In the world of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K, the evil demonic hordes of Chaos face off against legions of openly fascist Space Marines who subjugate the galaxy through violent imperialism. There are also some hives of cockroach-esque bug aliens that want to infest the galaxy; tribes of pugnacious Orks always looking for a fight; undead robots; some sadistic space pirates; fleets of ancient imperialist space elves who think of humankind as bugs that deserve to die; and so on.
In other words: no one in that fictional gaming universe is really good. Though apparently some players have missed that point. Specifically — and perhaps unsurprisingly — there are some players who conflate their support for the Imperium of Man in a fictional space game with their love of real-world fascism and white supremacy. While this comparison might be apt, some people don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. Not content to appropriate vaguely Nordic and Celtic iconography to serve as unwitting symbols of their hatred, these bigoted bastards have apparently started using symbolism Warhammer 40K for similarly hateful purposes.
So Games Workshop took to their community site to make it abundantly clear: every faction in this game is evil, and so is white supremacy.
There are no goodies in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Especially not the Imperium of Man.
Warhammer 40,000 isn't just grimdark. It's the grimmest, darkest.
The Imperium of Man stands as a cautionary tale of what could happen should the very worst of Humanity's lust for power and extreme, unyielding xenophobia set in. Like so many aspects of Warhammer 40,000, the Imperium of Man is satirical.
For clarity: satire is the use of humour, irony, or exaggeration, displaying people's vices or a system's flaws for scorn, derision, and ridicule. The Imperium is not an aspirational state, outside of the in-universe perspectives of those who are slaves to its systems. It's a monstrous civilisation, and its monstrousness is plain for all to see.
The message ends with the company declaring that symbols of hate are unwelcome in their stores, and anyone wearing something that supports a real-world hate group will not be allowed on the company's property. "We won't let you participate. We don't want your money. We don't want you in the Warhammer community."
The Emperor of Mankind could not be reached for comment, on account of he's a thousands-year-old braindead fascist.
The Imperium Is Driven by Hate. Warhammer Is Not. [Games Workshop]
Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)