Blogging on community.wizards.com means something different than blogging on wordpress, or for some other interest group. We're here for the games, right? Or perhaps for gaming in general... I guess I should warn you that rambling is a habit of mine?
Gaming means many things to me. Full disclosure comes here: I'm president of the University of Ottawa Gaming Club, a core-level WPN organizer, and level 1 judge. I literally live and breath gaming - you shouldn't see my bedroom. Right now, the temperature in Ottawa is a balmy -4 Celsius (-11 with wind-chill!). I'll be flying out to California on Saturday to soak in the rays and then jump into the mix in one of the coolest events that Wizards has to offer: a Magic the Gathering Grand Prix. This is not my first.
Last August I had the chance to hop on a Greyhound to visit Boston for a Grand Prix there. I left somewhere around 4 am, in time to catch the bus from Montreal. And, fancy that, there were some fellows on the bus who were heading to Boston for the same reason! Bumping into fellow Magic players is always awesome, but sitting on the bus gave me an opportunity to realize the diversity of experience that we come from. Film school? Immunology? Personal Trainer? Or maybe just worried about grade 10 science?
Awesome gamers come in many shapes, forms, and locations. This photo was taken by yours truly at the border crossing.
A funny thing happened on the way to the Grand Prix: I had to cross a border. Now, I have some real respect for the folks working border crossings: they have patience, great bullshit detectors, and have to stand in one spot for most of the day. That being said, it's kind of hard to explain why I would go all the way to Boston to judge at a Grand Prix. Explaining the trip to the family and roommates was one thing; Border Services was something altogether different. My best advice is be honest, and have a few cards on hand to show the folks.
People didn't actually believe that Magic the Gathering was this big (or D&D, but I know that GenCon happens, and that I will eventually get there). To prove that I would go all the way to Boston to play cards, I took this photo:
I'm not sure where else I could have taken this one: the taxi was a godsend, that's for sure.
Atmosphere is everything. Rob Dougherty, Magic Hall of Famer and Professional Tournament Organizer along with Darwin Kastle and Your Move Games did an awesome job hosting the whole show at the metro convention centre, and then kept things rolling through the nights at the Fairmont Coppley just around the corner. Sleep deprived we may have been, but everyone managed to pull through.
Pull through what you may ask? Well, I kind of skipped that part - the running of Magic tournaments can be quite a task. Possibly for another blog post. I'll leave you with this picture of the product used for the tournament. Now the question for you is this: What's so special about this picture?