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This Space
For Rent

Ace’s Multi-Purpose Writing Module #6
Part 2 Of Whatever It Was I Wrote About Last Time
By: Ace of Spades - 05.02.05

SCENE 002:
Location: A small, dark room.

A single light turns on, revealing two men in suits standing around another guy tied to a chair. The first suit smacks the tied-up man.

[German accent] We’re going to try this again. Where is your column?

Do you expect me to talk?

[Italian accent] Yes. Did you even write anything?

[mocking] What do you think?

[frustrated] Of course you haven’t.

I see where this is going. You basically have the two choices. Write another article –

Or we keep you locked up in this interrogation room to rot.

[sighing] You’ll get your column.

EMoD throws Ace a piece of paper and a pencil.

Remember that last column I did? Where I rambled on about the bad spectators? That was same zany stuff, huh? As my crazy follow-up to that, I have a helpful guide to on how to avoid being like Coach Mutou or Bob the Hutt.

#1: Ask First

You may not have to pay to watch a duel, but you should wait for permission. It’s as easy as asking “Mind if I sit in?” or “Alright if I watch?”. It’s very rude, and on occasion, kind of creepy, to go sit next to somebody and start peering over their shoulder.

If they’re fine with it, by all means, pull up a chair. If they’re not, go wander off and find something else to do, or another game to watch.

#2: Don’t Interrupt

This one should be fairly obvious. The players won’t need an announcer. They don’t mind spectators talking about what they did, but the spectator shouldn’t talk directly to the player.

By the same token, it’s not a good idea for a player to start up a conversation with the spectator while the opponent is trying to play seriously.

On the other hand, it’s not rude to politely inform a player of an error they made. If done nicely, this is quite beneficial and can help new players to understand the game or give the opponent a quick chuckle, depending on the skill level of the players.

#3: Be Helpful

While you’re not an errand boy for the players, it’s always nice to offer assistance somehow. If they happen to be using a pen and paper for keeping track of Life Points, volunteer to jot it down for them while they concentrate on the game.

If an error is made, and the opponents make an argument about it, feel free to go grab the judge or rules authority and point them in the direction of the game. Arguing over rules doesn’t deplete LP, so the less time spent bickering, the better.

As mentioned, you are not a servant either. You shouldn’t go up and get a snack for one of the players, unless of course you are being reimbursed somehow. If they want food, they can get it themselves.

#4: Guard Duty

As spectator, you’re in a fine position to keep watch over the players’ valuables. If somebody is sneaking away with a binder and the owner is too absorbed in the duel to notice, take matters into your hands, and point the thief out to the authorities*. Heck, you might even get a card or two as gratitude.

You can also keep away the bad spectators. Politely ask the Rules Lawyer to leave or even get the tourney organizers involved. The current duel is probably too interesting to risk having an idiot come by and annoy the parties involved.

#5: Stay Away From the Cards

Don’t flip over the players’ cards so you can see them. Just don’t. A slip of the finger might lead to the opponent learning of a strategy.

Always ask before taking a look at a card on the field or to see a player’s hand. It can be politely done, but one shouldn’t bother a player about it. Get a quick look in and go back to what you were watching.

As a Yugioh player, it is incredibly dishonorable to then tell the opponent what the player has in wait.

#6: Refrain From Assisting A Cheat

One of the first laws of the game is to never cheat. Konami punishes this by sending a team of Yugioh experts to your home and ripping up every card in your collection, then setting fire to the cards and possibly your computer.

“Being an active accomplice” is a corollary to this law. Helping to cheat is not only dishonorable but it’s just low. I doubt even a scaler would go that low**.

Spectator: Security Guard

A person who obeys Rule #4 very often. Often ready for a quick fight or loud yell, the security guard is dedicated to keeping not only your cards safe, but everybody’s. A true player of honor, he’s ready at a moment’s notice to intercept some dirty thief on his way to the door.

A security guard also tends to assist little kids when trading, helping them to understand value and preventing them from getting ripped off.

The requirements for the Security Guard prestige class are as follows…

Oh whoops. Wrong game.***

Spectator: Authority Figure

The tourney organizer. The local high-ranking judge. The cool guy who runs the game shop. These are the guys that the players look up to when they need something resolved.

The tourney organizer will help to mediate while the judge arrives to administer the correct ruling, as the cool guy who runs the shop watches from behind the counter, ready to throw kids out of his store should the argument turn into fisticuffs.

On rare occasions, someone will be a mix of all three. This person’s authority is then tripled.

Spectator: That One Guy

Sure he doesn’t play Yugioh, or whatever game you happen to be playing, but he knows about gaming. He knows about trading, building and anything else commonly associated with the hobby.

That One Guy is someone who always likes talking or joking and is generally just a fun guy to be around.

Spectator: Walking Encyclopedia

The WE seems to know just the right information at just the right time. He can automatically recite a card’s effect if needed and he eliminates the need to find a judge because he already has the errata and advanced rules memorized.

Often carrying around his own binder full of rulings, the WE often takes up the job of Judge, though some prefer to just be players and spectators, rather than taking such a seat of power.

Spectator: The Good Parent

Every tournament has some newbies eager to learn the game and to find people to teach them. In the best cases, they are accompanied by what is called “The Good Parent”.

Fully supportive of the new hobby, the Good Parent strikes up conversations with local veterans to see where his son/daughter should be going in the game. The Good Parent will assist with trades and manners of money, helping the child to get the cards he needs. The parent will help the child in the actual game, tolerant of new rules and never accusing the opponent of cheating.

In fact, the Good Parent is just as eager to learn the game as his/her child. That is what I believe they call “good parenting”. I know it sounds like a myth, but they’re out there.

What? I’ve still got another page left to write? Hmmm. Let’s do a mailbag. That seems to be all the rage with my fellow columnists.

Q: hey ace can u r8 and review mi deck?????
A: No.

Q: Ace, I have a deck attached to this message. The goal of the deck is to [so-and-so] and hopefully I can win by [so-and-so] means. Would you mind taking a look at it and giving a quick review?
A: Certainly.

Q: Ace, I love you so much and I want to have your children. You are the best writer ever!
A: Your check is in the mail.

Q: Your column is stupid and I could write better with my eyes closed. You’re obviously a n00b and I hope you go to Nationals so I can beat you with a Yugi Starter deck. LOL.
A: Well, that’s why I’m writing for a popular and well-known gaming sites and you’re not.

Q: It’s off to a good start, but you could make it better. For example, I didn’t like how you did [so-and-so] and I think you should have given more attention to [so-and-so]. A good idea would be [so-and-so].
A: Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll certainly give thought to them when I write next.

Q: Act now! Free drug prescriptions, no waiting. We can also save you money on your next house payment. Drugs and tax reductions all in one package! How can you lose? If interested, send us your Credit Card number and send this message to your friends!
A: Listen pal, I can’t afford a house and I certainly don’t need any drugs. Now, I’m sorry to have to send this back to you, but I don’t have a Credit Card number. Also I don’t have any friends to send this to. I will be happy to stay in touch should you have any future offers for me.

Q: Shut up.
A: No you shut up.

Q: Are these real questions?
A: More or less.

-Ace of Spades, who is currently in a fight for his life against the undead remains of his co-workers. Please send help.

Ace can be contacted at ctrlaceofspades@gmail.com
Hey kids, now you can read about Ace’s zany life at his web journal thing. Linkage: http://ctrlaceofspades.blogspot.com 

*Be sure to yell something cool like “Stop thief!” or “You’ll never escape, fiend!”

**Kidding, kidding. I swear it. Scalers are in fact some of the nicest people I know and, I’m quite sure, perfectly decent human beings who wouldn’t really try to kill me in my sleep.

***Points to anyone who can tell me what the heck I’m talking about here.


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