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Wargaming Celebs

Celebrity gamers

In the past couple years, it’s been en vogue for celebrities to come out of the closet and announce, once and for all, one of their darkest secrets:
That they once were – or are now – involved in playing Dungeons and Dragons.

It’s an interesting turnabout, for a game and hobby that for so long was played in the shadows, to be sought out by celebrities and actively promoted as something they enjoy. By and large, it’s probably a good thing, and will likely attract more people to the game, but it’s got me thinking:
With there being a decently large number of celebrities who have admitted their D&D affiliation, in this climate where “nerdy” activities are popular, why don’t we see more celebrities playing wargames? Heck, even Kevin Spacey’s character on the (formerly) popular Netflix show House of Cards built and painted a miniature Civil War diorama during one season.

As far as I know, very few out-and-out celebrities have made their interest in wargaming known. Peter Cushing (of Star Wars and Hammer horror films fame) was apparently a keen wargamer, as was Robin Williams. I’ve heard a few anecdotal snippets of others who have dabbled or been interested in wargames, but it doesn’t rise to the level of what we see when it comes to celebrities admitting they play D&D.

Why is this? I mean, wargaming seems to have all the window dressing for something that nerdy celebrities with time and money would enjoy in the privacy of their homes. It’s essentially the golf of hobbies: The equipment is expensive, the learning curve can be daunting, and it requires time and patience to get right.
Now, it’s true that the hobby of wargaming itself has created its own celebrities – Duncan “Two Thin Coats” Rhodes, the well-known Games Workshop studio painter, comes readily to mind – but, again, he’s hardly a household name outside of us hobby fanatics (sorry, Duncan).

I honestly would be surprised if there weren’t a lot of actors and other famous creatives who are delving into their codexes and batch-painting their armies. With all of the other interesting and outré hobbies that we often find out Hollywood-types engage in, you’d think something like wargaming would show up more often, especially if quite a few of them are playing D&D. Wargaming and D&D frequently go hand in hand.

So… are they rolling the dice on well-furnished battlefields in their basements, but keeping it on the QT? Do they stealthily purchase their minis online to hide their dark secret from the rest of the world? While it’s a multimillion-dollar industry, wargaming could honestly use a celebrity mascot or two to shine a bit of light on it.

So, anybody famous out there painting up their Primaris Marines today in between acting gigs? Anybody? Hands up if you are.

About the Author;

Peter Kuebeck is a writer, gamer and award-winning mini-painter living in the Midwest. He wages a constant battle against the ever-growing tide of unpainted minis in his basement, and occasionally GMs role-playing game sessions with friends. Catch his hobby shenanigans on Twitter at @popculturecube

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