(Image: Bushy Run by Don Troiani)
The wargaming hobby often sparks controversy, usually from Christian groups sermonizing against Dungeons & Dragons. Now, Native American groups are upset over an upcoming game based on King Philip's War:
Never heard of King Philip or his war?
I had some vague knowledge of it, but I've never done any in-depth study on the subject. For today's insta-research, Wikipedia provides some of the details:
My fellow wargamers on The Miniatures Page (TMP) responded to the controversy in their usual eclectic fashion:
I have no patience with the grievance mongers of special interest groups.
While minority groups have a right to voice their concerns and complaints, it is also the right of my special interest group to see such games produced. Playing these games is an interactive way of understanding the origins of the war, how the battles were fought, the war's consequences and most intriguing of all--the possibility of an alternate outcome.
With all due respect to Annawon Weeden (of the Mashpee Wampanoags), his comment, that it's "...just a way to have fun reliving a tragedy..." misses the point. Many of the wargamers responding to this article on TMP pointed out that an enormous amount of historical research is conducted during a game's development. One commentator noted that an extensive bibliography will probably come with this game. Nor is the research limited to the game's design team. Gamers intent on playing this, or any other game for that matter, conduct their own research on everything from the grand strategy of the opponents down to the footwear worn by the combatants.
In fact, thanks to Wikipedia, I learned more about this conflict than I knew prior to the controversy. And increasing one's knowledge of history is a good thing, isn't it?
1. Thanks goes to my friend Adrian for posting the Yahoo article and the Wikipedia entry on Facebook.
2. The Battle of Bushy Run actually occurred on 5-6 August 1763, near modern day Pittsburgh, during the French and Indian War. I used the image of Don Troiani's painting simply because I liked it.