I was inspired to write this today by Toymakers facebook post on ‘neebie mentality’ as it spoke a lot to me about our experiences with newcomers to the hobby. Whereas most new-comers to the mecha modelling hobby are enthused enough to learn something new through research, there are often those who don’t seem to understand that nothing with regards to the vast resources of the internet is a niche any more.
If you are new to something you naturally gravitate to real human experience, rather than to going through the more time-consuming method of reading and researching. This is a fact I can accept and it’s obviously a lot easier to get more definite answers from peers in areas you are unclear about by simply asking. However, when you are asking questions that can so easily be answered by typing in a search query into google – that’s just plain lazy.
Let’s take a hypothetical, but entirely common question asked by a ‘newbie’. ‘What Gundam model should I buy?’. Setting aside that this is an entirely subjective question, the answer nearly always is generally a HG model. Let me quickly google that question right now and see what happens:
So, in 874,000 results I can already spot several websites, youtube channels, blog articles and Yahoo answers to that single question. So the question is, why are the ‘newbies’ asking?
My first response would be because they are lazy, by second would be because they want to interact, become familiar with you and gradually make their way into the community or gain a more ‘expert’ and personalised opinion other than what google throws out. The second is an entirely good reason to ask that question, but it’s not the right question for gaining meaningful and helpful peerage – the first is just plain annoying.
Of course, as someone new to the hobby it’s hard to understand what would be considered an annoying or dumb question – so there is also an element of responsibility that comes with answering questions, and to make sure you always make it abundantly clear that it is your own opinion, and thus subject to your own experience – not the empirical truth.
Asking questions of someone with experience in the hobby too as a ‘newbie’ should never expect a response – especially so if they are more higher profile modellers. This sometimes leads to the ‘holier than thou’ feeling I touched upon in my damn elitist post.
So to wrap up, I am not here to be your own, personal Google or instructor, but I think I am a helpful chap, amiable and approachable, and I’m happy to help out as long as you don’t treat me like one. Always do ask questions, but do yourself a favour by doing a little research yourself first.
Having a little Googled background knowledge will go a long way to helping you open up discussions more as it’ll show your enthusiasm, and increase your chances of making some valuable connections in the community who will help you be the best you can be.