I'm not even convinced that TMD/Facebook have a consensus on what the vintage community even IS. I certainly haven't seen much discussion on the subject.
When it comes to B&R, WotC cares about the format being fun. But fun for who? A lot of TMD users don't actually play a lot of vintage. A lot of active vintage players play in small metagames that have different metagame issues. Do MTGO-exclusive vintage players count less? Do they count more? There are a lot more vintage players that play 1-3 times a year than there are that play once a week (clearly true from tournament attendance numbers), and policy changes impact those two groups differently.
Maybe most dramatically, I'm pretty convinced that the amount of vintage-fans DWARFS the amount of vintage-players. That is, people who follow vintage coverage, read vintage articles, watch the VSL and Eternal Weekend, but do not play vintage and have no interest in playing vintage. These people still care about the B&R list, and they absolutely speak up about those opinions. There are absolutely decks and strategies and metagames that are more or less entertaining to watch than they are to play. There are more of them than there are of us, and I would imagine they spend as much (or much more) on the game, on average, than vintage players do.
I'm really doubting that polls (and the discussion threads) we have on TMD and Facebook (and Twitter and Reddit and anecdotally talking with friends) are representative of the Vintage community at large ... and if I'm being perfectly honest, I'm not sure what "The Vintage Community" even means. I'm unsure if WotC has their own definition, but I know for TheManaDrain, it's a giant question I've been struggling to answer.
Taking this conversation into another thread, but I really don't think this is that difficult of a semantic challenge.
Before Bdominia, there was no Vintage community. The internet made it possible for people who shared an interest in Type 1 to connect with each other, creating the Vintage community. Thus, individual communities of interest connected.
I think it's fair to say that membership in the "Vintage community" includes three elements:
- you have an interest in Vintage
- you play Vintage,
- and, you communicate with other Vintage players.
That last part is the most important part. If you love Vintage, and play the format, but you don't talk about or discuss the format with other Vintage enthusiasts, I don't think you can claim to be a member of that community.
There are, of course, ambiguities, such as how frequently you need to communicate or play the format. If someone plays Vintage 6 times a year, but doesn't communicate with other Vintage players, I wouldn't consider them a member of the Vintage community. On the other hand, if someone actively communicates about Vintage, but only plays once or twice a year, I would consider them a member.
I just don't think Brassy's challenge is that difficult. There are grey areas, of course, but I don't think it's as nebulous or challenging to define as he suggested...