While you are traveling and unwrapping your new tablets, smart phones, cozy socks, Magic cards and video games, I thought you might enjoy some light (and not so light) holiday reading. May you and yours have a merry Christmas and happy New Year.
The design aspect of MTG (while intricate, complex and brilliant) has rarely interested me. I do enjoy perusing the Great Designer Search challenges and seeing how people would add to/alter the game I love. But the actual mechanics process of design have never really been that interesting to me. I have never wanted to sit down and design a set or attempt to make a Planeswalker. I have already devoted my life to the intricacies and design of the human body. When I sit down to relax and unwind, I just want to crack a pack of Magic and have fun.
When I initially saw this article retweeted in my feed by @NickLange_, I followed it expecting a different type of article. Had I known that it was about game design, I probably would have skipped it (and have been the lesser for doing so). I found that each of the lessons provided me with information that I had not previously considered. Lesson three was my hook, though. Lesson Three: Retention Through Goals breaks down how MTG employs the use of the Bartle Test (yes, I had to look it up).
The breakdown of Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killers fascinated me and to some extent is the reason I decided to foray into writing for LegitMTG. There has always been some “casual” content on various sites, but nothing that showed the true social aspect of Magic. Most content seems to be focused on the “killers.” I wanted something that focused on all parts of the community, not just tuned deck lists that the killers could devour on their lunch breaks. Reading this section clearly defined to me one of the biggest reasons I love this game: it gets fuzzy. It’s not clear cut. I am sure a majority of Magic players can strongly relate to one of the these categories more than the others (me w/ Socializers obviously), but there are parts of each category we take from and stay for. If you are interested in design, I think you will like this article. If you are like me and just love Magic, there is something there for you too.
Defining Gaming Culture: A series of Blog Debates
This simple link from a fellow Magical person lead me to a series of gaming culture debates that ended up eating three hours of my life as I followed link after link after link within each article. Let me give you the quick and skinny:
(The First Shot) It began with non-gamer being asked to judge video games and an attempt to connect with her son.
(The Counter) The article above angered this man which in turn engendered this response:
(The Misplay) Then came a random observation on defining art and whether a game can be art. I would especially love to see what @mikelinnemann ‘s views are on this particular piece:
(The Fatality) This canon fire came in the form of a response to all three. While I do not completely agree with all his views, I did find one thought particularly useful after having several debates with some of the more intellectually impressed-with-themselves members of the Magic community.
“The difference between high culture and low culture is not the level of education they require (because they both require plenty). The difference is that one kind of education is available to everybody, and the other is restricted to a relatively small group; one esteemed by society as being of the highest importance, the other just a waste of time.”
It is no secret to anyone on Twitter I am a huge LSV fan girl–even after discovering that he does not like cookies. This was particularly heartbreaking to me since I have devoted a large portion of my life to the making, baking and devouring of cookies. Still, even with this tragic news, my devotion could not be dented. So like everyone else I was super excited to see the pun master himself recently do an AMA on Reddit. I already up-voted it and you should too!
(I had briefly considered composing a haiku for notable puns-man LSV, but since many of my readers are still suffering eye damage from the neon exposure of last week’s article, I decided to abstain. You are welcome.)
Star Trek was one of the only “nerdy” programs allowed (or viewed) in my country Christian home growing up. It sparked my interest in sci-fi/fantasy and lead me down the road that would eventually result in Magic. I am not a true “Trekkie” but whenever fun factoids pop up about it, I always check them out. I found this next factoid particularly interesting on a numbers of levels. Hollywood today is a very male-dominated place. But in the time of Lucy it was an ONLY male-dominated place. For her not only to see the vision of Star Trek but convince the “Mad Men” of Hollywood to see it is truly remarkable.
As the year winds down and we all prepare to ring in a new year, many of us will be partaking in the annual tradition of New Year’s resolutions. When notable Editor-in-Awesome at SCG, Lauren Lee posted this link on her facebook, I knew I had to share it with our readers. The post on her personal blog is an introspective, personal addendum to this article on Cracked.com. I get direct messages, tweets, Facebook messages and emails regularly from smart, funny and intuitive Magic players looking for advice on why they seem stuck. They want to know why they have trouble finding work, love or just getting it together. My answers have always felt inadequate, but now thanks to Lauren taking time out of her busy Star life, I will have a response.
Next up, Adrian Sullivan announced on his Facebook that Wizards of the Coast will host an invitation-only event that you qualify for by playing in Super Sunday side events at Grand Prix events. Go here to Pastimes to find out more info.
Helene is one of my favorite members of the WotC staff. She works tirelessly to listen to players and improve Magic events for us (though, lets be honest, probably more for you since I’ll just be here durdling with with my Angels). When the following announcement went live, it was almost enough to make me want to give up my durdling ways and actually play in a GP. Almost.
You know what I like? People that share awesome with the world. Thanks for pointing this out, @affinityforblue!
Wonder Woman. I feel like that just said it all.
I don’t know how you feel about the space time continuum, eating peas or unbanning Jace, the Mind Sculptor (free Jace) but if you don’t love a good alter, appreciate the work, time and artistic talent that goes into them, then it is time to reevaluate your life. Make good choices. Here were two of my favorite alters/proxies posted by their lucky owners this past week:
We are thankful for all of the loyal readers and customers who have supported us though our first year of trying to build LegitMTG. Merry Christmas. I would love to see all the awesome MTG presents you received this Christmas from your special someones. Tweet @ me or use the hashtag #flashurmtg.
I don’t know about you but I could toast to this…
And here’s a unique, thoughtful, hand-made present with cool art and a good choice of guilds:
If you’re in the market for decorations rather than gifts, one Christmas year the Examiner posted an article on how to craft your own Magic the Gathering ornament for your tree. There are a few other guides out there as well but this one is pretty easy to follow:
Medina and all of us at Team Legit want to thank the many commenters and readers of our content. Your feedback (both positive and negative) help us become better writers, content providers and all-around people. I reviewed the comment section from this past week and entered all the names of the people who had taken time out of their day to leave a comment into a random drawing. The following Legiters have $20.00 in store credit waiting for you as soon as you email your info to email@example.com.
- John Clayton Butler
- Noah Rutkovsky
- Aaron Estrin
- Gregory Schafer
- Rudy Bza
- Joey Stuart
- Matt Carpenter
- Marcus Hensing
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