When I was in high school in the late 80's the gaming industry seemed to be in great shape, there was SPI, GDW, AH and others. I went to college and found beer and girls, and then the working world and just didn't keep playing. In the past couple of years I've been trying to get back into it and I see that much has changed.
So what happened - was it the end of the Cold War, was it computers? (Iv'e never understood some of the antipathy to computers and computer gaming, seems very complimentary to me)
Anyways since I really didn't see it happen, I'm just curious...
I'm near O'Hare Lite (Midway Airport), on Chicago's SW side. I usually game on Sunday afternoon's from 3-7. This past Sunday, we did Iwo Jima. There was Bob Mijonovich in a rare appearance, and Austin Lerner, a precocious newbie (12 years old- his mother is a former student of mine and his dad and I also go paintballing). They were Marines vs. me, the judge, as the Japanese. They had 18 Higgins boats land and one LCT, all in HO. Quite a bloodletting in 4 hours! My email is Rustyjb@prodigy.net. if you need to contact me. I'm the author of what I consider to be a bargain of miniatures rules in The Games of War.
Unfortunately, during the school year, my free time is rare.
Actually, thought it may have said "Commander" next to mine name, the real credit for the IFW goes to Scott Duncan and Gary, along with Bill Hoyer, John and those like them.
That was an interesting period. There were numerous wargame organizations and they all published in The General. It was all very martial. We decided to for the International federatin of Wargaming on the Chess federation model but we couldn't shake the titles for a while.
Thanks for the credit but I started out as a so so illustrator and became the editor of the IW. My biggest contributions probably had to do with serving food at the early GenCons with Elise Gygax!
As for martial, don't forget our rivalry with Sparta!
A lot of people have different theoriess on what happened. Computer games, role playing games and the aging of the old timers. It's probably a combination of all 3 since older gamers are reluctant to get involved with the younger crowd, who are primarily interested in computer gaming and role playing games. I run an AD&D campaign that is the 3rd oldest and my group has gamers who are in the late 30's,40's and early 50's. But 2/3 thirds of them are also interested in miniatures--Napoleonic's, naval and Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. They all have their own separate interests and that is what makes it interesting. And we are still adding interests .
Well, I'm continually introducing teens to the hobby at school. In a recent game at my home, my friend's 9 year old daughter took charge, literally of the Italian fleet off Crete and gave orders to another friend and his 11 year old son. She made a good WWII admiral. She had two surface actions involving the loss of an Italian and British light cruiser, an Italian submarine, and a British destroyer. Otherwise, she elected to avoid combat with the fleet heavies. The British were led by her 12 year old brother. His second in command is a guy about 60. Then, we did a Vietnam patrol for a change of pace. Hey, we only had 4 hours.
Agree with what was said - computers and RPGs but just as important - guys got old and died off with fewer interested people to replace them. World War II was a longer time in the past, and Vietnam wasn't a "good war" that you wanted to sit down at the kitchen table and relive.
Well, over at the CSW forums there's Paul, asking how to play his 'old friends' - i.e. older PC wargames - now on a XP laptop. He's 73 years old and has PD in advanced state but he's still carrying the torch of the hobby it seems. Kudos to him, I hope that I will still be a (war)gamer in that age, too (given that I can make it that long ;-) )
So 'getting old' doesn't necessarily mean leaving the hobby...