Sunday, May 8, 2011

Classic Rock, and the 'Hair Bands' of 40k

Okay, so this is less observation and more personal editorial.

Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, the Beatles (don't take missing your faves/styles, just pulling outta my arse early on a Sungday)...etc etc etc.
60's and 70's and even early 80's.
These bands, and styles, and many others, are classics...whether you love em or hate em, they're classics.
People know their names, have heard their music...and they pop up on Radio (or even have entire stations dedicated to the themes of their genres).

Yet delve into the 90's, or the (what, ought's? 00's? wtf?) and you encounter schizophrenia, and a lack of defining groups (or styles) that feel 'classic'(okay, the 2000's may be too close for that, but the 90's are not...and the 00's feel the same to me). Or worse, a string of American Idol spam...or Beiber's.

The 'instant gratification' intrawebz/reality TV generation has stamped its own earmarks all over our entertainment industry...
and even our gaming.

Look at 40k...look carefully at the last few years.
Matt 'fluff-killer' Ward...'nuff said?
His stamp is starting to creep up in it all.

Going, and going fast, are the solid and defining 'fluff-mines' of the 40k universe. The codices people WANT to keep, regardless of how out of date they are, as resources and entertainment. As muses to their hobby, inspirations for their armies.

Codex creep is always a 'concern' of the player base...whether you believe in it or not...but what about codex-retcon?
The trends of throwing the depth of the 'universe' we play in out the window, to satisfy an ever growing and HUNGRY net-scape of douchebuggery (not competitive players, but the ever distracted...gotta have the next new and UNIQUE...power/netlisters AND real WAAC players).
Seriously, Grey Knights mass sacrifice of a Sisters of Battle force who nobly resisted a daemonic incursion...just to douse their weapons in the blood of innocents? That was a Ward-ism...just an egregious example, but one...(or allying Necrons/BA...).
And these fluff rewrites are being utilized to excuse over-the-top power amps...the MTGing of our universe. I mean, I am all for the shifting of meta...the pushing of envelopes, and the occasional sacred-cow smashing...but in the last 4 codices, I think we've lost more golden-calves than Moses could think of smashing...and we've lost some important ones...all to the altar of 'MOAR POWAH'.
Ward may be a symptom (and he is NOT alone is his mutilation of the hobby for sales, just the most egregious offender)...and I understand a sales technique when I see one...BUT it can go just a bit too far, and in typical GW fashion it has with a vengeance.

After looking over the changes I have seen, I wonder if the 40k universe is going to survive this level of casual ret-con.
Will the core, the essence...the 'fluff'...of this universe survive 'Matt-Wardification'...and the ever spastic, infinitesimal, attention span of the digital age.

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