7/30/2012 MM: "Celebrity"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
This was a very enjoyable article, honestly the first to truly pique my interest in a while.  Thanks for sharing!  


PS:  FWIW, the overly-cute articles are the ones I find myself too lethargic (not quite the right word..) to read. the facebook post ones in particular.  Just saying.

Casual Magic player since 2003 (Onslaught Block). 60% Johnny, 40% Timmy. Want a free, graphics-based, collection database to inventory your cards? I made one! Feedback welcome. Program runs offline, includes powerful search options, art, Oracle text, data import/export, and a rigorously updated list of every card ever printed. Version 5.13 (Theros) now available!

So. Green needs an iconic creature type, eh? How about wurms!

One Billion Words - 1001 Fantasy Landscapes: Share DnD-ish landscapes for use in homebrew campaigns!

You know, Mark, you seem to have a gift for making even the most mundane, boring topics interesting.  I clicked on your article expecting this to be one of your less-enjoyable articles (no Magic design or game design, the topics I usually tune in for, along with a bunch of stuff on celebrities, i.e., people I don't really care about), and while I found the topic to be pretty much what I expected, the delivery was top-notch.  So kudos on a job well done.
I've read this article for almost as long as I've played magic (over a decade now) and I've come to appreciate the personal articles Mark does. Getting to know him through other facets of his life helps me understand him better when he talks about his ideas for design. This article didn't teach me that much about him (I already had the impression that he is a humble and appreciative guy), but it did serve to make me even more jealous of him. Comedy tips from Louis C.K.? Meeting Phil Hartman? That's pretty damn awesome. What takes the cake is that picture with Jim Henson. I grew up loving the muppets and the great man who made them come alive. I wish I could have met him before he passed. Kermit singing "A boy and his frog" choked me up the first time I heard it. If my life turns out as intersting as Mark's I'll know I've done my fair share of living.
This crystalizes a lot of the thoughts (and responses) I've had about the same topic.  I very much enjoyed it.  
Mark Rosewater is one of the all-time great storytellers. He is proof that people connect with people, not with ideas.
I've always had a preference for the more technical columns about the nuts and bolts of design, but this is the one article I like most out of all the columns Mark's written. (It doesn't hurt that I had a little frisson of emotional elevation the moment I clicked the link to show Jim Henson's picture—he's one of the purest icons of raw goodness our culture has produced, and I cannot see him without getting a lump in my throat.)
I started follwowing this game back during Revised and my interest waxed and waned over the years, until it hit a low point last year and the absurdity of the dual faced cards made me drop the game completely. I have a huge bookshelf of cards that have been gathering dust for the better part of a year because of that design "oddity" in Innistrad.

But having followed the game for so many years and the website even more closely, I still find myself occasionally drawn back to this site to see what's going on. I still see them overlooking the obvious issues with new player acquisition and core set design, but damn, Mark Rosewater is still just an awesome sonofagun. And then dropping that Jim Henson pic on us. Damn.
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
The flipside to what Mark says about being friendly and approachable and so forth is that he also has to be a guardian; he protects the company from possible threats, he protects the IP of magic, and there's an aspect of intimidation to that.  He can't be too friendly because he needs to retain the ability to say "no"; otherwise I could just go shake his hand and then guilt him into turning Magic into an achingly complex simulationist game which sells an entire lifetime supply of cards in a single box for five dollars, which is what I and pretty much only I want the game to be, and Wotco would go out of business while also cheesing off nearly every other fan.  So if I went and talked to Rosewater, there's a distinct limit to how pleasant he could be toward me.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
I always enjoy reading Making Magic, but this was definitely one of the columns I've enjoyed most. Fascinating. That Jim Henson pic got a "holy cow" out of me.
Amazing article by Mark, I believe one of him all-time best! Even though it had almost nothing to do with Magic, it teaches some very nice things regarding connecting with people.
A+ article, would read again.

Embrace imagination.

Lord of YMtC | Ten Rounds Contest Winner

Solphos – A fan set with a 'combo matters' theme

Fool's Gold – The second set of the Solphos block

Felt compelled to post just to say how moved I was by the article, Mark. Keep up the good work!

~ Tim 
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)
Yup, one of your best articles ever! =)

This article didn't teach me that much about him (I already had the impression that he is a humble and appreciative guy)

 

Say what? Because of his tendency to talk about his own work on design, and the restriction to talk only about what succeeded (because what failed in design can always come back in the future so can't be talked about), plus with him embelishing the entertainment of his stories by making it a 'me against the world' struggle, his articles certainly don't come of as humble.

The flipside to what Mark says about being friendly and approachable and so forth is that he also has to be a guardian; he protects the company from possible threats, he protects the IP of magic, and there's an aspect of intimidation to that.  He can't be too friendly because he needs to retain the ability to say "no"; otherwise I could just go shake his hand and then guilt him into turning Magic into an achingly complex simulationist game which sells an entire lifetime supply of cards in a single box for five dollars, which is what I and pretty much only I want the game to be, and Wotco would go out of business while also cheesing off nearly every other fan.  So if I went and talked to Rosewater, there's a distinct limit to how pleasant he could be toward me.



Medium and message, apples and oranges. 'Friendly and approachable' is about the medium, Saying 'no' is the message. There is no limit whatsoever to how pleasant one can be while saying 'no'.

I really enjoyed this column. It's great to see Mark explaining his reasons for his actions; and the astonishing effort he puts into Tumblr, Twitter and the rest show that he's putting his money (or more accurately, that even more precious resource his time) where his mouth is.


Thank you, Mark.

Mark,

Heaven knows I don't always agree with you. But I've got to say I like you, probably in exactly the way this article says you hope to be liked. I won't say I don't think you have an ego, because I think you do. And I won't say I've never wanted to tear my hair out after reading MM, because I certainly have.

But you've also always struck me as a class act.

I'm not even kindafamous like you, but I went through a period where I had some very minor notoriety in one of my fandoms. (I think everyone's forgotten about me by now.) And I experienced exactly what you describe: some people deciding I was the coolest of the cool, and others completely finding everything I did or said horrible and extrapolating wildly nasty stuff from things I said and did. I was shocked by how completely off-base some of it was, especially when people used their conclusion that I had _____ed to justify very strong condemnation, when ____ wasn't anything that had even crossed my mind.

 It was very difficult to know how to respond and very easy to get emotional.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying I admire you for the cool head you so clearly keep about those who disagree with you, and even those who go off into virulent nastiness. It's tougher to deal with than it looks and I really respect you for being so willing to just dive into it and learn from it and keep calm.

With admiration,
Alexa
I have to say that I enjoyed the article.  It really discussed the subject with heart without sounding pompous.  Good show.

It also reminds me of a story about my own brush with celebrity.  On December 1, 2001 some friends and I went to DC to see the HFSmas Holiday Nutcracker, an indoor rock show put on by the legendary, now defunct radio station WHFS.  The show was pretty good, but when we got to our hotel, the manager was hassling us because we apparently didn't reserve enough rooms for the number of people we had.  So, four of us waited outside the entrance while the remaining eight took everyone's luggage to the rooms.

I was one of the four waiting outside, and during that time, Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, walks out with his luggage.  I coyly ask for his autograph, but had nothing, but remembered I had a copy of Parachutes in my car.  I run and get it.  The problem was, that album is mostly black on the front, making an autograph tricky.  So he popped the CD out to sign the back, and the CD fell on the ground.  He told me that if it didn't work, just go onto Coldplay's forums, he'll see it and they'll replace it.  I'm still trying to play it cool that I'm even meeting this guy in the first place!

Anyway, we eventually get to the subject of why we're waiting outside in the first place, and he says "I'll be right back."  He takes his luggage out to the tour bus, comes back inside and comes out five minutes later.  He hands me a keycard and says "If you need anything, ya know, Chris Martin, Coldplay..."  I couldn't freakin' believe it.  Chris Martin was giving us his hotel room for the night!  It turns out that they had to reschedule something with a gig, and they had to leave at 3:30 am, so rather than wake up then, he chose to just sleep on the bus and leave with it.

He talked and visited with us outside the hotel for two hours, talking about movies and music, 9/11 (which was still a fresh scar for everyone).  Chris Martin is still the most famous person I've ever met, and is close to the top of the list of nicest people I've ever met.  Sorry for the bloated post, but it's one of my favorite stories, and I still managed to abridge it a little bit.

University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Class of 2016

My Peasant Cube: A Cube for the Commoners

I have to say that while the Jim Henson pic knocked my socks off, as a comedy dork, my jaw literally dropped (I didn't even know that was a thing!) at the Louis CK reveal. Just... holy crap.

On a less superficial level, I just wanted to say that I've been reading Making Magic for over five years now, and I can't even begin to suspect how much you've made a positive mark (heh, pun) on my life and my perspective, Mark. The lessons I've learned from your articles about Magic design have been immeasurably helpful not just in simple academics, but in social circles as well, and perhaps most productively in moderating my University's 'chapter' of the game known as Humans Versus Zombies (for those unfamiliar with it, google and enjoy).

And for those articles that aren't about magic, and are instead about life experience, and dating, and human nature... all of those have really informed me and who I am and I'm grateful for that, because many of the qualities and strengths I have in regards to empathy, circumspection, patience, and so on, I see as a direct result of the thoughts and observations you express in your column. So yes, you're the face of Magic: The Gathering, but don't sell yourself short, because to this reader in particular you've been a tremendous positive influence on my life.

Thank you, Mark. 
You'll forget you ever read this the minute you look away.
Veslfen's House of Bone-Dry Sarcasm
88318561 wrote:
76783093 wrote:
there is nothing "epic" about a turn one victory. ever. or really any magic game, for that matter.
So this one time, I wanted to play a game of Magic with my friend, but he was in another country and neither of us had Magic Online. I hitchhiked my way to the coast, barely fending off hungry wildlife when I couldn't get a ride, nearly dying of thirst crossing deserts, and posoning myself half to death foraging for food. At one point, I was taken hostage by a group of kidnappers, only managing to escape after a week of careful planning thanks to careful application of a rusty spoon. Once I reached the coast, I had no money to buy a ticket across the ocean, so I built a boat using my own two hands, and spent months sailing across the waves, nearly losing my deck as I swam to the shore of a desert island in a storm after being capsized by an enormous wave. Nearly delusional after so long with no human contact (the notches I cut in the single tree to tell time had long since felled the thing) I was eventually rescued by a passing ship, where I was taken aboard as a crew member. We sailed around the world, seeing many exotic places and having great adventures, before we finally arrived at my friend's country. Once more I stumbled across a desolate landscape, riding on train or car when I could, and going on foot when I could not. Eventually, weary to the bone, seven years after I started my journey, I arrived at my friend's house, clutching my well-worn and weathered deck to my chest. We shuffled up our decks, I won the roll. Gleefully, I laid down my cards. Black Lotus. My friend looked quizzically at me, wondering what I was about to do. After so long, he no longer knew what deck I had brought with me to this game. Flash. A knowing smile appears on my friend's face as the knowledge slowly returns to him. Protean Hulk. My friend extends his hand, knowing the game is over before it even started. And finally, after so many trials, the sweet taste of victory is mine.
56866178 wrote:
108166749 wrote:
So no one else is upset with the stunt Wizards just pulled to drive sales?
Drive sales of what? Non-Jace, non-Mystic cards? I'm pretty sure people already own more than eight Magic cards. If you don't, I feel for you. Maybe you can trade those Stoneforge Mystics, which are still quite valuable, for some.
I'm kind of a big deal on the Internet IMAGE(http://i.somethingawful.com/forumsystem/emoticons/emot-smuggo.gif)
Funny how you can form a very detailed opinion of someone based on the smallest amount of information and be so firmly convinced you are right.  Apologies Mark.  My first-paragraph-impression was much different from my last.  Thanks for being one of the good guys!
Excellent Article, and it ended on just the right note.  The best article you've done in quite a while.
Mark Rosewater is one of the all-time great storytellers. He is proof that people connect with people, not with ideas.



Yanno, when he wrote for Roseanne, something something. LOL
139359831 wrote:
Clever deduction Watson! Maybe you can explain why Supergirl is trying to kill me.
---- Autocard is your friend. Lightning Bolt = Lightning Bolt
Medium and message, apples and oranges. 'Friendly and approachable' is about the medium, Saying 'no' is the message. There is no limit whatsoever to how pleasant one can be while saying 'no'.



I firmly disagree.  You can bake a cake out of poison, and the cake might be a beautiful medium, but the message is still death.  If you refuse someone's input, being nice about it is really just an insult.  An honest tyrant crushing you beneath his heel is better than someone who will smile to your face while working behind your back to ensure that nothing you try to accomplish will ever come to fruition, gloating silently that you'll never even know who sabotaged you.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Medium and message, apples and oranges. 'Friendly and approachable' is about the medium, Saying 'no' is the message. There is no limit whatsoever to how pleasant one can be while saying 'no'.



I firmly disagree.  You can bake a cake out of poison, and the cake might be a beautiful medium, but the message is still death.  If you refuse someone's input, being nice about it is really just an insult.  An honest tyrant crushing you beneath his heel is better than someone who will smile to your face while working behind your back to ensure that nothing you try to accomplish will ever come to fruition, gloating silently that you'll never even know who sabotaged you.

You'd be right... if Mark Rosewater said no to everything. But that's not the case.

You can't honestly expect someone to say yes to every single suggestion. Even the nicest person in the world would have to say no to some things, such as "I suggest you jump off that cliff there."

If your suggestions are not for the best of the game, he has to say no. That doesn't make him rude, or even anything less than nice; it just makes him smart. In fact, if you're forcing suggestions on him that would be bad for the game, bad for the fans of the game, and bad for the company that makes the game, I'm pretty sure Mark's not the rude person in that conversation.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Medium and message, apples and oranges. 'Friendly and approachable' is about the medium, Saying 'no' is the message. There is no limit whatsoever to how pleasant one can be while saying 'no'.



I firmly disagree.  You can bake a cake out of poison, and the cake might be a beautiful medium, but the message is still death.  If you refuse someone's input, being nice about it is really just an insult.  An honest tyrant crushing you beneath his heel is better than someone who will smile to your face while working behind your back to ensure that nothing you try to accomplish will ever come to fruition, gloating silently that you'll never even know who sabotaged you.



In that case you're changing the message. MaRo would be a honest tyrant crushing you, but with a smile on his face.
The Magic articles I've always enjoyed the most have been the ones that talk about life outside of Magic while incorporating it with the game in general, whether it be playing the game or the experiences you guys have in creating the game. This was definitely one of my favorites Smile

 
If your suggestions are not for the best of the game, he has to say no. That doesn't make him rude, or even anything less than nice; it just makes him smart. In fact, if you're forcing suggestions on him that would be bad for the game, bad for the fans of the game, and bad for the company that makes the game, I'm pretty sure Mark's not the rude person in that conversation.



My point was not that he should always say yes, but simply that he is by definition not being friendly by refusing to even consider a suggestion.  If someone tells you to jump off a cliff, and you want to be friendly, you should ask why they've suggested such a thing, give them the benefit of the doubt that they might have actually had some good reason for bringing it up, and let them explain whether they're trying to make a point.  You let them be the first one to prove they aren't your friend.

My suggestions are all about what I deem to be best for the game.  Telling me "we can't do that right now for these reasons" is not "saying no", it's explaining your position as I have explained mine.  This is both reasonable and friendly.  Refusing even to consider someone's opinion, not giving them the chance to explain themselves, using your superior social position to avoid any need for compromise or negotiation?  Not friendly.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
My point was not that he should always say yes, but simply that he is by definition not being friendly by refusing to even consider a suggestion.  If someone tells you to jump off a cliff, and you want to be friendly, you should ask why they've suggested such a thing, give them the benefit of the doubt that they might have actually had some good reason for bringing it up, and let them explain whether they're trying to make a point.  You let them be the first one to prove they aren't your friend.

My suggestions are all about what I deem to be best for the game.  Telling me "we can't do that right now for these reasons" is not "saying no", it's explaining your position as I have explained mine.  This is both reasonable and friendly.  Refusing even to consider someone's opinion, not giving them the chance to explain themselves, using your superior social position to avoid any need for compromise or negotiation?  Not friendly.

Why are you assuming he'll just say no without giving a reason or hearing you out?

If you're talking about him not responding to an e-mailed suggestion you sent him, keep in mind he gets an insane amount of feedback from the players. It's not some unalienable right that you get to have him reply to everything you send him; there's no way he can respond to everyone.

But he usually does give a reason why they can't do something when he has the chance. For instance, his tumblr is positively riddled with him responding to player suggestions with either "Ooh, we'll consider that" or "We can't do that for reason X". He very rarely (no examples even come to mind) just says "no" without explaining himself.

I honestly don't get you, willpell. Have you actually met MaRo in person and had him be rude to you? Because it seems to me that you're judging him wholly on an assumption of how you think he'd act. Which is neither fair nor logical.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Why are you assuming he'll just say no without giving a reason or hearing you out?



I don't know what would happen if I actually got to talk to him, since others in the company would certainly make sure I never got that far; that's how hierarchy in a corporate environment works.  But I'm fairly sure that if I did actually get face-to-face with him, I probably wouldn't be able to convince him to abandon many of the principles he's espoused in this column, such as "If you fight human nature, you will lose".

It's not some unalienable right that you get to have him reply to everything you send him; there's no way he can respond to everyone.



Not "no way", though certainly no practical way.  I understand the problem of not enough time to deal with everything extremely well, but some combination of not having to do anything else with your time (not having to grocery shop because other people bring you food, for instance, or not having to sleep because you're wired up to some now-impossible machine which physically and mentally recharges you at all times) and having assistants to help you compartmentalize the task for maximum efficiency could enable a person to do far better with their time than is possible under our appallingly primitive system of today.  And someone as singular as Maro is, or I believe myself to be (I admittedly can offer little proof), is firmly deserving of such preferential treatment.  A small nation of ordinary people with nothing better to do could devote their lives to the maximization of potential of a single visionary individual, instead of being so devoted to, say, a sports team or a religion or just the making of bombs to blow up their neighbor.

But he usually does give a reason why they can't do something when he has the chance. For instance, his tumblr is positively riddled with him responding to player suggestions with either "Ooh, we'll consider that" or "We can't do that for reason X". He very rarely (no examples even come to mind) just says "no" without explaining himself.



I am vaguely curious what sort of "no" he could come up with for my previously-stated belief that Magic is not an intellectual property which should be treated as a business to make money, but rather that it is a cultural heritage which should be handled with the utmost reverence, and that design's priority should always be to do what is best for the Magic multiverse as an ideological construct, whether or not it is of benefit to the players or to the bottom line.  Somehow, though, I doubt I would get a terribly constructive response.

I honestly don't get you, willpell. Have you actually met MaRo in person and had him be rude to you?



No.  It's far more likely that if we did meet, I would be rude to him, as I'm not a person who cares especially for social niceties.  If he used my rudeness as an excuse to avoid listening to me, though, as has very often been done in the past by others, it would only prove my point - that you are not "friendly" if you refuse to listen to what is important to someone.

I was stating that for the sake of argument in this case, not for practical reasons but simply to ensure that the obvious, merciless, unpopular truths did not go unspoken.  I am offended by too positive an attitude, and so feel compelled to point out the harsh facts of the world as they are when ungentled by self-congratulation, which render good-natured conventional wisdom into hollow hypocrisy.  This is the perspective of one who, if you labeled him "Evil", would point out that it is not a "Good" act to judge people in such a fashion, and would in fact rally other "Evil" individuals into a crusade to exterminate the very concept of "Good", and regard all the casualties of that war as entirely the fault of the one who first slapped a derisive label on him rather than having to listen to his logic.

Because it seems to me that you're judging him wholly on an assumption of how you think he'd act. Which is neither fair nor logical.



On the contrary; if we have not met a person (or even if we have, since you never really, completely know another person), the only thing you can do is judge him on such an assumption, made as best you can manage with the data you've managed to acquire.  The future is always unknowable, doubly so when it involves human behavior; all we can do is predict it as best we can and try to minimize the extent to which we will screw up.

My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
I don't know what would happen if I actually got to talk to him, since others in the company would certainly make sure I never got that far; that's how hierarchy in a corporate environment works.  But I'm fairly sure that if I did actually get face-to-face with him, I probably wouldn't be able to convince him to abandon many of the principles he's espoused in this column, such as "If you fight human nature, you will lose".

So I was right. You're judging him harshly (effectively calling him a liar) for something that he's only done in your mind. You're judging your perception of him, rather than the actual man.

I am vaguely curious what sort of "no" he could come up with for my previously-stated belief that Magic is not an intellectual property which should be treated as a business to make money, but rather that it is a cultural heritage which should be handled with the utmost reverence, and that design's priority should always be to do what is best for the Magic multiverse as an ideological construct, whether or not it is of benefit to the players or to the bottom line.  Somehow, though, I doubt I would get a terribly constructive response.

Allow me to answer this for you then.

If Magic doesn't make money, it ceases to exist. Where would your "cultural heritage" be then? Answer: gone for good. All because you wanted them to eschew keeping it afloat (and their own livelihoods). You don't have to like it, but you really should consider accepting it.

No.  It's far more likely that if we did meet, I would be rude to him, as I'm not a person who cares especially for social niceties.  If he used my rudeness as an excuse to avoid listening to me, though, as has very often been done in the past by others, it would only prove my point - that you are not "friendly" if you refuse to listen to what is important to someone.

See, I don't think it's rude to avoid a situation that hurts you. If you're being rude or unkind to him, then he has every right to ignore you or do his best to avoid you. It goes both ways: If you want respect, willpell, you have to offer it.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Why are you assuming he'll just say no without giving a reason or hearing you out?

I don't know what would happen if I actually got to talk to him, since others in the company would certainly make sure I never got that far; that's how hierarchy in a corporate environment works.  But I'm fairly sure that if I did actually get face-to-face with him, I probably wouldn't be able to convince him to abandon many of the principles he's espoused in this column, such as "If you fight human nature, you will lose".

I think you're over-estimating Mark's degree of distancing himself from the public.  He attends some number of large Magic events every year (more often in the Seattle area), you could just go to one of those and talk to him.  It is probably true that you couldn't convince him of many things that he currently thinks are wrong - you'd have to provide him better evidence in favor of them than he already has against them.

I'm somewhat doubtful of your ability to do that in the case of views like this one:

I am vaguely curious what sort of "no" he could come up with for my previously-stated belief that Magic is not an intellectual property which should be treated as a business to make money, but rather that it is a cultural heritage which should be handled with the utmost reverence, and that design's priority should always be to do what is best for the Magic multiverse as an ideological construct, whether or not it is of benefit to the players or to the bottom line. Somehow, though, I doubt I would get a terribly constructive response.

That seems like a very bizarre view.  If something is of benefit neither to the players nor to the bottom line, why exactly are you doing it?  To benefit other people who most likely aren't even aware of the game?  To benefit no one at all (except maybe yourself) by making it "better" in some abstract sense which is somehow not consistent with the concrete sense of providing benefits to people?
I was stating that for the sake of argument in this case, not for practical reasons but simply to ensure that the obvious, merciless, unpopular truths did not go unspoken.  I am offended by too positive an attitude, and so feel compelled to point out the harsh facts of the world as they are when ungentled by self-congratulation, which render good-natured conventional wisdom into hollow hypocrisy.  This is the perspective of one who, if you labeled him "Evil", would point out that it is not a "Good" act to judge people in such a fashion, and would in fact rally other "Evil" individuals into a crusade to exterminate the very concept of "Good", and regard all the casualties of that war as entirely the fault of the one who first slapped a derisive label on him rather than having to listen to his logic.

Such a crusade, and such a regard for casualties, would certainly qualify as "Evil" by my definition.  So at least it's internally consistent.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
Tournament Decks (4)
Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
Casual Multiplayer Decks (50)
Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
Great Article!

I think I'll be reading your articles about Magic even after I quit playing. Which will probably make me want to play again.
If Magic doesn't make money, it ceases to exist. Where would your "cultural heritage" be then?



Until recently, absolutely no-one ever even acknowledged the idea that governments could run out of money.  It was accepted without question that people paid their taxes to society in exchange for the creation of roads, schools, and other civic functions.  My concept would treat a society's cultural heritage as being one of those civic functions, and Magic as a part of America's cultural heritage, to be treated with all the reverence that the French dedicate to the Louvre or the Italians to Roman architecture.  The multiverse shouldn't be a slipshod pile of tacked-on fluff that's used to sell product; it should be a vast archive of knowledge that is protected and referenced like the Library of Congress, so that the saga of the planeswalkers is unimpeachably believable and as internally-consistent as reality itself.

See, I don't think it's rude to avoid a situation that hurts you. If you're being rude or unkind to him, then he has every right to ignore you or do his best to avoid you. It goes both ways: If you want respect, willpell, you have to offer it.



Politeness and respect are very different things.  If someone's rudeness "hurts" you, you are attaching too much importance to their opinion of you.  People do not matter as much as they think they do in the grand scheme of things; they should maintain a level of ideological detachment from themselves.  If someone says something uncomplimentary to them, they should not fixate on the bruising of their emotions or ego; they should listen to the meaning of the message, not its tone.

That seems like a very bizarre view.  If something is of benefit neither to the players nor to the bottom line, why exactly are you doing it?  To benefit other people who most likely aren't even aware of the game?  To benefit no one at all (except maybe yourself) by making it "better" in some abstract sense which is somehow not consistent with the concrete sense of providing benefits to people?



To benefit the small percentage of players who care the most about Magic, instead of the large numbers to whom it is a trifling amusement worth wasting a large quantity of money on because they have more than they know what to do with.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi