warhammer 40k adeptus custodes guide next to man on phone reading warhammer tweet about custodians being female with woman gender symbols in the background

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‘Warhammer 40,000’ controversy explained: Is the Imperium going woke? 

Even in the 41st millennium, you can’t escape woke discourse.


Steven Asarch


Posted on Apr 17, 2024


It turns out that even in the 41st millennium, you can’t escape woke discourse. Over the past week, social media parasites and YouTubers have picked a new target for their anti-inclusion campaign — this time, the miniatures game “Warhammer.”

Using a lot of similar strategies and talking points used to attack the video game industry in the latest GamerGate, these creators have mobilized their angry audience of men this week, hopelessly floundering against a cultural shift in society.

Why? Just because some characters they thought were men turned out to be women. 

There Is Only War(Hammer) 

The world of “Warhammer 40,000″ is a dystopian nightmare full of the worst people and monsters you could imagine. Some of these future soldiers are the Adeptus Custodes (or Custodians for short). They protect the Emperor, a god-king figure who believes he can save humanity from demons, Orks, and the occasional apocalypse.

In past releases, the game described Custodians as farmed from the sons of nobles, referring to each other in masculine terms like “brother.” But on Saturday, some of the latest rulesets leaked online. The Spanish-language blog La Voz De Horus was the first to share that there was a story about a female Custodian in the leaks.

That same day, the official account of the game’s manufacturer, Games Workshop, responded to the situation on X.

“There have always been female Custodians,” the company tweeted. 

This triggered an avalanche of reactionaries who used this few-page story and tweet to fuel a narrative that the “wokes” are taking over the Warhammer franchise.

Mark Kern, an ousted game developer, has been using anti-woke activism to attack women in games. Kern created an entire thread ending with a call to “push back on the erasing of male spaces in games.”

Meanwhile, other edgy creators urged fans to cancel their Warhammer subscription service and stop buying Games Workshop products. 

“Seeing the difference of vitriol between that change and other more wide-ranging lore changes, my personal opinion is that it’s steep in misogyny,” French miniature painter CerberusXT described to Passionfruit. …

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    *First Published: Apr 17, 2024, 5:00 pm CDT