“We are all members of one body.” Said JB Priestley in his landmark lefty play, An Inspector Calls. For years it has prompted schoolboys up and down the country to say, ‘Bagsy not the bollocks.’ For just as long it’s prompted schoolgirls to roll their eyes in continued gender-based disappointment. But Priestley was right, he was talking about society. And, much like the swaggering Diregraf Colossus, we here in the Magic community are all part of one body. It doesn’t have to be a gender-specific body as such, and either way, I’d rather be part of the upper arm/bicep, you get some fresh air from time and it’s not as sweaty as certain other… locations.
Anyway, now I’ve mangled the shit out of that metaphor, here’s my guide to being a good community member.
Helping, I mean really helping
We all know ‘em. The ‘Loomers’. You’re playing a game and there they are: watching, waiting. Like barnacles on the good ship rubberneck; they’re waiting to point out where you went wrong, how weird/imbalanced your deck is. Social awkwardness is a blight on society, don’t solve it by pressing your claim as MTG troubleshooter in chief. Sometimes, people might ask for help. Sometimes, they’d like to stew on their defeat plotting every mistake they’ve made since taking that insurance job in their early twenties, losing their way for seven years of their life and being decidedly unproductive. To quote a random example. Either way, they could probably do without a fresh and uninvited wisdom shit from your friendly sphincter.
Recruiting for the Crusade/Lecturing
You like the Magic, you like playing the game, watching the videos, reading the Tweets and engaging with the Reddits. Sometimes, on occasion, there’s some drama on the internet. I know, mind-blowing stuff. Usually, it stems from a group of people who have been systematically marginalised by society; ignored and angry, they’re here to change the world one crusade at a time. Yeah, you know who I’m talking about. Men. I am one, I should know. They seem to think that the womens have had it too good for too long, they’re even allowed to run websites with their own opinions on them these days and it’s time for that to sto…
Nah. Your trip to your LGS is where a bunch of people go to have fun. If you’re dribbling on about the latest outrage you’re in the wrong place. You should be at home, hammering your keyboard to bits in impotent rage and wondering why it is you don’t have positive contact with other humans.
When the game’s even, you’re normal. When you’re behind, you’re normal. When you’re ahead, that’s when the problems start. That’s when you start ‘thwipping’ your cards down. Flicking them on to the play-mat like the card-snapping Napoleon you truly are, only then can your enemy duly note his impending defeat. Only then will you be acknowledged as the full-time mayor of Smug Town, with its population of one massive dickhead.
Playing control all the time
“Actually, blue is the truest colour of Magic because it contains the greatest number of all time cards. It’s the tai-chi of Magic, using your opponent’s strength against him and deflecting his meagre efforts with your tempo/counter/wrath/card-draw skills.”
Come in Bobby Bullshit, your number is up. And no-one could go for a piss after playing against you because all your games went to time. Dick.
The Sins of the Flesh
We love art, all of us. Art is cool, it’s representative, inclusive, challenging and often thought-provoking. Magic artworks are superb, over the years they’ve covered an impressive range of styles and the artists themselves have become minor celebrities. But, and there’s always a but isn’t there possibly on that one fellow’s mat. This particular ‘but’ is probably fairly well exposed and indicative of a niche interest in specialised Japanese art, usually concerning ‘the appreciation of the feminine form’. Stow that away right now you degenerate, this isn’t France.
Anyone might be mistaken for thinking that it is I, the Master of Metal, who has a disconcerting and possibly diagnosable problem with other people based on reading that. And, well, maybe. I mean, who knows? You don’t, you know it all bastard.