Acting as an Ambassador for Vintage: A Noble Pursuit
There will not be any article from me this week, I apologize in advance. I have been very busy and I find myself no longer able to deal with the lack of sleep the way I used to. This has caused several severe complications in my daily life, and I need to take at least a short time off. This isn't why I'm writing this though, so let's keep moving...
Since the addition of Vintage Leagues to Magic Online there has been a huge influx of new players. I know this because I went from the occasional join request for our Vintage Facebook group to getting five to ten each day (although I could be off about that figure, it does certainly seem like that much).
With all of these new people finding our favorite format it is our duty to be nice. Don't be a total shitbag just because you lost. I understand the frustration from losing, I really do. Hell, I lose all the goddamned time! The thing is that I've had to learn to try and take a step back when I feel that tilt coming on. After all, going all ape-rage on a victorious opponent will not help you feel better, and when you finally calm down and realize what you've done I'm sure you'll actually feel worse.
Try to imagine that you are a new player and your first encounter in a league involves winning a match (yay!) and then being told that you're a living cancer or some such nonsense. That's awful, and with the small community we have it's very dangerous for our well-being too. We can't afford to scare people away.
I am a nobody. I am not rich, I am not better than anyone, and there are surely a shit ton of better Magic players out there. But since I have been fortunate enough to write a few articles people tend to recognize me. Often times it feels like that means I have some reputation to uphold, and I shouldn't be losing, but in reality that's not the case. It's fine to lose. Losing doesn't make you a bad person or a loser. Losing like a sore loser DOES do those things though.
I speak on this topic from experience. While I've never really gone on a full rage against someone, I have made snide comments or sarcastic jabs before. Those things are also not OK. I've had to go back and message someone that I was sorry if I came off like a jerk, knowing full well that I did. Apologizing for negative behavior is a great start, because admitting you're wrong is tough for many people to do, but it isn't the end goal. We all need to make sure that we're stopping ourselves before we cross that line (even if it seems benign at the time).
Lately what I try to do is just to find solace in the fact that for some of these people beating me at Magic is awesome to them. They read my article, build one of the decks, then use it to crush my dreams on Magic Online. These things used to sting a little bit, but I've realized that making people happy is awesome. The fact that they are having a good time should make me happy too.
With all of that said, I'd like to thank the folks out there who act as kind ambassadors every single day. Rich, Brass Man, and many others too numerous to name are kindhearted competitors and we need people like that. Helping other people is great, and it can feel just as good as winning if you learn to place emphasis on teamwork.
Thanks for reading folks. I wrote this post quickly before work, so I may go back and edit it for clarity, grammar, or content later, but I wanted to get it out there. Things are going so well with these MTGO leagues right now and I don't want to see them derailed by any malfeasance.
This matters. A lot.
Remember kids, calling your opponents lucksacks is OK (also, raging at your screen)...just don't do it in chat.
As a Noble myself, this is certifiably a Noble pursuit.
The Community is more important than the Self. In a game, the opponent is not your enemy. The enemy is yourself. Your opponent is simply there to test your strengths and weaknesses. If anything, you should thank your opponent regardless of the outcome. Your opponent makes you better.
If you resort to bashing a person in real life or on a chat screen you do not deserve to be part of this community. In this you are both a coward and a buffoon.
But if I thought sieze them, take their only copy of a spell, and they topdeck it and cast it next turn can I at least "... :(" in chat?
But seriously, this is a really important message. Magic is a game. It should be fun. Being friendly and kind helps make it fun for everyone.
Well said Joe! When I came back to this wonderful game a few years back, after a 12 year hiatus, the community was a big part of what pulled me back in to Vintage. I picked up playing vintage, legacy and modern on MODO and realized that the vintage crowd was by far the most pleasant to play against, so I played it the most.
It's not just that you're less likely to see assholes in vintage, but you're far more likely to have a random chat with vintage players. Tons of people took the time to help me out, talk decks, suggest things and just chat about magic/life in general.
Where card availability is the greatest enemy of vintage, an awesome community full of friendly people is our greatest strength. Let's keep it that way.
This is my favorite link on this site: http://themanadrain.com/tags/not being a douche
Thank you. Good post.
Unfortunately I feel like the Vintage community has been defined by constant negativity this year, mostly due to arguments and activism over B&R. Complaining about MTGO and other nonsense certainly hasn't helped either.
I do hope we can come to be known by other things instead.
@walking-dude I'm pretty sure thoughtseize says: "target opponent reveals their hand, you choose a non land card. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life. Your opponent draws another copy of the card you chose on their next draw step."
@islandswamp This is a great post. The number one thing I hate about MTGO is the douch bag comments people put in chat. People rarely act this way IRL magic, it drives me nuts that they do it on-line. On line I always try to picture an unknown opponent as someone I have just been paired with at an FNM, or a GP. Wish them luck and GG's.
Vintage, more than perhaps any other format, has games where you can keep a reasonable hand, start strong, and still get flattened because your opponent just "has it."
This is a feature, not a bug.
I'm playing decks in the league that I would not generally run in something like a challenge or a daily. I lose to my own deck losing its mind more than I do to my opponents. I've also had laughs, happily reminisced about old favorite decks with an opponent and in general had a blast.
A wonderful change of pace has been more opponents willing to chat during a match than I usually encountered during a Challenge.
Which is my long winded way of saying: we are the community, and we can shape our environment.
I've even had people start using whole words again asopposed to "glhf"...
I definitely have had problems with getting tilted myself (including today). It's tough because I'm under a microscope somewhat. Still, I tend to direct my rage at myself.
Personally I need to work on playing a match to its conclusion instead of giving up so easily. That's something I'm not proud of.
@mourningpalace And "... :(" isn't raging. Heck, the simple "must be nice" in chat is clearly salty but not disparaging to your opponent.
We've recently seen lots of examples of taking it to the next level and above. THAT--that's no good.