Today, Games Workshop, the creative powerhouse of a gaming company behind such games as Warhammer 40,000, Age of Sigmar, Warcry, Blood Bowl, Necromunda, and so many others, issued a statement taking a stance against hatred within their gaming community. While the company clarified that the worlds that encompass their games have no factions that take a moral high ground ("There are no goodies in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. None. Especially not the Imperium of Man," the statement made on Games Workshop's main news hub, Warhammer Community, said at the top of the article's body), the real world is not that, and hate has no place in this game's communities.
According to the statement issued by Games Workshop, some hate groups have been co-opting some of the imagery seen in games like Warhammer 40,000. This clearly does not fly well with the company. In their statement, they say the following:
The Imperium of Man stands as a cautionary tale of what could happen should the very worst of Humanity's lust for power and extreme, unyielding xenophobia set in. Like so many aspects of Warhammer 40,000, the Imperium of Man is satirical.
For clarity: satire is the use of humour, irony, or exaggeration, displaying people's vices or a system's flaws for scorn, derision, and ridicule. Something doesn't have to be wacky or laugh-out-loud funny to be satire. The derision is in the setting's amplification of a tyrannical, genocidal regime, turned up to 11. The Imperium is not an aspirational state, outside of the in-universe perspectives of those who are slaves to its systems. It's a monstrous civilisation, and its monstrousness is plain for all to see.
That said, certain real-world hate groups – and adherents of historical ideologies better left in the past – sometimes seek to claim intellectual properties for their own enjoyment, and to co-opt them for their own agendas.
We've said it before, but a reminder about what we believe in:
"We believe in and support a community united by shared values of mutual kindness and respect. Our fantasy settings are grim and dark, but that is not a reflection of who we are or how we feel the real world should be. We will never accept nor condone any form of prejudice, hatred, or abuse in our company, or in the Warhammer hobby."
The company then immediately follows up this statement with a much more direct one, aimed rather blatantly at those who are of the hate groups that may coincide somewhere with Games Workshop's various games:
If you come to a Games Workshop event or store and behave to the contrary, including wearing the symbols of real-world hate groups, you will be asked to leave. We won't let you participate. We don't want your money. We don't want you in the Warhammer community.
This is a good stance to take, and one that is to be welcomed for sure. What do you think about Games Workshop's statement? You can find the whole of it on their news hub, Warhammer Community, if you wish to read more of it. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!