Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Editorial: Signs of an abusive relationship [with your game company]

Today I wish to discuss an important subject.  I first want to say that I take abusive relationships very seriously, and I hope that you can take this post very seriously.  Abuse in relationships is not exclusive to physical means but abuse can take a purely emotional toll.  "But this is a gaming blog..." you might say.  You are right.  Today I want to discuss the same behaviors that are observed in abusive personal relationships and apply that to what I said in this article about miniatures games as a hobby being more like a relationship than other hobbies.
What I have done here is take some of the common warning signs of an abusive relationship (found here) and have taken the liberty of changing a few choice words that apply to the particular relationship we have, as gamers, with the game companies that provide us with models and rules to play with.  While you might say that the wording is too general, really take a look at that page above and you'll see that there have only been a couple changes and one or two additions that I think are relevant to both kinds of relationships.

Again, I take abuse very seriously and while this might seem a bit tongue-in-cheek, I think that gamers are just as likely to be abused in a "hobby relationship" as any man or woman could be abused in a romantic relationship (or parental, even).  As with any list of warning signs, one or two do not mean much, as they could be isolated incidents.  I found that my relationship had many of these signs and was very unhealthy, so I had to end it.  If you find that many of these signs are true for you, then you should re-evaluate your relationship, and maybe it's time to end it.

You might be in an abusive relationship with your game company if:
  • It is jealous or possessive toward you.
  • It tries to control you by being very bossy or demanding.
  • It tries to isolate you by demanding you only use their models when playing games.
  • It makes you feel sad or humiliated that your army is inferior, only to "apologize" later by bringing you gifts like new models or rules.
  • You feel pressured by it to spend money, demanding that you buy products you might not feel comfortable buying.
  • It blames you when it raises the cost of certain products, that sales are down.
  • It has a history of people quitting playing its games.
  • Your family and friends have warned you about you spending so much money on their game or told you that they are concerned for your emotional and financial well being.
  • You find yourself aggressively defending it and its actions to your family and friends
  • You frequently worry about how it will react to you playing with models from another company.
  • Has employees that make "jokes" that shame, humiliate, demean or embarrass you or your army.  
  • You leave and then return to playing its games repeatedly, against the advice of your friends, family and loved ones.
  • It saves money for itself while demanding that you spend more money for its products.
  • You have trouble ending the relationship, even though you know inside it's the right thing to do.
Please don't be afraid to talk to your friends if you think that they are in an abusive relationship, or if you think that you might be.  It's okay, it's not your fault, and you should know that there are lots of game companies out there that do care about you as a customer.  This hobby is not just about money, it's not like any other industry out there.  It's a relationship, and any good relationship is built on love and a mutual respect for each other.  The right game company is out there for you, just be patient, and don't be afraid to try something new!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...