So, H.G. Wells Was A Gamer

September 1, 2011 at 9:54 pm (Gaming & RPGs)

There’s actually a lot about HG Wells as a person to not like. He was a hardcore socialist. Based on his writing it seems he was racist and sexist. From what I’ve read it sounds like he was probably generally a jerk.

But he wrote some good stories, including some very well known ones such as War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, and The Invisible Man.

Anyway, I spend a gosh awful lot of time at work listening to podcasts and audio books. Probably at least 7 of the 8 hours I spend at work is spent with headphones on. And a lot of those audio books I get from sources like Librivox, where through the work of tons of volunteers, a huge selection of public domain books have been recorded.

Wells is one of the few science fiction writers whose work is old enough to now be public domain, and as a result I’ve listed to quite a few of his works, both the popular ones and the not-so-popular.

And how surprised I was to found two books about gaming in his list of works.

Floor Games and Little Wars are both somewhat similar books in that they tell stories in detail about games played with things like little toy soldiers and improvised structures and scenery; one focusing on the games his children liked to play, the other on war games devised by he and his friends.

Unfortunately another similarity between the two books is that they are both excruciatingly boring. Serious snooze-fests, both of them. ]

But still, I thought it was an interesting bit of trivia for game nuts like myself.

1 Comment

  1. Stanley said,

    “Based on his writing it seems he was racist and sexist.”

    Wells wasn’t racist :

    “I am convinced myself that there is no more evil thing in this present world than race prejudice; none at all. I write deliberately – it is the worst single thing in life now. It justifies and holds together more baseness, cruelty and abomination than any other sort of error in the world. Through its body runs the black blood of coarse lust, suspicion, jealousy and persecution and all the darkest poison of the human soul…It is a monster begotten of natural instincts and intellectual confusion, to be fought against by all men of good intent, each in our dispersed modern manner doing his fragmentary, inestimable share.”

    HG Wells, ‘Race Prejudice’, The Independent, 14 February 1907, quoted in Jeffrey B Perry (ed.), A Hubert Harrison Reader, p. 57)

    But a eugenicist:

    “I believe,” he wrote, “that now and always the conscious selection of the best for reproduction will be impossible; that to propose it is to display a fundamental misunderstanding of what individuality implies. The way of nature has always been to slay the hindmost, and there is still no other way, unless we can prevent those who would become the hindmost being born. It is in the sterilization of failure, and not in the selection of successes for breeding, that the possibility of an improvement of the human stock lies.”

    Which implies the systematic sterilisation of the genetically unfit: those born with + 3 chromosomes, the beared ones, the one eyed monsters etc…

    The problem is that nature does not select the fittest but those who do not fail to adapt. Henceforth the choosing of who’s fit or unfit purely arbitrary: why should mongolians be sterilised on the criteria that they should be unfit? Is it not simply evil?

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