H. G. Wells Was a Dork

Here is a known fallacy: we always tend to imagine famous artists as being famous and successful back in the days. But of course in reality, many of the artists and writers we value today were actually obscure and struggling with having ends meet back in the days. Recently, I found a variation of this fallacy. We also imagine writers and philosophers as being cool, serious and mature guys. So it’s quite weird to find out things about them, which suggest that they were some hard-core dorks, nerds and man-children. Case in point: H.G. Wells. We may regard him as a serious thinking man, concerned with the future and history of mankind. Writing books on topics such as history, politics and social commentary. But then you find that he was heavily into minature wargames.


Ka-pw, ka-pow, ka-powie-zowie.

And you thought the Warhammer 40k dudes over at the comic book store were dorks. H.G. Wells has an ENTIRE ROOM dedicated to the game. But the biggest proof of nerdom isn’t even on the illustration. You see, he actually invented the game he is playing there! He wrote the rules down in one of his books, Little Wars. In fact, he is regarded by some by the very father of Minature Wargaming.

I have heard claims that our society is being infantilized. That there is no such thing anymore as being adult. This comes especially with a sting of accusation towards the male-dominated comic/games/otaku culture. Examples like these show that this may just yet another fallacy. Perhaps nerds and dorks were just as common the past as they are today. Perhaps they were just wearing those spiffy smokings and smoking pipes so we can’t tell anymore. Personally I find the re-imagined H.G. Wells as a Warhammer nerd much more likeable and consistent.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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