Monday, 28 November 2011

Bad Journalism

Edit: If you scroll down to the bottom of the page I have included a full English translation of the text for all you Greek challenged out there. I think the article somewhat lost it's very sarcastic tone over the translation but that's not a big deal I guess.

Initially, I didn't know how to feel, seeing my face printed in a huge two page spread photograph in one very famous Sunday edition Greek newspaper ("Καθημερινή K magazine" issue 443 printed on 27/11/2011) . Since I was with my gaming buddies at the time when I saw this, everybody was making jest and japes at how I got another shot to fame

After reading the article however I wish I wasn't even near that place when they were taking the pictures. I guess I could be angry at the fact that they took my mug shot without me even knowing (doesn't help that I kinda look like a drooling idiot) but that's not the point. I am mad because the article presents Warhammer 40K and gamers in general in the worst way possible.

First of all the journalist's tone and style comes across as extremely sarcastic and mean spirited. She is constantly making fun of gamers. Most of the times she is claiming that gamers aren't using their brains and aren't really thinking. She then writes that gamers that attend tournaments are "educated" but puts a lot of emphasis on the quotation marks. She refers to us as playing with "little toy soldiers" and generally the text is dripping with bile and irony.

She even makes some very intelligent people I know (that unfortunately gave her an interview) sound like idiots. I am pretty sure she was guiding them with sneaky questions and misquoted them to achieve the effect she wanted. 

In a nutshell, gamers for her are introvert and lonely guys that doesn't like to go out and prefer to play with little toy soldiers instead. Great way to stereotype us! I consider this extremely insulting for myself and also everybody I know in the gaming community.
Most importantly for me, she is trying to connect 40K with extreme right wing politics (fascism and even nazism) based on the superficial knowledge she had acquired (probably by reading a pamphlet). She claims that 5 of of the 15 interviewees (wow, great population sample you got there) had some racist and xenophobic (and we are not talking about 40K xenos here) ideologies. 

She constantly questioned the gamers if they know people in the extreme right wing that play the game. One gamer actually says : "I've seen in America (US)  the ideologies of the army and the player become one. I've even seen a player with swastikas tattooed all over his body". Is that true my American brothers? Is there a secret nazi militia that plays 40k in the US? Bunch of rubbish I'd say.

From another gamer:"Black Templars, that have the Iron Cross as a sign and their colours are black, red and white, are purely nazi.". Hmmm , and I always thought that Black Templars where based on...the Templar Knights? Space Crusades and everything? Anyway...

I won't deny that there are some people like that in the hobby. After all it's a game about war and it could draw these elements. However judging the whole community by a few bad apples and trying to create a sensastion out of nothing is at the top in my list of bad journalism.

It's obvious that she had an agenda to present an inherent danger in wargaming. Without it the article might have been very boring for the average Joe. This is typical of the "leftist' culture in most major Greek media (for all the wrong reasons by the way). 

What the journalist didn't get from her superficial knowledge of the game is that basically the 40K universe is a critique of our own world. The fluff was written in the eighties by a bunch of English guys while the Soviet Union was still in power so they drew their influences by it's monolithic and totalitarian state. The inexorably beaurochratic Imperium that relies on taxes, tithes and military drafts is basically Communism. The vast Imperial Guard is based in the Red Army. The hatred that the Imperium has against all the alien races is a projection of the woes of nationalism.

40K doesn't glorify war. It constantly reminds us how futile, brutal and endless it can be. In the future, there is only war and I bet you won't like it if you lived at that time. That's why the background could come across as bleak and pessimistic. Being an Imperial citizen would totally sucκ. All these allusion went over the journalist's head since she obviously didn't invest much time to understand the game's background. 

In a nutshell, it's a critique of a totalitarian state. Saying that's it's pro extreme right wing is like saying that George Orwell's "1984" is so too. 

I bet you are thinking that I am nerd-raging so much because I am such a huge GW fanboy. Well I met with some friends last night (one of them works in the media business and none of them plays any wargames) and asked their opinions about the article. They all shared the same feelings as me. They thought that the text was very negative and presented gamers in a very bad way. The sarcastic tone didn't help much either. Even my wife was pretty pissed off and she doesn't even like 40K!

I would like my fellow Greek bloggers and forumites to touch on the subject and bring their judgment upon it. Every other gamer that would like to help could visit the newspaper's website (you can sent a complaint email to the editor here:  or here: and here: if the first one isn't working and also contact GW and let them know about this)and address their concerns about that certain article. It's okay even if it's in English.Our voice has to be heard. We shouldn't be the easy target to be picked on. 

I think that it's about time that tabletop gamers (and nerd culture in general) are acceptable in our society (like video gamers have recently) since we are no different than most other people. Having such negative publicity by a major newspaper can destroy all the effort that the community makes in order to expand. Can you imagine what some parents would have to say to their kids after reading this article? You think they would allow them to play the game?

Also Games Workshop should know about this. This article is an extreme prejudiced libel and defamation to the company and it could certainly cause the loss of sales.

Appendix A: The article from the newspaper translated in English.

War on a table

A plunge into the dark, bizarre and militaristic world of the game that combines modeling and strategy, and holds as "prisoners" thousands of players in Greece and all over the World.

"Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne". This is the motto and war-cry of the servants of the God of Chaos, Khorne (The Antipope: she translates if phonetically to Greek as "Horn"...). If you think that this sentence was "strange" enough as a magazine's article opening line, wait and see what's to come. This started as a report for one of the most popular miniature tabletop games of the last 30 years and I still don't know how I ended up fighting against "Daemons of Chaos" in 40000 AD and hang out with creatures with names such as Necrons, Dark Eldar, Black Angels (not sure what army that is...)and much more like them...undead and badass.

(Caption under my picture): Dedication. Studying the rules needs time, building requires effort, the creation of a decent up to 500 euros for the starter "set". During the game all this is forgotten though.

(Caption under next picture): Precise calculations. Before any move the player must contemplate on it's consequences. "Somehow like chess..." like they told us, but much bloodier.

Dozens of horrible creatures, together with an Emperor-God (of the earthlings) and four Gods of Chaos, live in the blackest, obscurantist, religionist, militaristic, fundamentalist, authoritarian, racist, abominable and repulsive world ever conceived by the human mind. In fact, by the British mind, since the game was coined and released in England at the beginning of the eighties. 

The game, that for the last 30 years has been played by millions of people all over the world, is called "Warhammer:40000 or "40K" for it's friends. With many of these friends (Greeks) we talked about the multifarious 40K and it's exceptional miniatures, modeling, hobby, required intelligence, strategic ability, men (that play), women (that don't) and daemons that eat souls (soul-eating is the pop corn of the future). 

In the same future that, as the general motto of the game states, "There is no time for peace. Neither for forgiveness. There is only war. Endless War."

Little "toy soldiers" for men? And beyond...

As an intro into the world of this "joyful" game, we watched ,during a tournament, around forty males (between 18 and 39 years old), with tape measures and dice on hand, planning assaults against the military units that were placed on top of special dioramas (model battlefields with obstacles, buildings, trees etc.). 40K is a game of strategy (or tactics rather) and requires thought, a lot time studying the rules and a certain degree of intelligence of the mathematically skilled type. The toy soldier miniatures-designed with a lot of imagination and incredible details by the company of Games Workshop-have to be assembled and painted by the hobbyists-players. Painting the "armies" is a form of art on it's own accord, to which modelers dedicated hours or even days. Considering all this, when questioned "why do you play" everybody gave the same answer:" Because it's a hobby  that gives me the opportunity to do miniature modeling, to think strategically and, mainly, get together with friends at least twice a week, for gaming, talking, painting...". That's great!

At this point it could be the end of this discussion, if there wasn't for the fluff to be considered, i.e. if there was no ideological-mythical environment of 40K. The world "fluff" ,that is the creation of tabletop or non tabletop role playing gamers and it has to do with everything else but the rule set of the game, is the key to open the...darkness of 40K. Because the fictions, facts and characteristics of the bloodthirsty and soul-hungering soldiers are so outrageous that the question "but, why do you want to play?" was coming back to our conversation almost automatically. 

To think or not to think?

What does someone need furthermost in order to be able to play 40K? "Brains", most of them think, claiming at the same time that "nobody takes fluff seriously" but also..."I chose the game based on the fluff" or "real life is a different thing to the game" but also..."I have seen in the US the ideology of the army and the player matching to a dangerous degree. I've even seen a player with swastikas tattooed all over his body". So many contradictions they could win a Guinness world record.

Generally speaking, when having to choose the game, but also the army, fluff is always there to play a role. As a 38 old professor of biotechnology told us "I also chose an army based on the fluff - I play with dark eldar..."(he stops to think)"in the end they are psychic vampires..." (pausing and saying out very loud)... "I don't even care about my army's fluff!". Perhaps a mind with mathematical skills is necessary but it also seems necessary that the same mind needs the ability not to be able to...think!

The first thing we found out about the 40 participants of the tournament, is that most of them is what we would call "educated" (higher degree level) and working (you need a lot of money to be able to play 40K seriously for many years). Amongst them we found a manager of marketing in a multinational company, a university professor, a gold smith, a 23 year old business man, many civil engineers and many students (chemists, engineers, mathematicians). 

Most of them started off as fans of science or heroic fiction, mythology, history and comic books. Many of them have read the low literary value novels based on the game's fluff, for which 30 year old Thanos said: "If I had a child, I wouldn't let him read these novels before he develops his character". We can summarize the profile of the average 40K player as follows: a rather "introvert", lonely guy that doesn't like to go out, doesn't like to watch the TV or football(!), but he likes listening to music (foreign, and mainly classic rock) and he prefers when going  out to talk with friends in cafes or houses. Many of them claimed that they "believe in God", whom they defined as the "beginning" of everything or "the power" of the universe etc. but they don't like his "fan club". Couple of them claimed to be pronounced atheists. 

Lastly, we found out that all of them are ready to talk about politics, expressing extreme ideas more or less with words that are somewhat muddled inside their heads. We only found one person who deals with the understanding of human relationships, while most of the other are ignorant even of the word "psychology". 

Heil, Emperor?

A large percentage of their population compared with their average number (5 out of the 15 interviewees)  had some racist and xenophobic ideas and had been involved with the study of Nazi texts, including "Mein Kampf" by Adolf Hitler. George, a mulatto (from a Greek father and a mother from impoverished Louisiana), one of the most intelligent and sincere kids we met, following the question if the game is "a bit" racist he replied: "It's very racist and in America (US) many gamers identify themselves with that racism. Moreover, Black Templars, that have the Iron Cross as a sign and their colours are black, white and red, are clearly Nazis"  

"Have you noticed that a percentage of the players belong to the extreme right wing?" we asked 35 year old Takis, a middle school teacher who claims to be "left wing". "Yes, but I don't know why. Maybe they are fascinated by the epic, heroic or even the racist elements of 40K. Because there is a lot of racism in the game." The next question that came up naturally is if 40K makes you feel superior compared to other people :"Yes, it's a bit elitist. It requires a lot of thought so it makes you feel..."somehow". Somehow superior" said Markos laughing. One of the most extreme statements we heard was :"It's been proved throughout the history of Greece that we can only go forward with a fascist government" said John. "And I am going to be the one executing them", added his friend Fotis.

Playing with your soul?

I would also add, playing with your sword. But why would someone fight with a sword in the technologically super advanced 40000 AD? And why does it's system has to be so authoritarian and obscurantist? And why does the "trophy" have to be the most valuable thing humans have, i.e. their souls?

"Because 40K combines elements that fascinate men, like chivalry, heroism, power, ability, speed etc" said 38 year old widely educated Kostas with his well structured speech. "Probably because we want to look better in comparison. Maybe I would never go to real war, but in the game you can be an awesome hero or a general without  having to pay the price in return. For it's system now, the wider  the network of planets that human inhabit becomes, the more we will keep losing our humanity. In the minds of the creators of science fiction, there is always a strong central authority necessary, which through cutting down our freedoms and though fear can create a structure in order for that new world to function. In 40K there is a mixture of western imperialism and eastern fundamentalism." 

And why does the future has to seem so bleak I wonder: "Because", as 39 year old Giannis is saying "this sells. This game has the best marketing." "Furthermore because reality sucks and progress is even worse" adds the younger Minas. "Everything in the fluff is derived from human history, to an excessive extend maybe, but historically".

Why aren't women playing the game, I ask them: "Now you are delving into a touchy subject", Fotis told me, who is married and has one child. "Women don't go for mentally committing stuff. In order to be able to commit in something so that you can disengage from  the everyday life, you have to be a man." Fotis was the same person who told me when I asked him why the ideology of the game is crazy: "Are there any ideological obstacles in fantasy?".


In the interview we did with 23 year old Markos, who describes the game as a "struggle for the survival of the human race" and as the "absolute decline", after he told us that "Warhammer is not a comedy but a tragedy with the classical sense, in a dystopian future" he also express the optimistic thought that "Man has the awesome capacity to conquer everything, even himself." When I asked what does he do to ...conquer himself he answered :"I am reading thousands of books, I am writing down stories and poetry, I work, talk, travel and do thousands of different things. Why? Because I have an enormous stress that I will stay mediocre"


  1. Eeek.

    Have you got a copy of the article in English?

  2. I'm afraid not, I was published by the newspaper yesterday. I do have the jest of it in my article though. I guess I could translate it but certain things will be lost in trastlation (mainly the sarcastic tone of the journalist).

  3. That picture of you is awesome! Ot shpuld have been on the front page!

    More seriously, You could write a letter to the editor complaining about the article. Maybe even call her a communist. Hell it happens all of the time over here.

    I guess what we need to learn from this is that people are ignorant and intolerant to what they dont understand. You would think she would be more professional about her work, but as we can see she isn't. You should be glad this story isnt on television so there arent youtube parodies coming yet.

  4. When I saw your picture, I thought "Hey that's Antipope's photo! They picked a good gamer for this article. Good!" Then I read it, and I was WTF???!!!

    It is the worst kind of journalism. A superficial view on the game, just enough to give it a sense of credibility, and then the hammering starts. Not fair to anybody that plays 40k, especially not fair to anybody that had their pictures taken.


  5. 40K is a breeding ground of right-wing politics? I must be playing the wrong game, then, considering I'm about as far left as you can get.

  6. It is usual for people to blaim what they cannot understand.

    Apparently the journalist could not see more than just a game thus not being able to cope with all the depth of story in the Warhammer saga.

    I really do not wish to be discriminating or anything but I believe that a woman wrote that.
    There is something very feminine in the attempt to fight her ignorance.

  7. Well, this has to be the first time I've ever heard of somebody writing alarmist, yellow journalism about 40k. The woman apparently thinks a British hobby company is trying to reincarnate the Aryan nation and make people into crazed zealots. And is completely unaware of all the international gaming groups that organize charity funds and donate to food pantries. Emperor help you if there was anyone at that tourney dressed like a Guardsman, or worse a Commissar. And I'm sorry to say... But it might be likely she chose the pictures that portrayed you and your friends poorly or in a dimwitted manner to help sell the point. :/

    Media, doesn't it have anything better to do than slam the things that make people happy?

  8. I don't mind mate, I know what you mean. Keep the comments coming please people and if you could write a letter of complaint to the newspaper ( or let GW know about it, that would be great.

  9. Yeah, you should let GW know about this! Maybe they could sue the reporter for slander! Especially since you said this was in one of the larger Greek newspapers.

  10. Not a bad pic of you, though it would help if she at least explained you were checking LOS and not just licking the felt.

  11. Yeah, I already sent an email to GW but if more people could do that (so that GW doesn't just brush off a couple of emails) it would be great.

    The reported also says that Black Library books are of a "low literary value".

  12. Funny you mention licking Mr. Fett since I got a little treat for you:

    The photo caption actually says: "Dedication"

  13. I don't think I've ever seen a article written about the hobby in such a negative political light. It's not too much of a stretch to want to portray hobbyists as a little strange or outside of societal norms, because-let's face it--gmaers ARE an odd bunch. But to say we're all closet Nazis or that we all lean to the right politically is nonsense.

    Greeks are having a rough go of it at the moment, and I suspect that this article has a lot to do with the present political and financial climate in your country. In times like these, people are always looking for the boogey-man, and if they can't find him, by God, they'll invent him!

    I hope things work out well for the Greek people, but history has shown that these can be very dangerous times. Good luck to you and try to keep positive.

  14. Sorry to hear. Over here in the states gaming has gotten very mixed media coverage over the years, from positive pastime to being a training ground for satanists. Unfortunately, it happens.

    Is the paper generally respectable, or a sensationalist rag? If the former, try writing the editor of the particular section and seeing if they'd work with you on a rebuttal piece. If the latter, work with a rival paper. ;-)

    Good luck!

  15. I admit that I don't know much about Greece (sorry) but from everything I hear over here in the States indicates that you guys are having some serious political and financial issues. Is 40k really something that a major newspaper should be concerned about? What's next? A hit piece on 12 year olds playing Magic? She's aiming for the Pultzer prize with this moronic drivel.

    You shouldn't worry too much about it though. An article like this will more than likely cause more "educated" introverted lonely guys to flock to the gaming table!

  16. And all this from an author with a last name "LAIMOU"???

    Never has a name been more appropriate...

  17. Got linked here from Kirby's 3++, so I guess I'm late to the party. What I want to know is, why is a highly respectable newspaper even publishing ANYTHING about 40k, especially this drivel? What prompted this little ill-informed diatribe in the first place? Normally (at least in the states) these little columns about useless stuff have positive bents to them. How did this reporter single out WARHAMMER, of all things, for her ire?

    I just... don't understand...

  18. Try to find a competing newspaper, magazine, or heck, even a news program to do a story on the gaming culture. In the long run, the story will blow over, if it even causes any trouble at all. Stay positive and don't let it get you down. I can't read the story, but the photos look like you guys are having fun, and have some great terrain! Nice blog!

  19. Someone should contact GW corporate with this - several of those pictures are from the GW website and used without permission. Would be nice to see GW put their legal team to good use.

  20. As a publicly traded company, perhaps GW would be motivated to look into this on behalf of their stock holders, in defense of their investment.

  21. Get GW Legal on this matter. They have the resources and can tackle this issue on the basis of the newspaper misrepresenting.

  22. If we crucify a bad journalist, then we create a martyr.

    So forget this waste of paper and ink, and keep playing, gluing, painting, read all the amazing stories of the Warhammer 40k universe and have fun.

    EMPEROR PROTECTS, "ρε"!!!!!

  23. Mate that is horrible journalism! I guess that newspaper doesn't have very high standards to accept that article...

  24. Let GW's legal dpt. know about this article.

  25. I actually got a reply from GW through their local regional manager. Translated from Greek it says (in the regional manager's own words I guess):

    1) There is freedom of speech. Whatever (she) wrote in the article concerning the game reflects the way that the reporter comperhends the game and the fluff. If you contact them (Games Workshop) they could give her a more in depth explanation.

    2) Concerning your letters to GW, the company would like to thank you for supporting the game in the Greek Community.

    3) Concerning legal advice from GW: Whoever had their pictures taken and published WITHOUT concent or the accompanying text and they don't agree or claimed to be offended by it they could engage in legal action against the magazine and the reporter. The company wouldn't want to do something like that since that would result in David vs Goliath style barrage of articles thus would be playing the reporter's game.

    Antipope: Not sure who has read it yet or if this has reached the higher echelorns of the company but this is what we've got for the moment.

    I would like to take a moment and thank everyone for their support again.

  26. Angry letter sent to the newspaper -- check.

    It's almost like we are back in the 80's where RPG was a hunted hobby!

  27. Reading the English version, that's really not bad. Maybe I'm biased, but I view most of the article as pretty positive, with the author's biases pretty evident and therefore easily dismissed. The "Heil, Emperor" bit was probably the worst, and the bit about "women don't go for mentally committing stuff" wasn't great, but they involve quotes from the gamers themselves, not something made up by the reporter. Gamers mouth off - unfortunate, but not really the reporter's fault.

    Overall I think the piece comes across as the reporter not understanding the appeal and trying to explore it through interviewing the participants, not as some kind of deliberate hit piece. At the end the quote from Markos sets things up well I believe, saying it's a tragedy and a dystopia, not something to emulate in real life.

    Maybe it's worse in Greek, but from what I can see, it's really not that bad.

  28. Hey Antipope,

    Excellent job bringing this to the light. I think the general consensus on the quality of this article among my gaming friends, both locally and globally, is that it's rubbish.

    Unfortunately, that's the opinion of those of us who participate in the hobby and love the universe. The reality is, this article can be very damaging to the people on the fringe of the hobby who might be aware of it, but not yet have an informed opinion, and so damage their opinion. So I'm glad you are talking about this.

    It's apparent the views of the author of the article are narrow minded, biased, and political, and this becomes obvious later in the article.

    It's too bad that the author's opinion is also clouded by her misinformation and lack of research on the subject matter, even when using quotes to emphasize her point of view. It would have been a simple thing to actually research some of the statements made by the players she interviewed in order to gain context and relevance, instead of twisting those comments to her agenda.

    Do you mind if I post a quick "Check this out" linking this article at my blog? I might even do my own op ed piece on it as it pulls on some chords of things I've been thinking about lately.

    As a side note, I'm happy to see that Warhammer and 40K seem to be thriving in Greece. Last time I was there the community was quite small. Next time I visit my family there, I'll be bringing along an army. Just in case!

  29. @Hivemind: Of course mate, fire away and thanks for the support.

    @SoT: I respect your opinion but I'll have to disagree. Maybe the text lost it's mean spirited and sarcastic tone when I translated it to English (I am not a pro translator or anything). Almost every Greek person (gamer or non gamer) that read it got instantly infuriated by it.

    The only positive thing she said about the hobby was that the miniatures are kinda cool. Apart from that the reported stereotyped games in the worst way possible and gave the game a bad name (bear in mind Greek people are extremely sensitive when it comes to fascism/nazism).

  30. My angry letter is getting rejected by their email server. That's the right address, I hope? Is their inbox suddenly full?

    Let's see how this goes...

  31. is the official email for the magazine that comes attached with the newspaper. Maybe too many people send emails and as you said their inbox is full or something?

    If your mail fails try this one: (its the editor of the main newspaper) or (letters from the newspapers readers).

    Here is a link with the rest of their emails:

  32. This is crazy!?!

    Well, you know what they say: "any publicity is good publicity even if it is bad" or something... Cant believe that they used your picture and then wrote such a hateful article...

    Clearly this chick didnt ever look at the old books when it is so painfully obvious that the background is partially joking partially sci-fi mash up and partly social commentary... Ghazgul Thraka as Margret Thatcher anyone? Anyone?

    Whatever later I will right my own hteful email to the paper but thanks for the heads up and keep fighting the good fight... I love 40k but I fukking hate Nazis, so clearly this chick is ill informed at least...

  33. Hi Antipope,

    I've just posted my own little editorial supporting your article and sending my readers over here to read the full article and get the context.

    Here's my blog link to that editorial. I borrowed an image from your article, and made a banner for your blog as a click through link. All screen capped and hosted on my own picture server. Let me know if you want me to change that, or if you have a specific banner you would like me to use.


  34. As a criminologist myself , the whole article seems like an police officer or lawyer illegally trying to "bait" confessions out of suspects or power phrase "facts" to lure "right" answers from the interviewees ,

    seriously , she could have broken the law if this was a criminal investigation lol

    come on, im sure what ever journalist school she went to has told them what that is that shes doing

  35. Times like these I am ashamed to be studying Journalism...

    This article lacks objectivity, is defamatory, encourages ridicule of a minority group (Fascism at its best) and is a disgrace to the publisher.

    Also if they used that photo of you without permission, particularly in light of the tone of this article I would be contacting them and demanding a retraction be printed with an apology, including your own perspective.
    You have the right of reply in this situation.

    Also if you know anyone who was misquoted, quoted in a way that misrepresents what they said or re-contextualises what they said I would get them to put in official complaints.

    I don't know how defamation laws work in Greece, but here in Australia this article would never have been published.

  36. What catches my eye is how the author seems to fail to catch any IRONY in the answers. The author is clearly writing this article with the intent of harming the gaming community, with a set agenda, blind for anything that would change his/her point of view.

    For example: "I also chose an army based on the fluff - I play with dark eldar..."(he stops to think)"in the end they are psychic vampires..." (pausing and saying out very loud)... "I don't even care about my army's fluff!"

    I found that hilarious, the author did not catch the joke, clearly.

    And the author takes every chance to find something negative to write, even making things up. Well no matter what, the gamers joked about it and came out fine of the situation, that is how I interpret it.

    Regarding this quote: "Women don't go for mentally committing stuff. In order to be able to commit in something so that you can disengage from the everyday life, you have to be a man."

    It might come out harsh, but do not you find this to be true to some extent, not that women does not mentally commit, no, but that men often, in general are more willing to think abstract.

  37. This article is terrible and doesn't even get it's facts right 1. the iron cross is a symbol of the German military and was used in WW1 not just Nazi Germany. Secondly the black templars are hmmmmm i know here's a crazy idea based on the real KNIGHTS TEMPLAR you know the crusades. Finally not everyone that's studies texts agrees with them otherwise every high school student that studies Nazi Germany would be a fascist neo-Nazi so just because some gamers have studied them doesn't make them racist fascists.

  38. now that to me is quite an incredible article, by incredible i mean narrowminded and manipulative of the selective data she has been given. to call us all right wing nazis is just uncalled for, when it is a proven fact throughout ANY country that plays this game, that racist and aggressive hate crimes are not committed by 40k players.
    To call us all lonely men who dont like to leave the house etc, is just playing on the nerd stereotype, and judging by her tone and views, she was more likely the girl in school with her ankles above her head and a vodka bottle in her hand, but be that the truth or just a stereotype of her ideology, it is each to their own, and no one has the right to criticise unless someones lifestyle causes direct harm to others.
    the part that i find laughable most however is that she goes on rambling about how racist the game is, yet then points the finger of blame at the english for being its creators, i think she needs to sit down and proof read what she writes, because she implies that because the english made it, we are all nazis, if i had one question for her, it would be 'What side of the war was your country on?' because last i checked, the english were the ones fighting the nazis because we didnt agree with their beliefs, just like the greeks.
    Finally, to take what some of the interviewees have clearly said in jest ""It's been proved throughout the history of Greece that we can only go forward with a fascist government" said John. "And I am going to be the one executing them", added his friend Fotis." and to spin this off to seem serious is just ridiculous, only the the poorly educated would take this seriously, im sure fotis was beaming at her as he said it, if not chuckling. its a joke, the fact that she cannot comprehend that, or feels that she can use that as a quote to prove that we are all nazis, is just malicious.
    To conclude, i find that she has been unnecassarily narrowminded and critical towards our hobby, one that does nothing to hurt anyone out there. until the day comes that we all dress up as space marines and take over the world, they can keep their extremist, majorly incorrect beliefs to themselves.

  39. What. The. Hell. Talk about poor research and professionalism. This article is extremely offensive and blatantly wrong on so many levels.


    *Goes to write his email*

  40. If you want an explanation for the article, look no further than the current political climate in Greece. I would say that this 'journalist' is projecting her own fears about the stability of her own country and the consequential threats to her own political views.

    Misunderstanding breeds fear, and this woman doesn't seem to realise that the 40K universe is a satirical expression of the very worst of Humanity's traits. It deals with the most extreme political views, fascist tyrannical ideolgies, elements of Nazism and the extreme right, extrapolating these ideas and asking the question 'what if embracing these systems was the last hope for Mankind's survival?'. That is what makes it such a fascinating and terrifying setting.

    I suspect this woman is the sort that agrees with the idea of banning violent computer games because she believes there is a link between them and gun crime. I also think her idea of statistical interpretation is ridiculous - giving us a figure of "5 out of 15" 40K players expressing something she perceived as being racist or extremist. More likely is that her judgement of the players was decided upon as soon as she decided she disliked the setting. The majority of the lines she quoted were clearly in reference to the game setting, not personal views, and (lets be honest) those of us who have ever been interviewed for television or the press have all enjoyed winding up an overly-sensitive interviewer, just to see the appalled expression on their face. Could you resist baiting this woman with shocking right wing ideology? I doubt I could.

    Sadly the journalist has misinterpreted the information she gathered, mistaking aspects of the setting that players feel are represented in themselves for deep-seated ideological world views. She says that just one person is involved in what she (arbitrarily) feels is a job involving "the understanding of human relationships", but lists several jobs requiring good interpersonal skills as being held by some of the interviewees in the preceeding paragraph, including a professor and two successful businessmen. She interviewed 15 people - hardly a numerically significant representation of the worldwide GW community. The 5 people in her group that she claimed held "dangerous, racist views" may have been outspoken extreme right-wingers.

    The bottom line is that some people just aren't cut out for journalism because they can't distinguish their own beliefs and opinions from empirical fact (something that is sadly true for a vast majority of the world). Somewhat ironically, its this inability to detach oneself from beliefs that leads to the extremist ideologies that the journalist wishes to cast down in her article.

  41. Hey guys I got a reply from GW:

    "Hi Lefteris

    Thanks for the email, we have passed this on to our Legal department.

    Thanks for bring this to our attention."

  42. My fave comment: " In fact, by the British mind," - And she's calling 40k fans racists? Amazing.

  43. That's what you Cadian scum get for not embracing Chaos. But remember, Nurgle loves you. It's never too late.

    More seriously. Yet another classic example of modern journalism. They don't inform anymore. They sell opinion (no matter how arped and ill-informed it may be) as fact.

    This has nothing to do with misunderstanding. This was deliberate. It would take a few hours max to read up on 40k. There is a very good wiki for it, which has all the info, which is actually how I came to it.

    I think she set out with a particular goal in mind and did everything in her power to get there. Facts be damned. This is modern journalism and the sad thing is, our newspapers and tv stations all across the world are full of people like her. Look at the news. This nonsense is standard today. Facts? Who cares about facts when you can claim the most outlandish things and too many people gobble them up as truth?

  44. The only thing i have to say is CONGRATULATIONS to this lovely journalist for making strategy gamers and Greek people look as if they are a bunch of imbeciles and fascists!!And if this isn't enough already she also presents this pure game as negative for people playing itLong live...PROPER journalism

  45. Not to draw away from this fine man's blog but as a counter to this article, here is a news story about a local game store and gamers who put a tournament together to help fight hunger in their community.

    That being said.. I have reposed this blog on my Facebook and I will be appealing to those on you tube and in the gamer community to come out and discuss this kind of anti-truth reporting on gaming. If possible can we get the name of the publication? I would like to see it first hand even if its in Greek. I'll get a Greek to English dictionary if I have to!

  46. Not really surprised to be looked down upon by some person who will never understand the creativity involved in such an epic game. For the amount of imagination that it took to complete such a history of the realm that we all game in and enjoy hours of satisfaction we all hail and cheer on GW for the awesomeness that they are. Shame on someone else to come into our house and just because they don't understand it, crap on our enjoyment. Boo to this journalist and I will add my words in email to this company as well...

    I'm curious as well though, what type of magazine or newspaper was this article written for?

  47. Wow what a bad example of journalism... Here in brazil I did a small interview at a TV show where was tottaly the opposite. There´s a link on youtube with english subtitle: and only in portuguese: . This guy who interviews me made a fair approach showing that what we play is indeed a great hobby and kept cool about it.


  48. Newspaper info:

    "Καθημερινή K magazine" issue 443 printed on 27/11/2011

  49. Hello, I just wrote a Mail to the Mails you posted expressing my critique. I am from Germany and I am more than happy to help in such cases. Im a Gamer, Im a Warhammer player, Im a Metal-Fan and some more things which make me defend myself day for day and Im really fighting to get those stereotypes out of peoples heads. For anyone interested, this is the mail I wrote:
    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I write to you, because I stumbled upon an article of yours on a website. Since I cant understand any greek I have to rely on the translation which can be found on this website:

    If this translation of your article is correct in tone and content I would like to adress some critique to you.
    This article is very suggestive about the nature of the Warhammer 40.000 player.
    I for one am not a right wing oriented person and I play this game. I also dont know anyone I have played with being a right wing oriented person. I am from Germany, so I should know best about Nazi symbols or ideals in this game. Surely it is possible that here and there people with extreme thoughts and ideas can be part of this gamership, but so can they be in every other hobby.
    Another point I was wondering about was the question about no women playing the game. Seriously? Thats like asking little girls why no boys like to play with Barbie girls. Or asking grown women why men doesnt like to go shopping or go into a nail-polish studio for hours. Thats the cheapest form of opinion-making I have ever read.
    The next point is the description to build up a Nerd-gamer stereotype. The typical Warhammer player. This description is insulting. Although maybe half of the points match in my case it is in no way acceptable for a serious journalist to create a stereotype like this. It may be misleading to many people and its just not correct for journalistic work.

    I would be more than happy if you release a correction and an apology in one of your next newspapers because of this really bad, misleading and insulting work.

  50. Antipope, I read this post and am ticked about it. The guys over at the Shoutbox feel the same way.

    If you're curious about an American response to this, it's in my URL.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  51. Linked it in DakkaDakka for you; least work, most coverage.

  52. The article itself is a load of shit remember religion has killed more people than any game.

  53. That journalist is a bitch and a cunt she doesn't think women play the game, i am a women and i love warhammer 40k table top game and the lore and books of 40k.

  54. Given them a small essay to think about/go through.

  55. Guys and gals, I appreciate all your support and I obviously understand your frustration (I've been nerd raging for a week). However let's keep this clean and polite. Name calling won't account to anything. If you want to sent the newspaper an email to make your concerns known, please do so but try to keep your tone done. We have to let these people know we are better than this and a good, friendly but yet a very passionate community.

    I ask this as a personal favour. And thanks again for all the support.

  56. I live in the US and I'm eriely reminded of the witch hunts that went on in the 80's against Dungeons and Dragons. Back then the media painted D&D as a breeding ground for satanism and witchcraft. Hold your head high and stay strong!

  57. Antipope, your true face is revealed at last! They got you right. You are an introvert right-wing nerd that despises women and has no clue about human relationships! I knew it all along but now everyone else does. They could not find a better person to fit that description and that is why they put your portrait first page. Inspiring journalism!
    For those of you who did not get it, that was a joke. Antipope is a dear friend and some of my articles are published here, on this blog. And I understand his frustration.

    I was interviewed for that article and frankly, I was expecting some negative remarks but not that open aggression. I was surprised by the absolute stereotyping and the unjustified political labelling. The journalist and her assistant approached me while I was playing on the IC tournament. She knew my name and was very pressing. I said I am not interested, at least not on the spot. I was very reluctant for the interview and I received three calls before accepting, after we agreed that I would stay anonymous and that there won’t be any photos. From the very beginning I found myself defending the fluff and the community. There were some interesting discussions about science fiction and politics during the interview that lasted 2, 5 hours! Naturally, none of those were mentioned. Even though my name is not mentioned, I was portrayed as a confused individual with a mathematical mind that does not think! Yes baby, that’s me! An animal that can solve non-linear differential equations. And I am as far as anyone can be from right-wing extremism and fascism, as it can be certified by anyone that knows me personally.
    To be fair though, I have to mention that the overall climate of the interview was friendly and even fun at some points.

    What annoyed me the most in the article was the conclusion that community members are no good because they do not study ‘human relationships’ and psychology!! All but one (who is that one? I would like to meet him and borrow some of his books on psychology). I mean, that was the MOST RIDICULOUS and irrelevant remark. It is a game! We are players. We cannot be judged by our knowledge or acceptance of questionable ‘sciences’. I was asked twice about my opinion on psychology and I said that, as a scientist, I cannot consider Psychology to be a science. I even mentioned that Popper had shown that psychology-psychoanalysis is not a science. Sorry...

    I ‘ve seen that more than a few non-Greeks friends, in their attempt to explain the inexplicable style of the article, are trying to connect the political situation in Greece with the deamonisation of 40K community. Let me point out that the deamonisation of a small minority, the invention of a ‘bad guy’ in order to use him as a scapegoat or simply draw attention from the real issue is something that can happen everywhere but let’s face it, it is mostly the ‘western way’. Commies, Charlies and before them Japs, hippies, Muslims, Russians, Serbs, French. Everyone who dares to have a different opinion is easily labelled. I mean, here in the east we do not act so linearly. The bad guy can be good and more importantly the good can be as bad as the bad. And this two can be really good friends! Away from us McArthur-style hostilities and expressions like ‘Axis of evil’ or ‘Evil empire’. Let us not forget that here in Greece there was never Middle Age and Inquisition. And certainly this explanation does not apply to that silly article.

    I do not know if it is worth taking any further action on this instant. But I’ll support the Antipope to whatever he would decide to do. I would also like to know who had the bright idea of inviting that particular journalist on that event.

  58. Hey guys, just thought I would toss my flaming pissed off ten cents into this. the description of gamers is ridiculously insulting to me. I'm from Canada and everyone i know who plays Warhammer (40k or otherwise) are extremely welcoming and polite (yeah i know Canadian stereotype but seriously) not only that I'm a left leaning university student studying philosophy and psychology, so yes i know the word "psychology" also I'm in a Fraternity I could (and have) party everyday of the damn week if I chose too, and yes that is with real people. I'm a stereotype nightmare, I'm a gamer a nerd a scholar and fratboy, i donate blood and my chapter raises thousands of dollars for charity each year! and yes i think we can all agree that 40k for some reason is more appealing to men then women, so are explosions beer and bacon stereotypically doesn't mean women don't play it watch it drink it and eat it. anyway I'm grumpy now and i need to study for a Legal midterm tomorrow peace out and oh yeah... BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!! hurray for ignorance!!! :D

  59. As a Black Templar player, an Australian and both a table-top gamer and PC gamer...I find the medias continual rant about how evil these things are somewhat distasteful.

    If you all remember, PC games are commonly blamed for increases in violence and the such. As such, it doesn't shock me that someone has now gone after the table-top community.

    In the end though, it comes down to this. It doesn't matter what a closed minded individual says about our game, the fact they don't have the faculties to understand even the basics of 40k should speak for itself.

    Best wishes from Australia.

  60. She must be out of Stories - making some up instead! She would have done well at News of The World. :)

    I collected, painted and played this game for years, I was even in the British army for years - I am no fascist and never will be being totally left wing, and against war if it can avoided!

    Sounds like she is a silly girl who does not like gamers as we are not her type and she used to pick on them in school, they all got better jobs so now she is

    I have never even seen a copy of Mein Stupid Kampf let alone read it.

    This game is innocent fun and teaches people discipline and how to think - and its a cool hobby that helps most relax and chill and even make new friends. To even call it evil or extreme is stupid.

    Laters. :)

  61. A partner of GW is bringing attention to this. The guys over at Relic ( featuring this railroad job. Any idea how this interviewer even got this task? Are they reputable amongst geek culture or a scared sensationalist outsider looking in?

  62. wow, that's really bad. Here in Sweden it is actually portraied as something very positive, however still with some indications on it being toys. But still, it's accepted and the times when media creates articles on wargaming they often describe it in a very dramatic, sort-of story telling way. The only connection I've seen them draw between wargaming and anything else is music, since probably 70% or more of the playerbase here listens to some form of metal. I wish you luck down in Greece and I hope that reporter gets whats coming to her!

  63. that is one hell of a retarted reporter.

  64. Wow! The best part of the article (besides that it ended) was the comments of the players. If you read them as they stand, they are ironically or sarcastically funny.

    It is a real shame that the original intend to put the current (in the 80's) state of the world in perspective (with a superlative comparison) was lost.

    I take offense at the blatant comments regarding sci-fi literature ("low literary value novels based on the game's fluff") Wow... what a cheap shot! I understand that any 40k novel is not Don Quijote de La Mancha or Macbeth... but the insight on human nature and how one could slowly be deceived by those wishing to harm you to the point that you could 'fall' and become that evil that you abhor presented on Horus Rising... well, that was well written.

    The article is a real shame. On the other hand, I'm VERY HAPPY that you belong to a nice 40k community and have people to play. Even if they can't "think"... hehehe.. sorry, I could not resist the sarcasm. OHH!!! Maybe that is what you guys should had done... put a little sign for the reporter to see "I'm being sarcastic NOW." hehehe

  65. Hello guys, I actually wrote a letter of complaint to the newspaper and had a very interesting reply.

    Mostly defensive, never touching my points of critisism and trying to attribute things to 'misunderstanding'.

    I have both texts avaible, if someone is interested.

  66. Thanks for raising this. What a vile article. Reminds me of the Daily Star or Mirror here in the UK. Misdirection and misquotes, falsehoods and sensationalism. Disgusting.

    Also, hanks THQ and the Space Marine guys for pointing me your way. Never would have known otherwise.

    One letter of complaint sent.

  67. Annoying may it be, gamers shouldn't bother about such articles.
    40K, apart from many other things, is a sublimation for our chauvinistic totalitarian desires in a similar way Laibach is.
    There are always attack on Laibach for being Nazi.
    And the Antifa(ns) with problems with their identities will always see Nazis everywhere. They just need it, otherwise their personalities would collapse :D

  68. We should do something about it. like a bog fuck you to them. These reactions proliferate obscurantism and the reign of non-education in Greece. Welcome trollfaces....

  69. Wow I didn't expect that. I mean I'm used to stupid articles about pretty much any subject. It's kind of the norm here in Greece. But really how did they find us? Just as I thought we were safe since our hobby was not "flashy" or "glamourous" enough for our esteemed media to care about.

    The level of ignorance and prejudice is astounding. I can understand ignorance and I don't expect anyone to be aware of all the details and intricaties of 40k. Prejudice however is another thing. And I'm not sure if it's prejudice. It could be just a case of "I can make fun of these people and write an awesome sensationalist - funny - ironic - whatever article. Then I'll apear so smart and readers will love it and I'll be such a great journalist. Why bother actually hearing what these people have to say?" There you have it: insta-tabloid.

    What most people don't know however is that this is not bthe only article in a Greek newspaper dealing with Warhammer. There has been another article, published in a local newspaper about one year ago. The difference is that in that article the journalist actually made an effort to understand what the game is about. She talked to gamers and tried to understand what they do. She even had a gamer explain the fluff and the mechanics of the game to her, something she spent a whole evening doing. I know all this because the journalist is my girlfriend. I can try and find the article and ask her if she is OK with me posting it as a comparisson if you are interested.

    However at this point I must tell you I am very uneasy... Tomorow I'm going mountain biking with some friends. This means I have to get out of my house and actually socialize with people. You think a gamer like me could handle that? Is there a chance I might start screaming "blood for the blood god" in the trails? Will my skin melt from exposure to the sun?

  70. @ Moskitokiler: Nice seing a fellow greek gamer here. I'll take a look at your articles in this blog at some point. However I'd like to tell you that I am a slightly sadened by your outlook on psychology. I am a bit sensitive about this matter since I am a psychologist with an MSc in Psychoanalysis, working as a clinical psychologist and a volunteer worker in a public psychiatric clinic.

    First of all the journalist's idea of judging people based on their knowledge of psychology is stupid. In the same way we could judge people based on their knowledge of mountain bike tires or vintage espresso machines. This brings us to the next problem. The layman's idea of psychology and psychological litterature has usually nothing to do with what psychology and psychological literature really is. Consequently for most journalists the entire realm of psychology can be summed up as books of this type: "Read this book and change your life", "Think positively and you can acomplish anything", etc. So yeah I guess it makes psychology look like superficial crap.

    I won't argue about whether psychology/ psychoanalysis is a science as I don't think it does matter (for a brief argument though see apendix 1). Depending on the branch of psychology it can either be an experimental science, a facet of social sciences or a clinical/ therapeutic technique. What I can tell you is that I deal with doctors and psychiatrists in my field of work and neither has argued that psychotherapy (the clinical facet of psychology) isn't at least partially effective in the treatment and support of psychiatric patients.

    Again I want to say that I am not attacking you. I am just trying to state some facts that have been twisted by the popular portrayal of psychology by journalists and also by some psychologists eager to make quick and easy money. I don't expect anybody to know the finer details of psychology or any other field so that's why I am writing this rather long winded explanation (see apendix 2).

    Sory if I went widely off topic. I hope we can get to meet and play a game of 40k (or BFG) one day. If you ever come to Thessaloniki drop me a line. I also have a blog you might want to check out. (That was a shameless plug)

    Apendix 1

    Some (brief) criticism of Popper's... criticism about the inability to refute the claims of psychoanalysis:

    1) Some claims/ arguments have been validated through other sciences. Recently there have been attempts by neuroscientists to check the validity of some of the basic claims of psychoanalysis. I do know that the existance of dynamic unconscious and the fact that dreams do not appear exclusively during REM sleep have been validated.

    2) Popper's criterion that a science should make claims that are refutable presents the problem that one could make countless such claims without them necesarily reflecting any physical law or causal relationship. (This needs elaborating but I am too tired to go through my stash of scientific papers at the moment)

    Apendix 2
    I wrote such a long winded post, I learned that there is a 4,096 characters limit to the blogger comments! This is part 2 of my epic saga.

  71. @brotherCaptain. Are you living in Greece? and you play here? and we have never met? where do you play?
    Anyway, my e-mail is .
    We can discuss the issues about psycology on e-mail. Let's not occupy the space here.

  72. @BrotherCaptain.
    Mistake! My e-mail is

    and do not forget: if something is not a science does not mean it is useless. Like cooking.
    Psycology can be very usefull, but it is not a science.

  73. To cheer us up a bit I'll sum up my feelings about bad journalism with a song:

    @ Moskitokiller: I am living in Thessaloniki, Greece. If you ever visited Underworld Games there's a good chance you might have met me there. I also remember your username from somewhere else. Maybe you left coments on some of my minis on CMON or I left some comments on your minis there? Or it could have been a forum. I can't remember at the moment.

    I'm not sure we can discuss about psychology though. This journalist says we're nerds and therefore can only chat about nazi inspired space people. Maybe we should ask her permission or something. She seems to be an expert.

  74. I don't play anything GW anymore (I simply can't afford the prices or the space; I've moved to 15mm stuff) but this is freaking insane. I mean, what would happen if these people went to a Flames of War tournament and saw all those nice and shiny Waffen SS armies?

    But I am surprised on how nonchalant GW is about this. Something like that happened around 2000-01 with D&D and Magic. As soon as the matter was brought to the attention of Wizards of the Coast, the subject was dropped. I think the reply I got from them (I have the email somewhere) was along the lines of "our legal department is looking into it".


  75. An article like this targeted MtG players maybe 10 years ago. They had awful pictures of obese kids in tube socks clutching their card boxes and cherry picked the most damning quotes. I think it's time we all simply deferred these media turds to the manufacturers.

  76. Whaaat theee fuuuu....
    this is the craziest tonguetwisting piece of hairsplitting I have ever seen. Is this for real?
    W40K is a hobby. Period.
    Like Stamps. Like Coins. Like Motorcycles.

    I have a motorcycle, but I am not a member of HA.
    I have a friend that is a member of HA, but he actually also sings in a choir. -Oddly enough i know.

    trying to stigmatize people like being done in this article are ground to file file a report to whatever journalist-control-entity of that country. because if this article was printed in a paper, there must be some serious violation on harrasment or something similar.

    I am ashamed.

  77. It's a shame the author is so hellbent on doing a broad psychological analyses of the average wargamer. She could have pointed out some curiosities with her article, but instead just turn the average (greek) wargamer into something dark and unpleasant. It had been better if she had left out her cruel conclusions and had just let the stories stand by themselves.

    It had also suited the author to do better research. The 40k universe is not exceptionally dark compared to other sci-fi, look to Aliens and Blade Runner, Star Wars, Judge Dredd, Dune, Conan, etc. What I mean is that we the players have been living with the genre our whole life and as such it matches fine with our childhood and youthhood inspiration. I got handed my old Masters of the Universe toys the other day, as my father was cleaning up his addict and it got moved to mine - and that consists of: Sci-fi fantasy guys with swords and guns. That's a natural prelude to the GW universe.

    NB: But really - Black Templars as Nazis? They are based on crusading knights.


  78. (sorry if my spell is off)
    well if im honnist te reporter seems to rinmined me of the populer girl in high school that wants to be-little every one else to make her self feel better. was she 15 or yonger bet she spends 500's euros on shoes 1000's on fake nails each week and has an insashabale lust for cotsmetics, she clearly has a grudge aganced wargamers, pruhaps she was dumped by a gamer and felt the need to get her own back.. your guess is as good as mine, but i can say this wargamers are not lonely my gaming group is small there are 6 of us of those all 6 are in a relasionship 2 are extremly happly married with kids(1 is my self) and 1 i suspect will be engaged Very soon. my wife at first said she considded wargamers as geeks when we 1st me me and did not know that i was in to it but she gave me a chance any way, but she now has come to realise that we are just as normal as the next guy, and she said before we got wed "you know what actuly you and your mates are probaly the most carring group of men i have ever been around at first i was not shore if this would work out but now i would not have it any other way"

  79. Just for your interest, Black Templars are mainly inspired by the Teutonic Knights. One of the most fascist Crusader factions. Funny enough, and typically GW, Sigismund was a polish heather that lead his folks to ultimate victory over the order.

    Other than that I share your opinion on this childish attempt to stigmatize the community and thank you for the translation.


  80. Hmm calling Templars Nazis...

    Brothers to the Crusade!!!!!

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