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Phil Dutré

It’s always difficult to provide meaningful insights about this, especially since wargaming is not a centrally organized hobby, but thrives on individual gaming groups and clubs. Hence, our own individual experiences can easily give a distorted view in any direction.

The only good indicator probably is the attendance at large conventions, and indeed, here you see mostly white males. But I have no good idea about the underlying social dynamic. I do see that the crowds that play boardgames are much more diverse these days, but that historical miniature wargaming remains restricted to older white guys.

What you can do is look at the inherent aspects of our hobby, that would make it appeal only to a certain subset of the gaming population:

  • Strong focus on military history (probably explains why we have mostly men), and especially military history as seen from a Western/Europen point-of-view.
  • Using miniatures and a large gaming table (requires money and space at home).
  • Nostalgic link to playing with toy soldiers and model kits (hence the older males).
  • Miniature wargaming is a niche without the wider gaming subculture, and it is a variety of gaming that currently is mostly attractive to older gamers (reasons above). It used to be that miniature wargaming was the dominant gaming format. Ever since the mid-seventies (D&D), miniature wargaming has lost its prime spot, and young gamers flock to other things these days (boardgames, cardgames, video games).
  • Another social dynamic is that for gamers I know, “games’night” is a “night with the guys”. This makes it not so easy for women to pick up gaming, if there is no larger club nearby that welcomes all people (instead of only small private groups).
  • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Phil Dutré.

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