1/31/2013 Feature: "My Evolvement in the Prerelease"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's "My Evolvement in the Prerelease", which goes live Thursday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Why was this a feature article?

I mean, when a designer or whatever talks about events, they have a different perspective to the rest of us that can be interesting to hear. But just hearing some random person's Prerelease story, even if it's a Wizards employee, seems utterly pointless. Especially when her direct involvement in the on-goings is not something that would provide her with any insight that a normal player would lack.

Oh well. At least this article gives me hope that being young, pretty and female is enough to get to write articles for Wizards. I'll be taking the first flight from Ireland to Seattle.
Why was this a feature article?

I mean, when a designer or whatever talks about events, they have a different perspective to the rest of us that can be interesting to hear. But just hearing some random person's Prerelease story, even if it's a Wizards employee, seems utterly pointless. Especially when her direct involvement in the on-goings is not something that would provide her with any insight that a normal player would lack.

Oh well. At least this article gives me hope that being young, pretty and female is enough to get to write articles for Wizards. I'll be taking the first flight from Ireland to Seattle.


Noooo! Casual articles on my DailyMTG frontpage? Why has Maro forsaken us?!

I thought it was a nice read, but there really could have been some more particular special information in this.
More about the feedback you got and how you feel about it and what you might make of it.

Anyway, this sounded much like my prerelease experience, Simic with red, no Gruul in sight, losing to Orzhov, but I went 5:2 in the end.
Probably because I had very strong red rares.
In our store Simic and Boros where the first to run out and it was a Simic who won the prerelease.

I'm a bit sad your activities only go as far as the US, but at least the Guild letters get further than that.
Noooo! Casual articles on my DailyMTG frontpage? Why has Maro forsaken us?!



I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

Adam Styborski does nothing but casual articles, yet they're still good because he actually provides some insight, deck ideas, etc. My point was that merely posting the opinions of someone who might as well be some random person on the street doesn't add anything. If I wanted a person in the street's opinion on the Prerelease, I'd go ask one.
Glad i'm not the only one dorky enough to have a Ravnican guild symbol tat, though I was also aware of very very few people running Gruul at the prerelease. I was the only one at my store, but we ran out of Simic and Dimir in about 5 minutes. Thats Blue for ya XD
Speculating on how or why someone got any particular job is pretty inappropriate. Doubly so on a public forum, where you have the luxury of remaining semi-anonymous yourself. Don't be petty.


Agreed. I clicked on the "discuss" link out of morbid curiosity to see how long it would take for the personal attacks to start flying. I'm disappointed to see that the very first post kicked it off. And I think I have a pretty good idea why TheVenom (nicely apropos screen name, by the way) wasn't hired at WotC, if forum posts like that are representative of his/her attitude and personality.

Grow up, Magic players.
Why was this a feature article?

Being a feature article just means that it is not one of the regular ten columns.

It was an event report. Lots of sites do them. It gives the reader an impression of what the event was like. Maybe the reader has never been to a Prerelease. They read the article and see what sorts of things Jennifer Meyen did and that she had a lot of fun. The article encourages people to go to the next Prerelease.
An employee gives their experience every Pre-Release. It's just part of the fun. You don't have to give your unique spin on it. We care because we all like talking/hearing about MtG. I wouldn't mind hearing about Mark's company P-R in more detail, despite the fact I won't get any special perspective about the design of Gatecrash besides the design of his ridiculous Simic Pre-Release Biovisionary/Ooze Flux deck.


I will say I did still expect a little more insight into Brand, a branch of Wizards that I really don't know about the going-ons. I definitely want to hear specifics of what exactly they crafted, or what in particular Tifa worked on or was proud of.


Also, I admit I was hoping to hear how the LPS was going.


Lastly, I will step out of the comfort zone and at least say having a female perspective of the game and its components is a major advantage. It would be amazing (in so many ways) if the day came where the gender of the nerd culture is about half-and-half, and Wizards was about half-and-half.
Anyway, back to the article: this prerelease report actually illustrates why I stayed away from Simic as my chosen guild. Compared to the other guilds, it just didn't have the bombs to compete. The "guild pack" certainly skews the Prerelease Sealed format toward a more bomb-centric focus, as you're guaranteed to get at least one on-guild rare in your pool. With a couple of exceptions, Simic's rares just aren't very good in Limited: Biovisionary and Unexpected Results are extraordinarily weak when compared to the likes of Merciless Eviction and Clan Defiance. Plus, Simic in Sealed is a lot more vulnerable to getting weak pools, what with the lack of removal and the need for a balanced evolve curve to keep up with the aggression in Boros and the fat in Gruul.

(At my prerelease, the decks at the top were mostly Orzhov and Dimir. Boros and Gruul preyed on the weaker pools, but against a well-built Orzhov or Dimir deck, most of them just couldn't close the deal.)

That said, I'm looking forward to playing with Simic in Draft, since drafting gives you more control over your curve. I can see a well-drafted Simic deck being able to regularly curve out with Cloudfin Raptor-Shambleshark-Crocanura, which seems like an almost unbeatable opening.
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I feel your pain, Jennifer. I also opened Biovisionary, Stomping Ground and Gyre Sage in my pool, plus a number of off-colour bombs I couldn't really do anything with. Only after round 3 was I finally satisfied with my deck, after changing it up basically every single game. Simic was a very tough guild to play. I actually needed to be a lot more aggressive than I thought before, as I simply couldn't beat most decks in the long game. Only when I added double Forced Adaptation, a card I really didn't want to play, did I start getting some results. I also splashed red, though for me it was to cast double Ground Assault.

Anyway, back to the article: this prerelease report actually illustrates why I stayed away from Simic as my chosen guild. Compared to the other guilds, it just didn't have the bombs to compete. The "guild pack" certainly skews the Prerelease Sealed format toward a more bomb-centric focus, as you're guaranteed to get at least one on-guild rare in your pool. With a couple of exceptions, Simic's rares just aren't very good in Limited: Biovisionary and Unexpected Results are extraordinarily weak when compared to the likes of Merciless Eviction and Clan Defiance. Plus, Simic in Sealed is a lot more vulnerable to getting weak pools, what with the lack of removal and the need for a balanced evolve curve to keep up with the aggression in Boros and the fat in Gruul.

(At my prerelease, the decks at the top were mostly Orzhov and Dimir. Boros and Gruul preyed on the weaker pools, but against a well-built Orzhov or Dimir deck, most of them just couldn't close the deal.)

That said, I'm looking forward to playing with Simic in Draft, since drafting gives you more control over your curve. I can see a well-drafted Simic deck being able to regularly curve out with Cloudfin Raptor-Shambleshark-Crocanura, which seems like an almost unbeatable opening.



I sadly totally agree with your analysis. Consuming Aberration was basically unbeatable when it hit play, while Fathom Mage was fairly easy to beat. Orzhov or Boros seemed like the best picks, going into the Prerelease, but I chose Simic anyway because I <3 Simic and the Fathom Mage promo art is my new favourite piece of Magic art ever.

Curse my emotional core.

As an aside, Simic does have one of the best Charms. I used all three options of Simic Charm to great effect, while I left Gruul Charm out of my deck because it simply didn't do anything for me.

Noooo! Casual articles on my DailyMTG frontpage? Why has Maro forsaken us?!



I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

Adam Styborski does nothing but casual articles, yet they're still good because he actually provides some insight, deck ideas, etc. My point was that merely posting the opinions of someone who might as well be some random person on the street doesn't add anything. If I wanted a person in the street's opinion on the Prerelease, I'd go ask one.



Adam Styborski writes awful stuff. His very writing is shouty, and he presumes casual consists of throwing a bunch of cards, most of which are (mythic) rare, together and calling it a deck, then making up a format with obvious flaws and pretending it's awesome. Once every month or something he writes an actually okay article which piques my interest, but that's about it. This article came a lot closer to feeling like a casual article than Styborski's stuff ever does, and I enjoyed reading it.

Kelly Digges wrote casual articles. His departure was a true loss for the site.

To get more into the actual use of this article, we have seen very few articles about spellslinging. I did not realise that non-famous WotC employees also spellslung. I actually wish that she had gone more into detail about the whole spellslinging and how it's different from playing a normal prerelease, as an experience.

Glad i'm not the only one dorky enough to have a Ravnican guild symbol tat, though I was also aware of very very few people running Gruul at the prerelease. I was the only one at my store, but we ran out of Simic and Dimir in about 5 minutes. Thats Blue for ya XD



O_o

You know, the first moment I saw that tattoo, I thought she had just put the Simic prerelease sticker on her shoulder. Then I realised it was an actual tattoo and I was both slightly perturbed and slightly impressed.

For curiosity's sake, which guild did you get a tat of?

Lastly, I will step out of the comfort zone and at least say having a female perspective of the game and its components is a major advantage. It would be amazing (in so many ways) if the day came where the gender of the nerd culture is about half-and-half, and Wizards was about half-and-half.



I know this isn't a discussion that should be resurrected, but I fail to see what bearing the second X-chromosome of our writer had on this particular article. This was just an article from a casual player's experience of spellslinging at a Prerelease, which was a lot of fun to read. The author's gender was not really relevant.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
I picked Gruul.  I was the only one at the pre-release store.  My guild pack had Clan Defiance which has played out awesomely.

I really enjoyed Bloodrush, but my games either went really well or I stalled.

Regardless, I had a fun time.

This was a good article.  I like hearing other people's stories and reading their decks.  Thanks for this article and keep them coming!
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Gruul was aa blast to play, tons of choices with bloodrush and i won a game by using gruul charms second mode. (and whoever wrote the guild letter for gruul is a flipping genius)
Agreed. I clicked on the "discuss" link out of morbid curiosity to see how long it would take for the personal attacks to start flying. I'm disappointed to see that the very first post kicked it off.



I don't think I was falling into ad hominem - offering my opinion on the article, its contents and, if relevant, its writer, is what this thread is for. Critique can be both positive and negative - saying that you don't like something, then giving reasons for it is hardly something that could be considered immature. I will admit that my tone may have been somewhat vitriolic in nature, but that's mainly because this is a bit of a personal topic to me - that is, the hiring of qualified female writers, etc. for "nerdy" publications. Granted, this was a feature article which, as someone pointed out, means that it's not a column, and I'm sure she's good at what she does for a living. Doesn't excuse the rather (in my opinion) vapid article, however.

I will say I did still expect a little more insight into Brand, a branch of Wizards that I really don't know about the going-ons. I definitely want to hear specifics of what exactly they crafted, or what in particular Tifa worked on or was proud of.



That would have been a fine article, in my mind. My problem with this particular one was that it didn't seem to contain much that you couldn't have found in a random forum thread here. It just appears pointless when there is little to no focus on what her job means for what happened at the Prerelease - which, to me, makes the article largely pointless. I will reiterate my point from earlier: It doesn't tell me anything that a random player at the Prerelease could not. The main reason that I see for this to have been published is because she's female. Which bothers me because I greatly dislike the distinction made between males and females by certain subcultures that I tend to frequent - enough that, until recently, I found it easier to just use a male alias and identity wherever I went.

And just to avoid any misunderstandings: I have no issue with Jenna Helland's columns. She writes stories that tie into and expand what we have. That's fine. I don't get the feeling that she's mainly there to appeal to the male fanbase. I do, however, feel that this is the case with the article in question. I see it happening over and over in a lot of "nerd" publications, and I'm not sure whether I'm justified in feeling like it's the case that female writers and whatnot are often chosen solely, or at least mainly, due to their gender, or if this is completely wrong. What I do feel is that, if these publications are to have females write their articles, etc., they should do so based on the same merits that are applied to male writers - that is, they should be chosen based on their abilities, not just their gender.

Oh dear, I'm starting to sound like a bloody feminist. I'll just end that tangent there.
Adam Styborski writes awful stuff. His very writing is shouty, and he presumes casual consists of throwing a bunch of cards, most of which are (mythic) rare, together and calling it a deck, then making up a format with obvious flaws and pretending it's awesome. Once every month or something he writes an actually okay article which piques my interest, but that's about it.


This is so true. The only times I've found Adam Styborski's articles worth reading are when he had a new card to preview.

The main reason that I see for this to have been published is because she's female.


Yeah, definitely. You would have never seen an article like this - that basically said nothing - by a male employee. When I saw it on the front page I clicked interested, because I'm curious to see where the LPS thing goes, and was greatly disappointed and confused to read what was basically a "prerealase experience" post, of which I've read far better ones on this very forum.

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Adam Styborski writes awful stuff. His very writing is shouty, and he presumes casual consists of throwing a bunch of cards, most of which are (mythic) rare, together and calling it a deck, then making up a format with obvious flaws and pretending it's awesome. Once every month or something he writes an actually okay article which piques my interest, but that's about it.


This is so true. The only times I've found Adam Styborski's articles worth reading are when he had a new card to preview.



In his defense, I thought the Horde format he shared was pretty interesting. That's pretty much it, though. And a lot of the preview articles were only interesting for the cards themselves, not because of the stories he'd write about those cards.

What I do feel is that, if these publications are to have females write their articles, etc., they should do so based on the same merits that are applied to male writers - that is, they should be chosen based on their abilities, not just their gender.



I totally agree with you. However, I also think it's unfair to damn her based on this article. Her previous article was, in my opinion, well-written, which means that there is some precedent for letting her write more. Then there's the part where we don't know what went into making this decision. Did Wizards want a feature on the prerelease and then chose Jennifer to write that based on her previous merits, or did they specifically want Jennifer to write another article, if only to show off that tattoo? Maybe they wanted to test the waters and see if Jennifer's writing drew positive or negative critiques before deciding whether or not to let her write more often, or see if her gender would be a big issue in the comments.

I feel it's unfair to presume that the only reason this article exists is because the author is a girl, and that the only reason she got to write it was because of her gender.

As far as the actual quality of the article goes, I've read worse on MtG.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
What is Burning-Tree Emissary doing in a deck with 4 red sources? Even an 18th land would've been much better.
What is Burning-Tree Emissary doing in a deck with 4 red sources? Even an 18th land would've been much better.



It can fix mana when you're short of a red source, it triggers a couple of evolve creatures and it's not an awful beatstick. I don't know what's in her sideboard, but with her curve, I would prefer the Emissary over an 18th land.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
What is Burning-Tree Emissary doing in a deck with 4 red sources? Even an 18th land would've been much better.



It can fix mana when you're short of a red source, it triggers a couple of evolve creatures and it's not an awful beatstick. I don't know what's in her sideboard, but with her curve, I would prefer the Emissary over an 18th land.



Haha I completely glanced over the hybrid mana cost >.>

The main reason that I see for this to have been published is because she's female.


Yeah, definitely. You would have never seen an article like this - that basically said nothing - by a male employee. When I saw it on the front page I clicked interested, because I'm curious to see where the LPS thing goes, and was greatly disappointed and confused to read what was basically a "prerealase experience" post, of which I've read far better ones on this very forum.


Have you read the BDM article?  Nothing more than a story of him getting lost on the way to a pre release and a baketball game.  


The main reason that I see for this to have been published is because she's female.


Yeah, definitely. You would have never seen an article like this - that basically said nothing - by a male employee. When I saw it on the front page I clicked interested, because I'm curious to see where the LPS thing goes, and was greatly disappointed and confused to read what was basically a "prerealase experience" post, of which I've read far better ones on this very forum.



Have you read the BDM article?  Nothing more than a story of him getting lost on the way to a pre release and a baketball game.  




You know, I was getting all worked up until I read the last sentence and figured out this was probably sarcastic. >.>

I'd also like to point out that Jacob van Lunen, in his time as Building on a Budget writer, wrote articles about illegal decks and decks so expensive they defied any notion of budget. And while he got a lot of flak for it, he never had to defend himself against "the only reason he is a columnist is because he's [something totally irrelevant]."

76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
I'd also like to point out that Jacob van Lunen, in his time as Building on a Budget writer, wrote articles about illegal decks and decks so expensive they defied any notion of budget. And while he got a lot of flak for it, he never had to defend himself against "the only reason he is a columnist is because he's [something totally irrelevant]."



Perhaps that was because he had already written tons of articles elsewhere to prove that he could write..? This isn't rocket science. If she was a regular columnist, or even just wrote for them every now and then, it'd be fine to have indulgent articles. So since she apparently has written an article for them before, I'll go read that and see how it holds up. Who knows, maybe it's not just self-indulgent pointlessness. Lemme see.

EDIT: Okay, it's an article about something called "The Lady Planeswalkers' Society" and contains such gems as:

As I have a Creative Writing degree, I'm pretty excited for the opportunity to write my first article for you and I hope it's not the last.



Since when was your education in any way relevant to anything? If you're a good writer as a result of your education, that's fine. Show it. But saying "I have this and that education, so I'm more qualified to write this" just shows that you're full of yourself. Considering that you have a degree in this, you should really use one of the old adages of creative writing more: "Show, don't tell."

If someone had told me three years ago that I would be a contributing force for bringing women into the Magic: The Gathering scene, I would have been pretty surprised. When people have dubbed me as a trailblazer, squeal-able, or starstruck-worthy, I've been shocked, but honored. I'm not certain those titles are even close to true or ever will be, and I'm fine with that, but I'm pleased with the sentiment behind them.



"Tee hee, people called me all these things, but I don't really think I deserve it. That's why I'm mentioning it now. To show how humble I am. Tee hee."

Also, I would like to point out that, as someone who has played this game for half of its lifespan, I am somewhat offended by the notion that women need special treatment in order to find it appealing. But fair is fair, and I don't think this particular part of it can be considered Meyen's fault, so I won't blame her for that.

I started playing in Friday Night Magic (FNM) tournaments and Draft tournaments within my first few weeks of playing and it wasn't easy going into a scene where everyone knew every detail of the rules. I felt viewed as "bad" when the reality was that I was inexperienced. I couldn't help but feel that this view was worsened because I was a woman. Yes, I jumped in head first, even playing in a Grand Prix and PTQs within my first six months, and maybe that isn't the best pathing for a beginner. However, the view that I was bad at the game is what pushed me so hard. Every loss felt like I was letting female gamers down, and I couldn't have that. I couldn't let the people who thought I was bad be right. I had to get good at this game!



Even if it is, to some extent, relevant to the point of the article, I am still rather bothered by the constant reminders she gives that "Hey guys, I'm a woman, remember, I'm female, I'm a girl! Just in case you forgot." I also feel offended by her notion that being female and playing the game somehow makes you part of some mystical group that you now represent. I'm not a "Female gamer" or anything like that. That might be a label which you could technically apply to me, but identifying as such is not something I would do. My gender has no effect on anything, and having more estrogen than testosterone in my system doesn't make me better or worse at playing MtG or anything else. People with whom I play have, occasionally, displayed some degree of disbelief in my capabilities when it comes to stuff like this. Then they play with me, and they usually change their minds. I don't need any sort of help in making people respect me as just another player - that comes all by itself if I'm just somewhat competent. Same for everyone else.

But either way, I won't comment on the fact that she chose a terrible way to learn the game - I'm sure plenty of people have done the same. What I will instead say is this: I have taught plenty of people how to play Magic, and every single time, I have done so by sitting down with them and playing a few games, explaining things as we went along. That, in my mind, is how you teach someone something: By holding their hand while they take their first few shaky steps into it. Meyen essentially admits that her way of learning the game might have been a bit ill-advised. So riddle me this, Batman... Why does she seem to assume that this:

 
One of the main purposes for the group is to teach people how to play Magic, especially people who might not feel as comfortable jumping into the regular tournament scene to learn. I wanted to take out as many potential obstacles as possible. This includes taking away the highly competitive vibe that most tournaments have and making it more casual and inviting.



Is a good idea? Take away the competitive vibe at a big tournament and you have... A small tournament? A tournament is not the optimal way to teach new players the game. They need to have the rules walked over and their mistakes corrected. a simple 1v1 game is by far the best way to do that. Then, once we have the basics down, we can move into small, casual drafts. Why drafts? Three reasons:

1. They're cheap, so the new player isn't forced into spending a lot of money before being able to play, thus eliminating one of the potential obstacles to getting into it.

2. They don't require the player to have a deck, so everyone gets pretty much the same chances as everyone else - there's no "Money wins" part to it.

3. They provide cards that the new players can use in future decks.

I won't deny that drafting is difficult, but it's definitely better than forcing a T2 tournament where people aren't allowed to bring good decks - it's hard to enforce that sort of thing anyhow. Drafts are, in my opinion, the better option here. Making FNMs, "but without all that scary competition nonsense"... Is not. Players should only be coddled for so long - eventually you have to feed them to the sharks, let them get bitten, and then see if it makes them want to get better. That's how everyone does it - women are no different. The problem here is that Meyen seems to prefer defanging the sharks and then having the new players poke at them with a stick for a bit. Which is hardly how you learn to fight sharks. You need to buy those steel teeth first so you can bite back.

 
If tournaments associate with Rocky theme music, I wanted my events to be catchy pop music fun. From my perspective, we are on today's hits charts!



Just... No. No comments. Sorry.

There were a couple women who didn't want to learn from or play with their boyfriends and asked for my aid, as well as women who knew how to play but hadn't had many opportunities to play with other women. I invited people over to teach, learn, and play Magic. It started with four of us in my living room, but it wasn't long before the idea of doing something like this at a larger level was brought up. How cool would it be to invite women from all over Seattle to learn and play together at a tournament?



Oh, okay, scratch what I said earlier, I guess I can blame Meyen for this "initiative". Splendid.

Hey, Meyen. There's a word for the idea that women can't do anything unless they either have a big, strong man with them or at the very least are treated like tiny, fragile orchids that will start crying the moment they face any sort of adversity. It's called sexism. It's not a good thing. Please stop that.

 
Alright, then, let me round this up. Mostly because the rest of the article is just telling people how successful this is and how to start your own group and so forth. While I understand that there is a certain amount of prejudice and whatnot when you go to a Magic event, that's not related to just Magic itself - that's everywhere in life. I've experienced plenty of it myself for reasons that I won't delve into because of the preceding sentence. Generally, I've found that on the rare occasion when a female entered any of the playgroups I was in, she would be welcomed and taught like anyone else. Maybe that's because my playgroups largely consisted of social rejects and the competitive players were the nicest people there, but I really, really find this whole "girl gamer" thing deeply offensive, and the sentiments presented in this article essentially seem to be geared towards those females who want to be treated as special snowflakes and can't handle losing over and over, which is the best way to learn how to be good at a game.

I'm not one of those. I don't need to be coddled. I don't want to be treated like some damsel in distress when playing card games, and as a result, this "initiative" and this sentiment, bothers me. As for the article itself, it is a mindless, self-indulgent pat on the shoulder from Meyen to Meyen for being so good at driving wedges in places where wedges should not be (Which are most places, really - I'm not too fond of having wedges lodged everywhere). Now that I've read both of her articles, I can say this, based on her articles:

I don't like Meyen as a writer, and I don't think she is very good at it.

Was that sufficient? Can I consider her vapid and talentless now?
Since when was your education in any way relevant to anything?



She's just happy the investment she made into her education didn't go to waste. She spent a lot of time and money on it, and now she gets to write an article. Payoff!

and having more estrogen than testosterone in my system doesn't make me better or worse at playing MtG or anything else.



It most certainly does but that's an entire discussion on its own.

I don't need any sort of help in making people respect me as just another player - that comes all by itself if I'm just somewhat competent. Same for everyone else.



Great, you didn't need any help, awesome. But why should others be denied help? Or is Magic a game that only those who are 'competent' are allowed to play?

I won't deny that drafting is difficult, but it's definitely better than forcing a T2 tournament where people aren't allowed to bring good decks - it's hard to enforce that sort of thing anyhow. Drafts are, in my opinion, the better option here. Making FNMs, "but without all that scary competition nonsense"... Is not. Players should only be coddled for so long - eventually you have to feed them to the sharks, let them get bitten, and then see if it makes them want to get better. That's how everyone does it - women are no different. The problem here is that Meyen seems to prefer defanging the sharks and then having the new players poke at them with a stick for a bit. Which is hardly how you learn to fight sharks. You need to buy those steel teeth first so you can bite back.



What kind of Sharkfighter Academy throws their students in the tank day 1? Baby steps. They'll go to the real FNM eventually, but they first grow into it in a comfortable environment.

Also you didn't quote anything about not being allowed to bring good decks?

Just... No. No comments. Sorry.



Then why quote it?

Generally, I've found that on the rare occasion when a female entered any of the playgroups I was in, she would be welcomed and taught like anyone else. Maybe that's because my playgroups largely consisted of social rejects and the competitive players were the nicest people there,



I would be inclined to say 'yes that's why'. If it went as smooth for everyone as it does in your experiences, there would be no need for such initiatives and they'd not exist.

can't handle losing over and over, which is the best way to learn how to be good at a game.



But being good at a game is not everyone's motivation. See the Timmy-Johnny-Spike model. This has nothing do with gender or snowflakes, some players simply have no interest to play in this manner.

I'm not one of those. I don't need to be coddled. I don't want to be treated like some damsel in distress when playing card games, and as a result, this "initiative" and this sentiment, bothers me.



But why be so selfish about it? You are negatively affected by this initiative, but if were to go away, others would be negatively affected. Why does it bother you that much?
She's just happy the investment she made into her education didn't go to waste. She spent a lot of time and money on it, and now she gets to write an article. Payoff!



But it's not relevant to the article. Not even tangentially. It's basically a way of saying that she's qualified to do this, for whatever reason she feels that is necessary - but she could just as easily just show that in the article itself. It comes off as needless self-indulgence to me, but different strokes, I guess.

It most certainly does but that's an entire discussion on its own.



Which you are going to give your opinion on without an explanation.

Great, you didn't need any help, awesome. But why should others be denied help? Or is Magic a game that only those who are 'competent' are allowed to play?



No - if the article said that it was for new players who needed the help, that would be fine. But the implication that I take offense to is that this goes for all females - which obviously isn't true.

What kind of Sharkfighter Academy throws their students in the tank day 1? Baby steps. They'll go to the real FNM eventually, but they first grow into it in a comfortable environment.



...Which doesn't go against anything I said, and does in fact look more like an agreement. My point was to keep casual games casual and teach them there, without giving a false sense of superiority by putting people into a tournament-that-isn't-really-a-tournament. Just say that it's casual and keep it at that. Let the FNMs and various events be what we're working towards.

Also you didn't quote anything about not being allowed to bring good decks?



I think that was implied by forcing everyone to play casually.

Then why quote it?



Because I felt like it deserved to be highlighted? Which you do with quotes?

I would be inclined to say 'yes that's why'. If it went as smooth for everyone as it does in your experiences, there would be no need for such initiatives and they'd not exist.



Where did I say that it went smoothly? I just said that the competitive players were the nicest people there. As in, the "casual" players were not very nice, and borrowing a competitive deck from someone was the easiest way to learn how to get better. Whenever I tried to sit down at the Two-Headed Giant or FFA tables, I instantly got a cold shoulder and was always targeted by everyone in FFA, even if there were bigger threats. To say that it went smoothly is not quite accurate.

But being good at a game is not everyone's motivation. See the Timmy-Johnny-Spike model. This has nothing do with gender or snowflakes, some players simply have no interest to play in this manner.



Everyone wants to get better. Not everyone has winning as their primary goal - I don't either, for that matter - but learning by losing is not something I ever had problems with. Just shrug it off, realise what you did wrong and apply what you learned to your next game. Everyone does this at some level, even if they're unaware of it - I don't like the school model of giving kids a gold star every time they do something, regardless of whether they did well or not. Besides, it seems like Meyen's intention was to have these people capable of playing in a regular FNM, so I'd definitely say that losing is the best way to get there.

But why be so selfish about it? You are negatively affected by this initiative, but if were to go away, others would be negatively affected. Why does it bother you that much?



Because I don't think it's a positive influence for anyone. What I'd like to see is for everyone to be treated equally. And no, that's not how it is now, but as I said, driving bigger wedges in doesn't help.

EDIT: Also, just in case, please note that everything I say regarding this is based on conjectures, opinions, etc. and I do not regard my opinions as facts. Please don't take it personally. 

But it's not relevant to the article. Not even tangentially. It's basically a way of saying that she's qualified to do this, for whatever reason she feels that is necessary - but she could just as easily just show that in the article itself. It comes off as needless self-indulgence to me, but different strokes, I guess.


Maybe it's because English isn't my native language, but to me it sounds like this:


"As I have a Creative Writing degree, I'm pretty excited for the opportunity to write my first article for you and I hope it's not the last."

The 'as' ties it to the 'pretty exited' part. The 'Creative Writing' isn't used as any kind of qualification for the 'writing article' part, but as an explanation for her exitement.

Needless self-indulgence? Possibly. You can certainly argue it wasn't needed to mention at all. It's just that it's not used in the way you interpret it. 


No - if the article said that it was for new players who needed the help, that would be fine. But the implication that I take offense to is that this goes for all females - which obviously isn't true.


Indeed. While you are right in that the article is written somewhat exclusive (what if I'm a boy struggling to get into the game?) what parts of the article do you see as an implication that it goes for all women?


...Which doesn't go against anything I said, and does in fact look more like an agreement. My point was to keep casual games casual and teach them there, without giving a false sense of superiority by putting people into a tournament-that-isn't-really-a-tournament. Just say that it's casual and keep it at that. Let the FNMs and various events be what we're working towards.


What is wrong with a step between casual and FNM? This isn't about a false sense of superiority. This is about a real sense of comfortability. Again, less Spike, more Timmy.


I think that was implied by forcing everyone to play casually.


A casual mindset and casual decks are 2 completely different things.


Because I felt like it deserved to be highlighted? Which you do with quotes?


Then why not explain why you felt like it deserved to be highlighted?


Where did I say that it went smoothly? I just said that the competitive players were the nicest people there. As in, the "casual" players were not very nice, and borrowing a competitive deck from someone was the easiest way to learn how to get better. Whenever I tried to sit down at the Two-Headed Giant or FFA tables, I instantly got a cold shoulder and was always targeted by everyone in FFA, even if there were bigger threats. To say that it went smoothly is not quite accurate.


Ah. Now imagine places where neither the competitive or the casual groups are extending that helping hand. Thus a need for such an initiative.
This doesn't even have to be a critique towards those groups. If there's no chemistry, there's no chemistry.


Everyone wants to get better. Not everyone has winning as their primary goal - I don't either, for that matter - but learning by losing is not something I ever had problems with. Just shrug it off, realise what you did wrong and apply what you learned to your next game. Everyone does this at some level, even if they're unaware of it - I don't like the school model of giving kids a gold star every time they do something, regardless of whether they did well or not. Besides, it seems like Meyen's intention was to have these people capable of playing in a regular FNM, so I'd definitely say that losing is the best way to get there.


Some timmies honestly do not have any drive to get better. (A small minority but they do exist)
What works for you doesn't necessarily work for everyone. Don't assume that because you never had problems with something it isn't a problem.
Magic is not a school though. It's a hobby, a pasttime. People are allowed to play the way they're comfortable with.
And again, baby steps. They'll get to the losing part. Just no absolute need to start there.


Because I don't think it's a positive influence for anyone. What I'd like to see is for everyone to be treated equally. And no, that's not how it is now, but as I said, driving bigger wedges in doesn't help.


But different kinds of people have different needs. By not being allowed to treat differently, you can't serve those who are left out. If it's not gender, there are always other factors like age, experience, competitiveness, etc.

This is a pre-release article, we have them every set. They're catalysts for discussion about the P-R. They honestly don't have to have any content other than a tournament report; the players create the rest. There were a few this week that did this, this isn't the only one. I was just looking at BDM's a second ago full of P-R stories, and that's fine with me. Any cool take on it from the article is just icing, I can't blame them for the marketing angle of the post-P-R week.


It's not like I know how many spell-slingers there were actually at P-R, there's usually very few for any event; is it unlikely she'd get an article? Is her being a girl a factor? Maybe, it's good to see that equality in nerd culture isn't hopeless. Was she due for another article anyway? Well, definitely.


Renasce:

There's not many girls in nerd culture, the point of her first article is a step in the right direciton to try to change that. Society as a whole causes many parents to condition their kids based on gender gaps: that maybe kids should "like" different things due to gender, whether it be how we act, what kind of learning we prefer, colors, caffeinated beverages, subjects, and other random things. There are those of us who don't believe such stereotypes-- that you should be allowed to enjoy what you enjoy.

But until we change the way we teach as a whole, there's so many girls that don't give MtG a chance because they think they're not "suppose" to like that kind of stuff, and/or they're friends don't think they're "suppose" to like it (other girls with similar parenting/media/culture; also it's of course easier to identify with your own gender).

Bottom line: guys have it easier to get into anything in nerd culture because right now it's a boys' group (boys are suppose to be natural to logic and competitivity, can you imagine?) So that's the point of the LPS: to give girls who are interested an entry point into MtG, full of girls like them who they can identify with-- not judge; befriend-- not alienate.

You play what you want to play. You befriend who you want to befriend. You have fun with your friends. That's all the LPS is.
Renasce, I admire your passion and support you and agree with some of your criticisms. But maybe you should take a step back? Meyen is not the enemy. Her LPS may not jibe with you, but of course the gaming world is diverse, and the women in gaming are diverse. In my humble (male nerd feminist) opinion, Meyen's doing more good than harm.
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