For those who do not know me that much (which is probably most people reading this blog!), one of my main hobbies is wargaming. More specifically playing a lot of Games Workshop games, especially Warhammer 40k and Lord of the Rings. I enjoy making the models, painting them and playing battles. It isn’t cheap, the models are quite expensive, it’s very time consuming – which I suppose makes it a little odd for someone quite as poor as me to play it.
Part of the way I afforded it was to not spend all that much on anything else, but also I spent almost a year working for the company and they have a dirt cheap price for many items for their employees. The company pays its frontline staff very little at all – true money is spent on the design and creation of the models which is quite expensive, but that is still no excuse, especially when most of the ordinary shop workers are quite skilled modellers and painters themselves.
Being wealthy is of course a big advantage for people who play as you have more money to spend on things so are not limited to the cheapest kits and have a wider variety of models to choose from when playing.
Anyway, a while back this got me thinking of demands that socialists would make in favour of workers in relation to this hobby. It is perhaps not the highest thing on the socialist agenda, but it is in my opinion worth considering. So here they are below:
1) Nationalisation of the major model making and wargames companies under the control of workers and hobbyists. To plan production in accordance not with the needs of profit (ie. changing rules just to make everyone buy a new rulebook), but to meet the needs of the modelling and wargaming community (ie. produce models which are useful to them). End competition between different companies making the same or very similar products (ie. paints and scenic materials).
2) For a living minimum wage for all working in the modelling and wargaming industry.
3) Immediate reduction in prices to a level more affordable to youngsters who can often be put off a hobby they enjoy through a lack of money.
4) Allow the use of company facilities for the ordinary wargamers as a when they need them – ie use facilities for wargames clubs. Free painting, modelling and strategy lessons from beginner to advanced level.
Some of the above are to an extent in existence – when we were open most of the boards in the store where I worked were available for people to play on, and we also did introductory lessons – however, stuff was also hired out and masterclasses costed – great if you have money, but no good for people with very little of it.
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