Think of how Neo couldn't beat the robots, but they kept him around anyways to defeat Agent Smith. Sure, the robots might not like having a Neo running rampant because instead of playing their favorite 4 drop fatty robot, they have to play a bunch of one mana Matrixs to contain him, but at least Neo keeps Agent Smith from reanimating an Iona on turn two.
I really enjoy imagining this from Kevin's perspective. Because in Kevin's world, Rosewater actually reads everything he types. Mark is sitting there right now, reading this, and thinking "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled. . ." Or some such. He chuckles low, then clicks on "The Best Of KEVINSET" and says "Yes, this'll do just fine. A busty lady with banding who deals direct damage to Zones!? Why this will be the star of my next set, and no one will ever believe you Kevin." Then he closes his Macbook, so his servant may move it out of the way, while another servant puts a Fetal Richard Garfield Clone lathered in Steak Sauce in front of him. Then Mark Feasts.
I mean, In KevinWorld, Mark is reading the very words I'm typing as well. Heck, in KevinWorld maybe I am Mark.
[In response to a thread about how hard grading is]
Upon reading this, I've found myself completely unable to operate in the world. I tried to decide what to eat for breakfast, and pondered the vast consequences of my choice. How do I balance my dietary needs against my desire to eat good-tasting food? Should I factor in how long it takes to prepare? Cereal is ready in moments, but bacon takes longer to cook.
Then there is the impact on other industries. Do people in the cereal industry deserve to be employed more than people in the bacon industry? Which industry should I support? I don't even have the data regarding HOW MUCH the cereal industry benefits from me eating a bowl of cereal, or how much the bacon industry benefits from me eating a side of bacon. How can I compare two qualities I can't even quantify?
And let's not forget the milk on the cereal. In addition to determining whether or not milk is healthy for me, how much that benefits the milk industry, and how much the people in the milk industry deserve my support, we have to factor in the fact that cows are put under brutal conditions in order to collect thier milk. Of course, the same goes for the pigs, and then they get killed. Of course, I really like bacon. So I need to come up with a scale that compares the value of cow happiness to pig happiness to my happiness. What trade-offs am I willing to make here? Does the fact that the pig gets put out of its misery count as a plus or a minus? Isn't bacon bad for me anyway?
Deciding what to eat for breakfast (or any meal) is impossible. Help me!
Anyway, you'd be surprised about Time Stop. When I first saw that card as a relatively new player I didn't see its full potential until I read the reminder text. Is it that unintuitive, though? Mine I mean. What is possibility? Is it possible for me to type these words with my tusks? No, because I don't have tusks. Although I am now tempted to go buy some - obviously not from poachers or whatever - and use them as typing apparatus. I could be the best secretary ever. "What's your words per minute sir?" "Well, only six, but I use these tusks to type them." "You're hired!" That was the interview. And is anyone else disappointed that "apparati" is not the plural form of apparatus? I just could strangle a dictionary, because "apparatuses" is a real word. I guess it sounds pretty cool. I'll call them my Apparatusks.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!