This week, I’ll be discussing the most important person that we meet playing Magic- ourselves.
Red, “You” the Magic Player
Anger and Forgiveness is a part of the game, but there is always another side to the story.
August 6, 2011
Today is William’s birthday, he is turning 30. William is in Indianapolis for the next 4 days with plans to attend the annual Gen Con event. He has been playing Magic ever since the game debuted in 1993 and has not stopped since. Because William has such a deep connection to the original origins of the game, he is excited to be at Gen Con, the place where Magic was initially marketed to the world. It is no coincidence he is planning to play in the Vintage championships with cards he’s been collecting ever since he was just 12 years old.
Philip has been friends with William since High School. They met in English class but became friends while slinging spells at the lunch table. They arrived in Indianapolis earlier this week in a carpool with 3 other friends. Ever since they arrived, the players have been play testing against each other in preparation for vintage championship taking place today.
William is playing a storm deck that he’s been testing for a few weeks now. He couldn’t resist playing the full Power 9 in his deck since today is the only day of the year that he can. William takes pride in the fact that he has now foiled out most of his deck and is hoping to complete pimping out his deck after the tournament. He sleeves up the last card of his deck and heads to the tournament site.
Gen Con is more crowded than it’s ever been, it’s difficult to move around without bumping into the shoulders of the person next to you. The Magic hall is pure chaos, people are scattered everywhere and spectators crowd players and there’s no walking room in the aisles.
William sits down for his first match and starts to shuffle up his deck. His opponent is playing a mono artifact deck (Stax) and William is able to tinker in a Darksteel Colossus game one. Game 2 goes according to plan and William combos off with storm while his opponent struggled to find any type of disruption. He is excited to start the game at 1-0 but soon finds himself in the 2-3 bracket a few rounds later. William doesn’t let his record dampen his day, he is just excited to be playing his favorite format and is excited to enjoy the rest of his time at Gen Con.
As round 6 starts, asks Phillip to watch his bag while he goes and uses the bathroom. Philip is sitting at 5-0 and is at the top table. William leaves his bag with Philip and heads to the bathroom. Philip carefully loops the bag around his leg and begins playing his match.
10 minutes later, William returns and watches Philip finish up the first game. He asks Philip for his backpack so he can head towards the trading room. Philip looks under his leg and doesn’t see William’s bag. Both their hearts drop and panic begins to set in. William looks all over the floor and sees that a piece of the strap is still there, somebody must have cut the strap while Philip was playing his match.
Philip immediately conceded the match and called their friends to help William look for his bag. They began scouring the room looking for William’s black and red backpack. After an hour of asking people that were watching the match, looking under all the tables, talking with building security and the local Indianapolis PD, the group gave up and headed out of the convention center.
William didn’t know what to feel, he left the hall in shock, disbelief, and anger. While he was upset at Philip, he was angrier with himself that he left his prized possession with somebody. He also vowed to find the people that did this to him and see that they are brought to justice. William’s worst nightmare has just became reality, his deck that he built from 18 years of collecting Magic cards was gone within a matter of minutes. William didn’t say a word to anybody on the entire ride back to the hotel and remained silent on the ride home.
August 6, 2012
Today is William’s birthday, he is turning 31. It’s been a year since William has talked to Philip. After Gen Con, Philip posted notices and rewards on twitter, Facebook, and most other Magic sites asking for help. He even began to sell his own collection to eventually help pay back William for the cards that were stolen. However it wasn’t just about the money for William, it was about 18 years of work. From the first pack of Unlimited to M11, to grinding trades- the deck was what represented his hard work.
William is extremely angry, his birthdays now is a constant reminder of what happened a year ago. After the incident he vowed to hate those that hurt him so much and had many sleepless nights thinking about finding them. He posted numerous rewards for information leading to those that took his deck away from him. William called the Indianapolis Police Department continuously for weeks in order to try and recover his cards. William let his anger fuel his actions for the past year and he never let go.
The thieves were never caught and hit a few other big tournaments a couple of months after their thefts at Gen Con. Philip has been blaming himself for a while, he has stopped playing the game as well because of the guilt he feels for losing William’s deck. He wants to talk to William and help him rebuild his collection but is scared that William is still angry at him for what happened last year at Gen Con.
August 6, 2013
Today is William’s birthday, he is turning 32. A few months ago William decided to venture out to his local LGS to play a few casual games of Magic. He has been playing Magic Online more often because of his new busy work schedule but wanted to play some paper Magic on his birthday. At the store he is surprised to run into his longtime friend Philip.
William approaches Philip and says, “Hey Phil! Long time no see buddy, How have you been?” Philip is shocked that William approached him but replies, “I’ve been good but playing has never been the same.”
As William sat down he looked at Philip and said, “Hey, I just want you to know, I was wrong for blaming you for what happened 2 years ago. I was angry at myself and more so at the organizers for not having any sort of security of communication at the event. I hate how things turned out and it was wrong for me to be upset at you when it happened.”
“I’m sorry too for not watching your stuff better, I should have known what it meant to you and that you would trust me with something so valuable. But let’s try not to think about it, I built this new Cube and its very popular here want to join?” asked Philip.
William takes a seat at the table.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another…” – Ephesians 4:31-32
ANGER AND FORGIVING
Anger is a real thing in gaming and we can all take a page from the good book on how to treat each other. No matter who you are or the level of competitiveness, we all get angry at one point or another. Think about the situations below and ask yourself if any of them applies to you:
- Getting Mana flooded or Mana screwed
- Losing to your opponent hitting a top deck or even worse- 2 runners
- Placing 9th at a premier tournament because of tiebreakers
- Getting a DQ from a judge because of a miscommunication
- Playing/trading against a scumbag and getting ripped off
- Losing/getting cards stolen
- Opening a foil chase mythic only to have to pass the deck to another player (sealed events)
- Opening a terrible box or case for that matter
These are just a few of the instances that I can think of that can make me or any Magic player angry. Out of everything I listed above, theft must be among the worst that can happen to a Magic player. It is not simply losing a toy or something money can replace instantly … I think we all have a bond to our favorite cards so we take it much more personal. In my story, William eventually chooses to forgive Philip and himself for the theft of his cards.
I want to take it a step further and say that William should forgive the people that stole his cards- Yes I did just say that. When you hold resentment and anger toward another person, you will always be bound to that person in chains. The chains will never break free until you forgive that person and move on. The anger you have towards that person or group that stole from you will never go away in your heart until the day you forgive them for what they did. To be able to forgive the people that hurt you the most is the BEST thing you can do for yourself. After finding the strength to forgive you will find peace and happiness that you probably never had before.
For every person or event you refuse to forgive in your life’s experience, fill up an empty water bottle, lable it, and put it into your backpack. Now carry that bag wherever you go for just a few days or even a week. After lugging it around, you will start to realize how much of a burden it is to hold a grudge or anger in your everyday life. You always have to worry about it and it becomes a nuisance that won’t go away… but you can do something, slowly empty those bottles as you forgive each person or event. You will literally begin to see the weight of the world slowly lifted off your shoulders and how much easier life is without it weighing down on you. Finding the courage and power to forgive is not easy… but I challenge you to do so.
Theft has been a problem in the Magic Community since the notorious Gen Con of 2011. Since then I can say probably over $250,000 worth of Magic cards have been stolen, and I don’t mean misplaced, I mean taken with premeditation and malice. Many articles were written about what you can do to prevent theft but I feel that we should abide by how law enforcement catches a handful of their criminals:
“If you see something, say something!”
That’s right, if you see something suspicious, alert the event staff immediately. Now don’t go accusing a person of stealing, that’s not what I am trying to advocate. If you see anything suspicious, notify the event staff and judges and let them do their job. Good tournament organizers have taken drastic measures to prevent theft recently and I’m sure they have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behavior.
Next week will be Green: (The Magic Friends) the player you are today is a combination of what you have done as well as the things the people around you have done to shape you into who you are.
Thanks again for reading, leave a comment below! Cheers!
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