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Subject: Magic: A community? rss

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Ernesto Cabrera
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Warnings:

1. English is not my first language and I will not write this in every single post I write. My flag speaks for itself.

2. This is a very sujective post, as most posts here, there are no "objective views" about anything in the geek, even when it agrees with how the community sees (or how much they like)a game or an specific view of someone.

3. This post is a rant and as such, it is oriented and filled with anger.

4. This post is based on the view of the Mexican enviroment and it's based in every way in this view. I've never ever played in any other enviroment. Also it is based in an article based in the mexican enviroment, so basically it is my view and only my view of how the mexicans act and what they do regarding MTG.

5. I was once addicted (as in alcoholic or gambling addicted) to MTG when I was 16-17 yo. I once left everything to play Magic: Money, Family, Friends and even reality. I've played several times again and even in a lot of tournaments, but always with a view of an addicted reintegrated into society.

So, carrying on:

I recenlty read an "article" from a mexican site that is devoted to CCGs, mostly Magic, and it amuzed me how stupid and deep-into-MTG is this guy, and suddenly reminded of myself in my tournament years.

For the record: http://www.necrotower.com/articulos/2008/2107marlon.html (it is in spanish)

In this article he talks about:

1. How gentleman-ish was the game in a time before this.
2. The Mexican MTG community sucks because of their attitude.
3. Things can be changed just on how we think of ourselves.
4. We can be better (in MTG) if we're socially more accesible or better with the community in all of Mexico.

I really thought, back then, that MTG was the only thing out there, mainly because of the lack of quality strategy boardgames in Mexico, and this guy is in the same deep-shit as I once was, the thing is that he is actually convinced that he can "change things" within the MTG "community", when MTG can't build a community that doesn't revolve solely around one thing: Magic The Gathering.

Firts things first. Magic the Gathering in a tournament enviroment can't be "friendly" and it can't be enjoyable if your goal is to make friends or enjoy the game most of the time, you can't biuld a "community" in that toxic enviroment, you're dreaming if you think that all people can just "get along and play together for the good of the community".

Second: This game is based in one thing: to sell cards. The better the card, the more expensive he is. And how "pros" explain this to the people?:

Quote:
Well, it is an "elitist" game, and while everyone can learn to play it, not everyone can play it "correctly"

(for the record, this is an actual quote from that article).

Third: The enviroment that you're putting yourself into requires lots more than just "some time", it requires preparation, deep thinking, problem management... etc, lots of things that only select people can handle (the ones that eventually become "pros"), those people most of the times have a) Financial Stability, b) Emotional Stability, c) Lots of Intelligence, d) Natural Skills...

Fourth: When you put the word "Money" in something, it always takes out all the good things in people, and brings out the worst in most. Magic is a game that is based in money(cards, all kinds tournaments, expansion after expansion, the opportunity to gain more, the promise to gain more). How awful can that be? Everyone is trying to get it's share and they won't hesitate to take it no matter what. I've seen people get really angry for not getting that rare in the 20 boosters they opened, or by not winning in a match, or by drafting the wrong cards.

Fifth: The game promises a social experience, and even when you do get to know some cool people, most of them are just there to play and win, they don't care who you are, where are you from or what you do, they just want to kick your ass because they're "better than you".

Finally: After a while you get so involved that you forget all of this. You waste thousands and thousands of dollars just to prove people that your skills are higher and that the cards have nothing to do in the game.

So, people, please stop anyone that is so deeply involved into the game. If you want a real social experience, go out with your dad to the movies, hang out with your mom or your brothers/sisters, ask someone out or go out with your boyfriend/girlfriend to the park. And if you really want to strategize, buy a nice boardgame or crack open a Preconstructed deck and show your friend how to play Magic in a very friendly way.

The creepy guy in the store is (most of the times) not your friend, he wants to sell cards to you.

Magic is not a community, is just a bunch of people trying to figure out a game where the rules are changed (literally) every four months, and some of them will figure them out, but some of them have to stick to the old $50 Settlers of Catan, because they will fail at the attempt. That's why I left Magic a few years ago, I eventually realized that I can't change the way Magic fans are, they're blinded by Wizards of the Coast and they're shiny new expansions, and the people that really wins is because they're aware of all of the things stated above, and stick by this rules.

Eventually boardgames saved me from my misery, boardgames can be played with whomever you want and wherever you want without caring if you're gonna win or not, of course a lot of people play in tournaments or really care about winning, but most of us just want to spend some quality time while enjoying a deep strategic game, or a light, laugh-provoking game, or any game at all, but with some opportunities and choices of our own, without money, a company, collectability, unfriendly people or anything that clouds our gaming experience.

My cards are still here in my house, gathering dust, reminding me that it is just paper and the real purpouse of the game:

Thousands and thousands of cards gathering dust, while thousands are still being printed, making everyone to think, that the new ones are better than the old ones...


EDIT: to point out warnings
 
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Todd Pytel
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lestat2099 wrote:
Fourth: When you put the word "Money" in something, it always takes out all the good things in people, and brings out the worst in most.

That pretty much sums it up, I think. I played some Magic years ago, though not in the tournament scene. But I now play in ASL tournaments occasionally and, while it can be quite competitive, there is none of the "toxic" atmosphere you mention. People hang out, drink some beers, play some games, and have fun whether they win or lose. Of course, they're playing for honor, glory, and a $10 plaque with their name on it, not for a five-figure prize. Once people get dollar signs in their eyes, the scene changes.
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So I can't make friends with other Magic players? Wish I'd known that 6 years ago when one of my groomsmen was someone I met from playing MtG.

Even with people I competed against regularly for prizes in tournaments, I made friends. I saw people loaning each other cards so they could build a certain deck for a tournament. The community is not as callous as you've made it out to be.
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Geoff King
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Maybe Mexico has a "harder" Magic scene.

If some of your friends still play, dig into your cards and put together some fun decks to play once in a while when you get together for game night. I never did get very deep into the tournament scene (mainly because I'm not that good) but I still have my cards and about eight decks. Some are good for dueling, some for multi-player. I also have my Big Deck

Don't let all those cards sit around gathering dust. Magic is still fun if that's all you need from it. Sure there's lots of great boardgames out there, but there's still room for card flopping.
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Matt Hoskins
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As a general rule I try to be civil on the geek. However, this is one of the least thoughtout rants posted in a while. This is saying something.

Pure thoughtless garbage.
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Jonathan Challis
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matthewjhoskins wrote:
As a general rule I try to be civil on the geek. However, this is one of the least thoughtout rants posted in a while. This is saying something.

Pure thoughtless garbage.


Hear, hear! (I'm very sad to say...)
 
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Doug Buel
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lestat2099 wrote:
Magic is a game that is based in money(cards, all kinds tournaments, expansion after expansion, the opportunity to gain more, the promise to gain more). How awful can that be?


I give up! How awful?!
 
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Ernesto Cabrera
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matthewjhoskins wrote:
As a general rule I try to be civil on the geek. However, this is one of the least thoughtout rants posted in a while. This is saying something.

Pure thoughtless garbage.


Ok, thanks for your "nice" comments man.

Maybe I was writing with some rage here, but calling it "garbage" is really sad. Even more sad is the people that thumb up your post.

Why wasting your time posting (or "thumbing")on "garbage posts"?

Sarcastic remarks and rude commentaries help no one, please post on how you came to think this is "thoughtless garbage", or please don't post anything.

 
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spearjr wrote:
So I can't make friends with other Magic players? Wish I'd known that 6 years ago when one of my groomsmen was someone I met from playing MtG.

Even with people I competed against regularly for prizes in tournaments, I made friends. I saw people loaning each other cards so they could build a certain deck for a tournament. The community is not as callous as you've made it out to be.


I have to agree with Jason here. There are a lot of jerks who play tournament Magic (or games period for that matter) but there are a lot of friendly folks as well. I met two very good friends while playing Magic who both play a lot of board games with me now (many years later), and during the time when I was playing Magic, my group of local friends were always willing to bend over backwards to help each other out: loaning cards, sleeves, paying for someone to eat who didn't have the cash on hand, &c..

I'm certainly not going to say the scene as a whole is all pats on the back and raucous times, it's not. The competitive vibe at tournaments in particular can draw in some very unsavory people. But I think trying to argue that there is no Magic community as such is misguided at best.
 
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Doug Buel
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lestat2099 wrote:
Maybe I was writing with some rage here, but calling it "garbage" is really sad. Even more sad is the people that thumb up your post.


How sad?!
 
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Ryan M
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I agree - taking advantage of a community forum here to rip on another game's community is weak. I used to play Magic pretty seriously and I made tons of friends - great people who would compete against me in a tourney then go out to dinner after. I'm still friends with those people. And I've met people who play boardgames like there was a million $$ at stake and would prefer to win as much as speak to you.

Every community is going to have jerks, but to deride one for having them is at best ignorance. And on top of that, there are a lot of people that play both...

As for the money element - sure money can corrupt somewhat. But only the largest tournaments (Grand Prix, Pro Tour, etc) really have money worth being a jerk over. And for WotC? You are right - Rio Grande, Days of Wonder, Fantasy Flight etc only make games so that we can have a wondrous community of social extravagance, living our days in each other's blessed company...
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Matt Hoskins
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lestat2099 wrote:
Sarcastic remarks and rude commentaries help no one, please post on how you came to think this is "thoughtless garbage", or please don't post anything.



Pot: Kettle is black.

You know your post is a subjective, anger filled, sad little rant. Do you really need me to dissect it?
 
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Ernesto Cabrera
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matthewjhoskins wrote:
lestat2099 wrote:
Sarcastic remarks and rude commentaries help no one, please post on how you came to think this is "thoughtless garbage", or please don't post anything.



Pot: Kettle is black.

You know your post is a subjective, anger filled, sad little rant. Do you really need me to dissect it?


Ok, now that I read it all over again, maybe I should've written some warnings:

1. English is not my first language and I will not write this in every single post I write. My flag speaks for itself.

2. This is a very sujective post, as most posts here, there are no "objective views" about anything in the geek, even when it agrees with how the community sees or lkes a game or an specific view of someone.

3. This post is a rant and as such, it is oriented and filled with anger.

4. This post is based on the view of the Mexican enviroment and it's based in every way in this view. I've never ever played in any other enviroment. Also it is based in an article based in the mexican enviroment, so basically it is my view and only my view of how the mexicans act and what they do regarding MTG.

5. I was once addicted (as in alcoholic or gambling addicted) to MTG when I was 16-17 yo. I once left everything to play Magic: Money, Family, Friends and even reality. I've played several times again and even in a lot of tournaments, but always with a view of an addicted reintegrated into society.

I will edit the original post to set this straight. Thanks for the comment.
 
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