Thursday, November 1, 2012

Aspiration vs Inspiration

I was reading (belatedly) through the huge 300th issue of Wargames Illustrated the other night when something in one of the articles got me to thinking. It was an article on model building that brought up the idea of aspiration versus inspiration, and how the focus of wargaming magazines has changed over the years.

Part of the author's point was that in the "olden days", much of what was shown was model building that few people had the time or talent to build, and that the focus was therefore aspirational, in the sense of "ooh, I wish I could do something like that!" Today he would contend that there is much more inspirational material out there, in the sense of "hey, I can follow those step by step how-to articles and now I can build that too."

This got me to thinking about what it is I am looking for in hobby magazines, websites, blogs, etc. And the short answer, for me, is that I am still looking for the aspirational most of the time. This isn't to say that I don't appreciate a good "how to" article, but I am more interested in the eye-candy; the large demo games, the beautifully painted armies of thousands of figures, the things that I wish I could achieve. But short of hitting the lottery or joining an active club that can accomplish something like this collectively, these things are never going to happen for me. Which doesn't mean that I don't like to flip through the pages of Wargames Illustrated, or White Dwarf, or Battlegames, and look at the pictures and think "maybe someday."

So...I aspire.

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