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We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 1:28:42 AM   
Canoerebel


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We AE players know that our familiarity with the Pacific War and Pacific geography is specialized (exceedingly so for some of the prodigies). For many of us, our knowledge is confined to the game and the community, where it is the norm and therefore unremarkable. Only occasionally does our mania become available to those outside the community, as when some unknown city or island comes up in discussion and we sheepishly (or bodly, depending on one's personality) reveal it's location. Places like Kalgoorlie, Moulmein and Morotai.

Do you recall any instances in which you're "secret life as an AE player or WWII afficionado" has spilled over into regular life?

This happened to me a few days ago, when my wife and I joined seven other adults for dinner and some word games. One game was a challenge to answer a series of 20 questions, each answer to be a word repeated, like "boo boo" or "Walla Walla."

Question five: "A gun."

My answer: "Pom pom."

This was correct with the AE universe, of course, but the answer everybody else gave: "bee bee."
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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 1:48:17 AM   
geofflambert


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'Peculiar people'? I am not a 'people' (I'll admit to being peculiar, though). Too bad there wasn't an answer Pago Pago where you could have demonstrated the correct pronunciation. Now that I'm playing the Japanese, it does seem to me that the "Nates" are indeed armed with BB guns. Some of my planes seem to go Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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Post #: 2
RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 1:48:26 AM   
morganbj


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Well, either is technically correct. I think I would have said A.A. or ack ack, myself.

No, we are not peculiar. We are informed.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 2:11:45 AM   
Grfin Zeppelin


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Well for some reason people are always surprised. A few months ago someone said that the war in the pacific changed when the Japanese lost 5 carriers at Hawaii (he meant that Midways thingie).... I took a deep breath and was going into full nerd mode ending with something like Shokaku and Zuikaku couldnt join that battle because.....ya kwow the jazz.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 2:21:35 AM   
Cribtop


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Many, many times have I gotten the "here he goes into pontification mode" eye roll. I'm a researcher, and my co-workers call me a geek. However, one grad student knows as much as I do. A rarity for that generation. We have had many long talks about PTO issues, armaments, etc.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 1/5/2014 3:22:11 AM >


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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 2:35:18 AM   
Chickenboy


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Sure. I'll bite. I'm a geekwad-dorkwad hybrid too. I immediately recognized the islands from the recent Cyclone, having relatively recently been on one of them personally. I regularly tell my wife "I know where that is" when reading about seemingly obscure PTO locations that come up in the news.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 2:44:12 AM   
John 3rd


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I recently heard of some strange island named 'Savaii' and KNEW exactly where it was. HAH! Take that Bainbridge Scholars...

Happy Holiday CR!

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 4:44:45 AM   
JeffroK


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My Storeman is from Baguio.

He loves that I know where it is, we often have talks about the differing views of things that we learnt at school.

Wargaming & Stamp Collection has led me into learning about the World, luckily in later years I have been able to visit a few of these places.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 6:50:32 AM   
Yaab


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Baguio is not on the stock map. How do you know its location?

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 7:49:52 AM   
CT Grognard

 

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Perhaps because Baguio City was the location of General Yamashita's surrender in 1945?

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 8:04:29 AM   
Yaab


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Right, I was thinking strictly in game-lore terms.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 8:57:26 AM   
Chris21wen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK



Wargaming & Stamp Collection has led me into learning about the World, luckily in later years I have been able to visit a few of these places.


And here I was thinking I was the only person with these two interests. Next you'll be telling me you have an interest in Bird (feathered varity) watching.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 9:13:28 AM   
tocaff


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Yep, it happens all to often that a remote place is mentioned in the news and I tell my wife where it is. I was always good with geography, but this game sharpened it for much of the globe.

I was a history major and love it when somebody starts talking about WWII, especially the PTO, and their "facts" are all wrong. Sometimes I hear my wife's voice saying "Down Boy" to me.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 9:36:41 AM   
wdolson

 

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When my SO and I are watching TV and they touch on some subject related to geography and/or WW II and they get it wrong, she hears me take in a breath and says, "they got it wrong didn't they?" She's pretty quick to do the same about anything legal they get wrong on TV (she's a lawyer), so I don't feel bad about doing it.

A few years back my SO and I were in the bank and I asked the manager about her accent. She sounded like a Kiwi, but she looked like a Pacific Islander. I figured she was probably Maori. It turned out she was from Suva Island. She was impressed I knew where it was. My SO could tell I was about to geek out and changed the subject.

Lately I've also been reading a book about two people who spent a year on Tuin Island in the Torres Strait in the 1980s. The book has some mention of some other landmarks WitP gamers would know like Horn Island. Tuin itself is one of the little black dots on the map a little north of Horn Island.

Bill


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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 11:20:55 AM   
berto


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CT Grognard

Perhaps because Baguio City was the location of General Yamashita's surrender in 1945?

Yes, and no.

Yamashita really surrendered first at Kiangan, Ifugao. See here. He was afterward taken to Baguio for the formal surrender ceremonies.

How do I know this? Our adopted son's mother is from Kiangan (his father is my wife's brother), and we have visited the place several times. Been inside the Yamashita Shrine too.

Not strictly speaking in terms of the game, how's that for geekiness?

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 11:48:47 AM   
Blind Sniper


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You are all a bunch of nerds!

Speaking about our hobby is almost impossible for me, no one is willing to listen someone that voluntary play this kind of games
I.e: when I say that my best board-wargame is Advanced Squad Leader then 90.0% of the people don't know what I'm saying, 9.0% (wargamers like me) think that I'm a nerd-geek combo and the rest 1.0% say cool! Unfortunately almost no one from 1.0% is close to me

I guess WitP is the same for pc-wargame.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 1:18:57 PM   
Coach Zuck

 

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I coach High School Football and I have a player from the Philippines.
When I asked him what city he didnlt think I'd know. Then when I asked which island he told me Mindanao.
"Oh the Southern most island"
"Coach you really know about the Philippines. Do you know where Davao is, that's where i was from"
"Of course I know where Davao is, biggest city on the south of the island"
"Damn Coach, you know everything"


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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 1:24:14 PM   
nashvillen


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It comes in handy sometimes. When the last Typhoon tore through the Philippines, my mother, who works with some international relief agencies as a volunteer was telling me about a letter they got requesting aid from someone in the Philippines. I asked her where he was writing from. She said some island named Mindanao and a place called Davao. She told me about his story about his neighborhood was a shambles and his church was torn down, etc.

This is where I combined several of my interests, Geographic Information Systems, Weather, and WitP:AE. I used WitP:AE to know where the guy was writing from, Weather to know a Typhoon does damage in a relatively narrow path of the catastrophic variety, and GIS to look up the path and measure its distance from Tocloban to Davao.

Once they challenged him on his claims he just went away. My mother and her agency were impressed.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 1:40:43 PM   
Lokasenna


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A friend of mine used to play PTO2 in tandem with me, way back in the day (10-15 years ago). We learned a lot about Pacific Ocean geography from it, as well as about IJN ship classes, even if it's nowhere near as detailed as WITP. He played a little WITP for a while but doesn't have the patience to play for real, which is too bad because then I'd have a PBEM opponent for life. In any case, he knows just enough about the game that he enjoys being kept informed of my progress in games. So that's fun.

Doesn't come up often in conversation, but sometimes I'm able to say "No, that's closer to Australia" or "Know where Fiji or Tahiti is? X is Y from there", etc. Used to happen more often when I conversed with Australians over a MUD.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 2:13:00 PM   
nashvillen


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I love meeting people from the Pacific regions for the same reasons Coach and Lokasenna have mentioned. You make an instant connection to them if you even know a little about where they are from. You can then expand on that and learn even more about the geography of the region that person is from.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 2:45:18 PM   
Cribtop


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This is an ETO story, but when my future college roommate and I were in High School, we had a weird history teacher. She knew her art history backwards and forwards, but she had some unique opinions about military history. She asserted that the Japanese assisted the Germans in trying to prevent the evacuation of Dunkirk. When we called her on it, she claimed the IJN sailed around the north end of Russia to get there. My future roommate made such a stink that she let him go to the library and bring back numerous sources to refute her.

Fortunately, this was not the normal level of education I got. We still laugh about it when we see each other.

PS - She later asserted that the Battle of Trafalgar wasn't very decisive. You can't make this stuff up.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 5:12:10 PM   
jmalter

 

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I've learned a lot of geography from AE, & can even cope w/ the difference between its historical place-names & their modern replacements.

But a lot of my learned geography is severely distorted by the game's map! IMO if the map had some hexsides dashed or bolded to provide a best-possible approximation of 180 longitude, the Equator & the Tropics, I'd have a better understanding of the world.

For add'l fun, take an hour & google the names of some Allied transport ships, looking for the person the ship was named for. Tons of geeky historical goodness!

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 6:40:19 PM   
nashvillen


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Another fun thing is load up Google Earth and look at some of the locations you are currently operating in. Gives you another perspective. Lots of photos. Kind of travel to another part of the world without having to get your passport out.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 6:53:16 PM   
denisonh


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I was in Ireland in 2005 and struck up a conversation with an older gentlemen. He mentioned that he flew bombers in the CBI in WWII. I began by asking him questions to include what squadron and where he flew out of. Asked him about the different targets, if he ran shuttle bombing missions and experiences with the other commonwealth units he worked with. I think he was both surprised and appreciative of the discussion and the detailed questions I asked.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 8:04:29 PM   
crsutton


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Yep, I impressed my wife's friends for about two seconds the other evening when I knew exactly where Tricomalee is (was, that is).

Funny, but I have been gaming for over forty years. I was very sensitiveness about it as a teenager and young adult and told no person about it. It was my dark secret. Amazing how that seems to go hand in hand with not ever having any opponents. The first person who I ever told about wargaming was my wife to be. Then I came out of the closet (literally) and advertised in the old AH General for some opponents and started to have some real fun.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 8:07:45 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gräfin Zeppelin

Well for some reason people are always surprised. A few months ago someone said that the war in the pacific changed when the Japanese lost 5 carriers at Hawaii (he meant that Midways thingie).... I took a deep breath and was going into full nerd mode ending with something like Shokaku and Zuikaku couldnt join that battle because.....ya kwow the jazz.



Well, I think if I was a dinner party and a woman started discussing the merits of the six Japanese fleet carriers at Pearl Harbor I would be pretty much totally blown away. You are indeed a rare bird.

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 8:15:48 PM   
CaptDave

 

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I'm a lifelong geography geek so don't know how much of this comes from the game, but I used to have a coworker who was born in the Philippines (US Navy dad, native mother) and was there quite a while before eventually moving to South Carolina (then to Chicago when his parents were divorced, but that's a different story). Anyway, he was there long enough to know the country -- and I knew it better than he did!

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/5/2014 10:49:48 PM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

This is an ETO story, but when my future college roommate and I were in High School, we had a weird history teacher. She knew her art history backwards and forwards, but she had some unique opinions about military history. She asserted that the Japanese assisted the Germans in trying to prevent the evacuation of Dunkirk. When we called her on it, she claimed the IJN sailed around the north end of Russia to get there. My future roommate made such a stink that she let him go to the library and bring back numerous sources to refute her.

Fortunately, this was not the normal level of education I got. We still laugh about it when we see each other.

PS - She later asserted that the Battle of Trafalgar wasn't very decisive. You can't make this stuff up.


I had a science teacher like that in 8th grade. My sister was in grad school studying Geology at the time, so I had picked up a lot more science than a typical 8th grader from her. There were a few instances where I locked horns with the teacher, but most of the time I rolled my eyes and kept my head down.

I wonder if she had heard somewhere that Italy had declared war on France and the UK during the Battle of France and confused that with Japan? That's the only thing anywhere remotely close to what she was saying. And I don't believe Italy had anything at all to do with Dunkirk, though there were some Regia Aeronautica units that went to northern France during the Battle of Britain. Their contribution was fairly minor though.

If you really want to get your blood pressure up, you should check out this guy: http://douglasdietrich.com/. I've heard him on the radio a few times and I end up yelling at the radio. He claims to be such an expert, but many of his claims are physically impossible. He'd be more believable if he claimed Japan used enslaved fairey folk.

Bill

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RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/6/2014 1:28:28 AM   
Grfin Zeppelin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gräfin Zeppelin

Well for some reason people are always surprised. A few months ago someone said that the war in the pacific changed when the Japanese lost 5 carriers at Hawaii (he meant that Midways thingie).... I took a deep breath and was going into full nerd mode ending with something like Shokaku and Zuikaku couldnt join that battle because.....ya kwow the jazz.



Well, I think if I was a dinner party and a woman started discussing the merits of the six Japanese fleet carriers at Pearl Harbor I would be pretty much totally blown away. You are indeed a rare bird.



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Post #: 29
RE: We are a Peculiar People - 1/6/2014 2:59:24 AM   
rustysi


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When the earthquake hit Northern Honshu knew exactly where it was no map needed. The movie 'XXX', Bora Bora, yep know where that is.

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