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Jae Kim


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Jae Kim: Theory and Practice
JK21: Keep it Respectable

April 16, 2010

The most frequent question I receive on both my blog and through Pojo e-mail is how to get “better.” A lot of my audience really, really wants to achieve success at a Regional or Premier Event. This motivation is understandable. Oftentimes, a lot of players' best friends also play Yu-Gi-Oh!; achieving success at the game can lead to getting more clout and respect from these peers as well.

 

Yu-Gi-Oh! is a game geared towards a male demographic. So the game itself creates more of a testosterone-driven atmosphere than other hobbies. Throughout my time playing the game, I have seen a lot of curious behavior in the game. Stealing, cheating, and blatantly lying are some of the depths to which the star-seekers sink.

 

But let's focus on behavior we can control online. I always tell these success-seekers to keep it respectable. It sounds corny but having a respectful attitude towards judges, other players, and yourself is really the best way to get better. It's very difficult to achieve a higher level of understanding if you refuse to thoroughly analyze mistakes and broaden your horizons. After all, you just lost to a “lucksack topdeck” right?

 

There is simply a lot of buffoonery on the major Yu-Gi-Oh! forums. While I personally feel Pojo has always been the biggest and the best, DuelistGroundz and TCGPlayer also have solid communities. And in these communities, you might be tempted to start flinging insults and peacocking your own skills because everyone else is doing it.

 

Everywhere you look, you see a new thread with a title like “Best Version of x Deck” or “This card is the best tech, discuss.” Most of the topic creators do not mean to be insulting or condescending; I think a lot of them suffer from low self esteem and want to make a mark on the game they love. Disagree with their premise and you might enter an e-shouting match for e-cred.

 

The 75th and Final SJC is rapidly approaching. There are a number of mediocre players who have achieved great success at these events through cheating, stalling, and bribing. Then there are a number of legitimate players who have achieved YGO immortality through their contributions.

 

Disclaimer: I am not close to any of these players professionally or personally. You will always find me guilty of praising players by name because I have a philosophy regarding YGO. Because the game does not have top prize support, we play for recognition from our peers and for love of the game. I will always lay the “recognition from our peers” part on thick as a result.

 

I was looking at building a Dragon deck the other day and entered Google. Who was the first name that popped up? Richard Clarke. It is entirely possible he may be linked to any event-worthy Dragon deck for the next five years. The recent Battle Fader-Dimensional Alchemist interaction? Henry Su did it and his name is still mentioned. Even our own Pojo's Robbie has made a name for himself as a premier Gadget expert.

 

Assuming you are a player who values credentials in YGO, do you want to be just another loudmouth idiot on the forums and in person? I would urge you to keep it respectable and play the game for the fun of playing. That way, any additional rewards you receive would just be a nice bonus!

 

Then you see other players who always kept it respectable achieving great success. Players like Austin Kulman, Kris Ferber, and Jerome Mchale entered the game with great attitudes and sportsmanship and left with Nationals Championships and even top jobs with the game!

 

Sadly, even as an undergraduate in college I flung insults and got into trouble. My time with Upper Deck/Metagame got rocky as I called out the terrible design of the game. Was I growing frustrated with the many missteps? Sure. Was there a better way to handle it than writing inflammatory public articles? Probably.

 

So take it from a former loudmouth himself (sadly at an older age than you probably are now). It's better to keep your mouth quiet and respectable than open it and remove any doubt.

 

To become an even more sincere duelist, take the time to visit my blog: Go-YGO.com

 


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