Wednesday, 13 October 2010

You Stink And You Can't Spoll

Here is a picture of the triumphal column I have been working on.

It's a golf trophy I picked up in a charity shop. It needs painting and Orkifying but other than that I think it makes a decent bit of scenery.

I wasn't going to mention this... but seeing as I haven't done anything hobbywise today I thought 'what the heck'.

Regular readers will know I have given up frequenting forums due to their generally belligerant and willfully ignorant nature - and because in my opinion they are ruining the hobby. And instead have been frequenting blogs instead.

Which brings me to Bell of Lost Souls.

I am guessing that most people involved in the hobby will have heard of the site. And it does have to be said that it is the victim of a certain amount of tall poppy syndrome.

Anywho.... a few days ago an article appeared by the Girl. Now let's be honest it probably is a bit of an honour to be a columist on BoLS, in much the same way (though for less money) than it would be to be a columinst in a newspaper. But having been a journalist myself I know that the glamorous idea is not soo wonderful when you have to churn out 1000 words on a subject that you may not know much about.

Let's just say that basing an article on:

"I was hanging outside my FLGS this week and overheard a group of people commenting how the place smelled, and that they thought all gamers smell."

was probably scraping the barrel of creative journalism.

The article provoked the obvious reaction. Stinkquisitors came out of the woodwork and with Stalinistic zeal accused everyone of being Fugmonsters if they dared to oppose the prosition that this was an issue at all. Personally I would suggest that it might be a question of diet, as I can't say I have noticed a whiff of much more than normal man smells eminating from gamers I've met; but apparently if you go to the States, gamers stick to high heaven. Which leads me to wonder if it is related to the unrottable burgers sold by a certain well known purveyor of burgers and fries - and their ilk. After all, I will admit to noticing a certain undead odour exuding from frequenters of fast food establishments.

But as I say, this gamer funk is not something I have noticed - ok maybe you can include the bloke in a local GW who had an abcess and thus gingervitus - but that was one time and had all cleared up the next time I saw him, and was less about personal hygiene and more about the quality control in a cake factory - his tooth having been broken on an errant walnut shell in a piece of fruit cake.

Still I am waiting with baited minty breath for the Girl's next post: "I was sitting on the bus and noticed a woman who looked like an Ork." Followed by a bullet-point list (omitting point 4) on what people who look like Orks should do to make themselves more attractive.

Now the fact that the Girl is presumably female may have something to do with the reaction. And maybe she will use it as a case study on her gender studies course.

But equally odd is the subsequent reaction. With people saying that the piece was a filler, that it shouldn't have been published etc. Which is a bit odd in itself. But more odd is the complaints of some people about the standard of spolling and grummer in the general writing on BoLS. Indeed one bold commenter going so far as to offer a proof reading service - and get this - not only correcting spolling and grummer but also editing for clarity.


No doubt some people will be looking for munchkins at this point, because we have clearly entered a parrellel universe.

The whole point of a blog is that allows people to publish - and for readers to read what is written - without the intervention of an editor. And frankly unless you are a pedant of the n'th degree - the sort who believes there should be no split infinitives (despite this being the biggest red herring in the English language) - I really don't understand what is so important about grummer in a blog. Not least because surely people have caught on to the fact that most blogs are written in a chatty and informal style that reflects the personality of the writer and pays only lip service to formal English.

But then maybe the hygiene and pedantry issues are linked, in that they both feed into the metagame of one-up-manship that pervades the hobby. And let's face it is the real reason gaming and nerds have a bad name - as my ol gran used to say, "you'd argue over the stones in the street."

But as I say it is tall poppy syndrome, so.... yah know....



  1. Well I don't agree that gamer = smelly person but then against I wouldn't waste anyones time to complain for this. Things might be different over there who knows?

    By the way the other day I went to the central gaming store here in Athens with my wife to pick something up. There was a MtG tournament that has just finished and the place was filled with 20+ over excited gamers. I didn't notice anything wrong but after a sometime while I was browsing some warhammer stuff I noticed that my wife was in distress. I asked her what's wrong and she told me that the place smelled really bad. She had to go to a different room and wait for me to make my purchase. So maybe women can detect body odour better than men, so that's why it's a big deal for some of them. Just my tuppence.

  2. Of course it might be that years of smoking has dulled my sense of smell.