Eternal masters roughly one month away, where's the hype (and further spoilers)?
@rikter Representation is important, especially on high-impact cards. Notice how many women of color play competitive magic at a high level. Notice how many white men do. It's a problem.
@OurLadyInRed I agree. The problem is that this is a great game and there are whole subsets of the population who really don't play it in any substantial number, for any number of reasons. I also agree to some extent that the pictures on the cards matter to a non-zero degree. I will say though, as a completely unapologetic social-progressive, I feel like people who want to fix those sort of problems can tend to get themselves really lost in the woods on this sort of thing. The window dressing.
Basically, given my experience, I don' t think women, by which I mean people, are dumb. Are there little boys who imagine that they are Jace, because they look like him? Little girls pretending to be Chandra? No doubt. They're are also little kids who imagine that they are Nicol Bolas or Ajani. There are little girls who want to grow up to be Ogres. (I teach Spanish to one of them... hola mi querida orgita.) Kids, and all people, get something out of having a rich fantasy life. Magic can offer that.
They also get something out of being exposed to games like Magic... elegant, richly logical games. If girls and women stick with this game, I would hope that its for some larger reason than being a brunette and seeing cards with brunettes on them. Frankly I would expect it. I know some people think in shallow ways, but in general, people do gravitate to real quality. If something like a picture gets someone to pick up a deck, great. But people know quality. They can be shown and understand what is deeply interesting. Magic is. Not only are all subsets of people (obviously) capable of playing it... and playing it well. But everyone is capable of benefiting from playing it. If we really want to market the game to all people, we should market it as something that is fine to all people. We should convince women and girls that they can play and think and compete and win. Because they can. And the game would benefit from more ideas. We should be saying that this is a wonderful collective puzzle, which causes one to bump into some of the most interesting mathematical ideas around, and some of the most interesting people... men and women. White and Blue and Black and Green... even Red.
@Topical_Island Mt:G demographic is a very interesting topic to me lately. It appears, at face value, that the largest increase in revenue that Wizards of the Coast could possibly achieve would be achieved by creating equal representation in the competitive Mt:G scene. Equal representation should, in theory, nearly double their gross revenue. It's not inconceivable that some people who work at Wizards of the Coast could just be inattentive to just how much the company stands to gain by pouring resources into obtaining equal representation. If the representation within the company is such that those working there are not being exposed to the other half of humanity in an equal ratio then it could be that it is simply overlooked on a daily basis on a small scale. If I were running the company I would be pouring every available resource into expanding the customer base to have as close to a half female audience as possible. Doubling the gross income of the company is nothing to scoff at. Either the company is being run by some very unfortunately non-economically mindful people or there's going to be a major change in the tournament scene over the next few years. Neither would surprise me.
@Aaron-Patten Totally agree. (I teach magic in my high school class... so yeah. It's a great tool to reach people.) "Equal" representation...? sure. No real problem there... I think the proper way is to think about the problem is not as "fixing a bias"... but as - there are new people out there, with unique ideas and perspectives who could help the game and the game could benefit them... lets go get them, whoever and wherever they are. I don't like the idea that this is numeric, like we are solving some ratio problem. It's cold. It devalues the people already in the game, as well as the new ones who we want to join our weird little club. It's people who make the game.People are awesome. All types of people. Lets go get more of them!
@Topical_Island Different words for the same thing. The question of how to include more women in the game is something I find my self pondering every time I'm at a major event.
@Aaron-Patten I'm bringing my wife to a tourney this month. Her first ever... she is super nervous. But don't anyone tell her I said that.
@Topical_Island She must be a very cool lady
@Aaron-Patten She's awesome. And really good at, and into games... which is super lucky for me.
a) "We" is a dangerous word to use when you don't know the gender of the people you are ambiguously including in it.
b) The assertion that a person caring about the pictures on the cards is "dumb"....is condescending at best, ignorant at worst. Not everyone wants an "elegant, richly logical game". And not everyone needs to want that. You're literally asserting that someone who cares about the art is dumb. You should talk to Ant or Mike Linnemann about that. Or, ya know, Terese. I bet she loves knowing that all she's doing is "making window dressing". Just because you play the game one way, doesn't mean other people have to.
c) Representation at high-levels of competition is exactly the way to do that. I started playing competitive Magic again because of Melissa, Emma, and Jadine. And how do you get to a high level? You start somewhere. And cosplay, art, casual magic, the pictures on the pack, those are the things you see (other than a bunch of nerdy white men sitting in a corner moving around pieces of paper, and do you really think that's encouraging anyone?). So having a woman of color on the front of a product that players will tell stories about MATTERS. It gets you in the door. It may even keep you there, despite having to constantly explain to men why that matters.
Also, read. Google. Educate yourself. Here's a start: http://www.wakemag.org/sections/voices/why-does-media-representation-matter
Re: Making the game more inclusive. Representation is literally one of the main ways you do that. Have more women involved in making the game....have you looked at a list of set designers lately? Have more women involved producing content. Have more people of color doing those things as well.
@OurLadyInRed But my dear Lady, of course I didn't say that caring about the pictures on the cards was dumb. In fact the only instance of the word by me was to say that people aren't it. Expecting that people will only care about what's in the pictures, and that changing only that will be sufficient... well...
And of course I wasn't condescending to anyone. Nor was I saying that the pictures are the window dressing of magic. I was saying that caring about how it looks above what it is, can be limiting, and can function as the window dressing of the social progressive movement. I think it vastly underestimates humans' ability to be rational and see that value which directly improves their own lives. (One sees a much more nefarious version of this all the time in politics right? Does it matter if a politician who just tried to gut funding for food stamps, then delivers a speech about personal liberty while standing in front of hungry children? The value of the one, the policy, far far outstrips the value of the other... the image... and anyway. People tend to be much smarter than that.)
The pictures in magic are beautiful... (some of them). Some of them are totally camp too, if that's your thing. That's ok too...
As to your second point, all I can do is agree again. The images on the cards matter. But no amount of pictures of anything will make up the lack of a real outreach program... maybe pictures of an outreach program?... naaa.... I'll stick with the previous statement.
Students... of every sort... should be shown MtG in middle school Math classes. Wizards could make a product out of it. For no particular cultural reason, other than that math is beautiful and good, and that fantasy is beautiful and good. Where they intersect... even better.
We is a good pronoun... perhaps the best. I will maintain that we are all people with unique and beautiful value. Dangerous? To me did you mean? I'm happy to suffer whatever consequences can be brought against me for using it.
Greg last edited by
@Greg Oh yea, that art by Terese is completely unidentifiable. And goodness, look how bad the wasteland art is! such abstraction! C'mon, these artists are great & deserve respect, whether you like their style or not.
Also, a number of things:
- Force has art by Terese, explicitly directed to show a woman of color. Fuck yea women of color being represented in Magic. I would actively choose this art over anything else.
- The hologram is probably going to have it's own value, as fakes get better and better.
- Nearly everything printed at rare in MM saw a significant hit in price, even if only for a period of time. I'd also offer that Bob pretty much tanked. Some unjustifiably expensive cards tanked completely.
@OurLadyInRed: I appreciate your commentary, but you seem to have completely misunderstood my post.
I'll try to address each part of your response to my post. First off, Terese Nielsen's new Force of Will illustration is completely unidentifiable by nearly everybody's standards of what "Force of Will" is within the confines of a game of Magic: The Gathering. The "Commander" Sol Ring, illustrated by Mike Bierek, will never be Sol Ring. Ever. Certainly not to me, at least. Even after many years, that Sol Ring variation does not represent "Sol Ring" to me. The same will go for Force of Will, I promise you.
For better or worse, I'm simply an elitist for the early years of Magic. I'm fully aware of this. Even with that said, it's important to note that I'm not actually insulting anybody, though. You seem to be equating my use of the term "unidentifiable" with "bad" or "unsuccessful." I did not state that any of the recent artwork is bad. Terese Nielsen's updated Force of Will and Eytan Zana's Wasteland are both nice illustrations, but, regardless of skill, subject matter, or flavor, neither will ever trump or replace the original duo. A lot of it has to do with the new card frame, new font, and new hologram, though.
Let's take away my personal bias for a moment, which I'm fully cognizant of. Visual iconicism and instantaneous recognizability are unbelievably important in a game of Magic. Most people playing or watching Vintage are processing information and making decisions solely on picture recognition. How often do you stop to carefully read a card that you've seen hundreds or thousands of times before?
Let's say I cast Thoughtseize or Gitaxian Probe on my opponent in a game of Vintage. If they reveal a Revised Demonic Tutor, Beta Sol Ring, Urza's Legacy Tinker, Antiquities Strip Mine, and Alliances Force of Will, the situation would be instantly understandable to me; I wouldn't need to burn too much brain power to try and assess the situation. If my opponent instead revealed a "Divine vs. Demonic" Demonic Tutor, "Commander" Sol Ring, "From The Vault" Tinker, "Expedition" Strip Mine, and "Eternal Masters" Force of Will, I would actually need to slow down to visually identify what each card was, even though I know them all like the back of my hand. It would take me exponentially longer to assess the situation and determine where I stood in the game. When my opponent plays any "Expedition" land, I never know which one it is. I recently got blown out by a Strip Mine that I had thought was a fetch land for many turns. Lesson learned. Most of them look indistinguishable from each other. Variety and incongruity in design do not work here.
Again, I'm looking to take my personal bias out of the equation. Which hand represents the presented information most accurately to you?
And goodness, look how bad the wasteland art is! such abstraction! C'mon, these artists are great & deserve respect, whether you like their style or not.
I never said it was bad. It's nothing special, but it's not bad. Where are you getting "whether you like their style or not?" You're putting words in my mouth. I agree with you, though. Every Magic illustrator deserves respect, no matter what, but that doesn't mean they are free from potential criticism, (though I wasn't even criticizing the content of anybody's art.) Conversely, I actually think Terese Nielsen's new Force of Will is an absurdly skillful painting; it's simply gorgeous. It's a big improvement over her 1996 effort. Terese Nielsen, at this point, is probably the most skilled artist to have ever worked on the game; I have the utmost respect for her. None of my criticisms were even about the formal aspects of the artwork to begin with, but if they were, I'm more than able to form a respectful and fair opinion. I have a BFA in illustration and an MFA in art education; trust me when I say that my opinion isn't arbitrary or without serious consideration.
Regarding your bullet points:
Diversity in Magic: The Gathering is fantastic. Seriously. Mirage was one of the most visually intriguing and beautiful releases the game has ever seen. I'm glad that the new Force of Will personally speaks to you because of that, but this is simply not something I take into consideration when choosing which cards to purchase and sleeve up. There's nothing right or wrong with either of our preferences.
The hologram is a disaster. Sorry.
If that's the case, then Modern Masters, at the very least, did a good job to some small extent. Getting "unjustifiably expensive" cards to tank is something I'm strongly in favor of. I'm clearly off topic now, but I do sincerely hope that Eternal Masters brings the prices of staple cards down and does something to help the average player. I don't see how the print run won't be slightly helpful, at the very least.
a) Everything about this sounds condescending. Unsubbed.
@OurLadyInRed Everything? My goodness... I am really sorry you feel that way. I genuinely wish a more robust discussion had been possible.
artsncrofts last edited by
@Greg Something you might find interesting is that, as a relative newcomer to Vintage (playing on and off for 3-4 years, mainly online), the newer art is actually much more recognizable to me. This, of course, is all relative, but if one of the goals of the community is to attract new players, and most new players have learned the game with the "modern" card border, it would be helpful to the cause to update some of the older format staples.
@artsncrofts That's a fair point. (Personally I always go for the oldest version I can...) What you said makes a ton of sense. I really don't mind having to learn new images... new mechanics I find much more troublesome most of the time.
The Atog Lord last edited by
First, Greg, excellent post.
"Fuck yea women of color being represented in Magic."
While I find the phrasing "of color" entirely distasteful, if you are looking for non-white women represented in Magic cards, there are many. Magic has always been amazing for allowing us to visit places across the world through the game, both real and imaginary. Mirage Block, Portal 3 Kingdoms, Khans, and Kamigawa took place in real-life or fantasy versions of non-European places. Captain Sisay has been a large part of Magic's story for many years.
And of course, my personal favorite, Arabian Nights. While this set is before legends, it shows man females being depicted, such as Shaharazad and Sorceress Queen. So, when Wizards asked Terese to draw a black woman on Force of Will, that isn't anything new or unusual.
SamwiseKimchi last edited by SamwiseKimchi
I'm so mad that this is such a fantastic example of recognizable vs. "what is that card?" I love my modern borders, but the second hand could be draft chaff and a Sol Ring. You've ruined me, Greg Fenton. You and your old school art snobbery.
(Matt Stewart Force of Will is still the prettiest. :3)
@The-Atog-Lord I love Arabian Nights... by far my favorite set. If the whole game were just Arabian Nights, I would still play it. (Also of tremendous literary interest... Check out what Borges had to say about the 10,001 nights if you enjoy being on the receiving end of a Mind Twist in real life.)
Brass Man last edited by
Above all else, TheManaDrain wants a vintage community of passionate, friendly, engaged players. We want the best possible members for our community, and by necessity, this means people of every gender, every race, every background need to feel welcome.
I also want to be clear - there isn't a wrong way to enjoy this hobby. TheManaDrain is and will continue to be primarily a strategy site, but there's a lot of hobby around the strategy that many Vintage players have in common. There's nothing inherently bad with enjoying the Art, the Story, the History, the Collectibility, or even the Community of Vintage more than the game itself. We all have different priorities and preferences. If you love Vintage, you should be able to love it here.
@Brass-Man Yeah... I wholehearted agree that the is, in fact, no known wrong way to enjoy MtG. (I really hope it hasn't come across that I ever thought otherwise.)