosaurs, anybody?? :)

    Regards,

    Monty

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  3. I always thought your blog name was a reference to the Rolling Stones song "Paint It Black" (which, by the way, was the opening song for the TV show Tour of Duty).

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  4. It does make a nod to that, but more a nod from the fact that the Pink Panthers are also a reference to the Black Panthers from the 60s and the real Pink Panthers too (very obscure Panther reference I may add).

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  5. I see the Corinthians issue as a question of childish vs child-like. Unlike a child as an adult I am responsible for my own welfare, well being and behaviour. This does not mean I should lose the child-like ability to ask "Why did this happen?" and "What if we tried it this way?"

    Then there is simply fun. Certain strains of some religions seem to think that adults should not have fun. If you are not serious all the time you are somehow "sinning". I disagree - play is an important part of emotional well being. To cut of the ramble - adult yes - grownup - never.

    Blog name - Hadn't thought about it because both my girls are gamers (family D&D games are awesome). The LOH Hog mix was a good one.

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