Social Gaming Events: Warhammer 40K

Jan, 2012 by Mitchell

More information coming soon...

This study aims to understand the work people do in order to play competitive and non-competitive war-games. The study focuses on Warhammer 40k (Games Workshop); currently the most popular tabletop war-gaming system. Playing Warhammer 40k involves assembling a model army of 25mm miniature figures and vehicles (units or minis). Each mini needs to be assembled and painted. Importantly, there is a great deal of choice in both what army to play (there are over a dozen different army choices) and what units to include in the army. The rules are extensive, the main rulebook has over a hundred pages, and each army has a 'codex' of 50+ pages and the choice of 20-40 different units that can be included in the army. Players then use their army to fight opponents' armies on a 'board' containing scenery and obstacles (terrain). The typical board measures 4' by 8'.

In this research we investigate the work motivations for army preparation. We particularly focus on how players work to build their army lists. We also investigate how players play with their armies and the social and rule negotiations that occur during play sessions. Finally we seek to understand how players use social media as part of their involvement in this hobby.

This project is conducted by Dr Martin Gibbs, Mr Marcus Carter and myself.

Call for Participants

Jan, 2012 by Mitchell

Do you play Warhammer and other tabletop games?
Do you play cheesey or do you like a bit of crunch? Fluff? Cheese?

Here at The University of Melbourne we are studying the tabletop games and the effort that goes into playing them. In particular, we are interested in the work people do in order to play competitive and non-competitive war-games, such as building armies and lists. We are also interested in the different playing cultures around Warhammer, not mention all of the arguing and negotiation that can go on. Finally, we're interested in how people are using the internet to augment the way they play. This includes social media such as facebook and twitter, but also more traditional forums and blogs.

As a participant in our study, you will be asked to:

  • Participate in an interview
  • Allow a research to observe and interact with you during one or more of your play sessions
  • Have the option of participating in a follow-up interview at a later date if you wish.

If you would like to participate, or would like more information about the study please contact Mitchell Harrop by email mharrop / at /