I don’t attend Friday Night Magic (or prereleases) for a few different reasons. The first being that time is not something I have, but that can’t really be helped with a couple of young kids. The second reason, I can’t stand the egos that some players have when playing. The third reason is I hate it when I pull a good card and I get asked relentlessly if I’ll trade it after saying no. The fourth, and most difficult one to comprehend for me, is that every time I go to one, it seems like the majority of people there really need a lesson on cleanliness. Not so much of word, but in regards to actual hygiene. It’s a little scary that I have to bring it up as most of the attendees are at least 16 years old, if not already in their 20’s and 30’s.
Like I previously mentioned, I won’t really discuss time. The other three are problems I’ve heard from across the board with people who attend, and eventually stop due to these issues.
Egos. If you are playing against someone new, I don’t expect you to go easy on them. You are playing for a prize after all, and a little competitive spirit goes a long way. In most tabletop games, you learn to shake hands with your opponent before and after a match to promote that sportsmanship and respect. However, the comments that are made during play can make or break that new player’s spirit when it comes to wanting to continue playing. Giving helpful advice (in a non-cocky way, of course) is a great way to help, but when your remarks are more demeaning than helpful, the already nervous guy can easily feel defeated and even more out of place. Even if your opponent has been around the block, they may be more of a casual player comparatively, and these comments can make them feel like their hours of play have just been a waste. Treat people with respect. It’s not hard, and it could easily turn a novice into a pro with giving them a helping hand. Everyone has their own learning curve. There’s no need to flaunt that you are taking your test to be a judge, that you know more than they do, or that they really made a crappy play. Unless you are a judge, keep the first two to yourself. The last one can be pointed out with kindness.
The last pre-release that I went to was for Amonkhet and despite losing literally every match (I suck at these events), I had a good time. I also pulled the good Gideon for the set, but that popped up with a problem: one guy would not leave me along when it came to trading it. I told him no, I’m not trading it at least 15 times before I finally just told him to leave me alone about it. I understand, most people want to trade, which is why they bring their rares with them at these events. I however had not, and I don’t know what I want to build at this time, so I’m not trading it just to trade it. I feel like we are going through junior high teaching people that NO means NO all over again.
My last point is that poor hygiene will drive anyone off, no matter how devoted to the game they are. No one wants to be in a room with a bunch of smelly people for hours on end just to come out still caked with the smell of body odor. Why don’t girls come play Magic at FNM? This would probably be the biggest reason.
So remember, take a shower before you game, and respect each other, and use kindness.
Chock is a writer for the Forge Herald who disappears for long periods of time without any sort of reason it seems. He plays lots of RPG’s and dabbles in Magic the Gathering as well as Warmachines.
© 2017, Randy Schmidt. All rights reserved.