2.28.02 A GREATER SENSE OF
Olympics have come and gone and that has left me with a
bit of time for some reflection. I am a pretty big
sports fan. I like all kinds of sports. I
even watch sumo wrestling on ESPN2 late at night every
now and then. No lies, this is the honest truth!
Anyway, I was watching the closing ceremonies of
the Olympics and realized that there was a huge sense of
community in those games. It was a sense of a
world community. To put things in perspective, we
had more troops appointed to the winter Olympic games
than we had stationed over in Afghanistan. That
tells you how important these events were to the world.
Iím sure you all are wondering what all this has to do
with Magic. Trust me, Iím getting there. We
are fortunate to be able to participate in a game that
has developed its own world community. You can
walk up to anyone at a Grand Prix or Pro Tour event,
break out a deck, and play a game. The two players
donít even have to be able to speak the same language.
Both players just understand the pictures, nod and
point, and smile and frown when a card is topdecked.
The one thing that canít be reinforced enough is the
fact that Magic is an interactive game. Itís
about laughing, joking, trash talking, smiling,
frowning, pouting, story telling, triumphs, and defeats.
Itís about recounting your best play. Itís
about the embarrassment you friend provide when talking
about one of your worst plays.
We have even developed online communities. We have
our favorite websites to visit. In this day and
age, several websites work on linking back and forth to
each other to promote each others hard work. Those
are the types of examples we need in our community.
Everyone takes many things for granted. The
players arenít always truly appreciative of what they
have been given. Many players came from out of
town to play at our store for the first time and were
amazed. They complimented us on everything. Yet
our local players donít realize how spoiled they are.
Online we were alerted to astonishing news from both
Brainburst.com and NeutralGround.com on the same deck.
Brainburst let go of their editor. The
readers were confused. Why did he have to be let
go? Here they were going to the site everyday.
However, when they donít purchase from them,
they canít make money. honestly, if nothing
else, click on a banner ad for your favorite websites.
Even if you donít buy anything, at least click
on the banner and look around a bit. do the same
for us here at Pojo. Click on our banners and at
least take a look around. This will please our
advertisers and help keep our doors open. Neutral
Ground was being sold. Fortunately itís not
being shutdown. I do want to publicly wish the old
management a happy future.
Owning a game store allows me to hear the wants and
complaints from players of other games. Most
things they wish to have, we already have in the Magic
community. Magic is the grandfather of them all,
and weíve developed a lot for it over the long haul.
I think time should be taken to strengthen each of the
different aspects of the game. Not so much be
companies, retailers, and manufacturers. I am
thinking more from a players perspective.
New players should look for advice from experienced
players. Research stuff on the internet. Take
the time to learn what your cards do. Donít feel
bad about getting deck help. donít feel embarrassed.
You canít get better without some experience and
help. Go to your local game store twice a week if
you can. Get help form the local players. Play
some games to learn the rules better.
Mid-level players should pay attention to their rating.
Attend larger events. Attend your weekly
Friday Night Magic. Get to know more players in
the tournament scene. Learn from your mistakes.
Be innovative. Donít be afraid to be
creative. Also, donít step ahead of yourself.
Still realize that you have a lot to learn.
Experienced/Pro players. You guys should be the
example to the rest of the Magic community. You
are the examples. Teach the younger players how to
play. Explain the rules. I think experienced
players donít attend tournaments enough. I think
the experienced players attending local tournaments is
very important to the Magic community. It gives
some of the less experienced players something to look
forward to. It also gives some of the emerging
players a challenge.
Retailers should try to accommodate the players as best
they can. Host events. Give decent prizes.
Keep information handy for new players that may
not understand. Try to learn as much about the
game as you can. Every little bit helps.
Going back to the Olympics, Iím sure that many of you
got to here the hype about Apolo Anton Ohno. He is
a very good speed skater. The media was touting
him as an Olympic hopeful to win four gold medals.
Anyone in their right mine knows that asking one
person to win four gold medals is just asking for too
much. However, he was well in the lead (as far as
speed skating goes) in the short track event the skater
in second, I believe he was Japanese), slipped and
pulled Ohno down. The two of them falling also
took out the next two skaters. The guy in fifth,
from Australia ends of crossing the line first for the
win. Many athletes would have been furious at this
strange turn of events. However, Apolo was a class
act. When the media came to him looking for anger,
he simply said, "Sometimes our sport is just like
that. I was lucky to still pick up the
silver." Thatís a class act.
Flip back to Magic for a second. Think about how
many times youíve seen a respected player gripe about
manascrew or a mana flood even though it only happened
to them once in their last 15 or 20 games. Iím
not saying he should like the mana problems, but just
accept them as part of the game. It happens to
infrequently to experienced players, that it amazes me
when I see them blow up. You should accept those
situations with class and set the example.
Another good chance to build up relationships with
different players is during playtesting. When you
are breaking decks out against each other and trying to
find out which is best, every opinion can be important.
You might have a new guy helping you build decks
and play, but that one idea for a sideboard card might
turn out to be the one main difference that you need to
win more matches. New players simply like being
involved in projects with experienced players. This
goes for any sport.
Also, donít forget about outsider impressions. If
more people are walking away with positive experiences
from playing this game, then more people will support
it. Thatís what we really want here anyway.
More player. More fans. More money. A
long life for the game.
Sharing knowledge and experiences with more players
ensures the game will be around longer. Itís
important to create more positive experiences. Itís
especially important for pro players to set the example
and spread knowledge. The more players and fans of
the game there are, the more money there will be on the
pro circuit to win.
I try to do my part to support the Magic community.
I love the game. I love the experiences.
Honestly, going to tournaments and playing for the
prizes is only half the fun. Going and traveling
with buddies, and meeting up with friends makes it all
more worth it.
Until next time,