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40K: ADB On Representation

3 Minute Read
Oct 11 2017

Aaron Dembski-Bowden has some choice words for folks regarding representation in 40K.

Somebody call Phil Collins, or better yet, Pete Townsend and Thunderclap Newman–there must be something in the air. Just yesterday, Aaron Dembski-Bowden aka ADB, author of The First Heretic or the Night Lords trilogy of Soul Hunter, Blood Reaver, Void Stalker, chimed in with some choice words for anyone out there who is worried that better representation of women or minorities will somehow ruin the game:

This screenshot came from ADB’s facebook page, and you can see the original, uncensored version there. But it touches on something that seems to be going around. Over the weekend we ran an article about GW’s response to a request for better representation and it brought out a very small but very vocal minority of people who seemed unable to understand that either, women can fight just as well as men, and that they have since time immemorial, or that, seeing characters of different colors, creeds, and genders only helps make the setting more “realistic” — or that completely missed the irony of demanding that your setting where monsters from another galaxy and sentient fungi what loves ta scrap shoot explosions and teleport guns at each other.

And nevermind the sneaking suspicion that this demand for “realism” is just a way to say “please don’t change the setting,” which–I mean, I’ve got news for you, the setting is changing all the time. We’re in the middle of the Dark Imperium, there’s a giant rift in the galaxy. Setting changed. But more to the point, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong for loving 40K. Or that wanting to see better representation or whatever means that you necessarily invalidate the stuff that’s come before.

It’s just loving something enough that you want to see it be the best it could be–and that just means being accessible to folks. Which means letting people see themselves in the setting. We all love 40K for different reasons. Whether it’s the darkly satiric take on the value of human life and misery (it me), or the massive explosions that tanks that are at once science fiction tanks but also world war II tanks. Some people really like all the space magic…other people like taking six storm ravens and a unit of Ogryn Bodyguards. We don’t talk about them.


Anyway. All of this to say that it seems to be about time for things to change–there’s something in the air tonight.

So, keep a weather eye open and we’ll all just have to see what happens.

Now to go out and pick up Ogryn Bodyguards before Adam Harry buys them all.

Author: J.R. Zambrano
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