Ignorant gaming communities and… why do you want to be a part of them?

Hello Nurglings!


I thought I would do a follow-up on a post/article I wrote about a week ago. It was about ignorant or rather closed gaming groups/communities that are hard to get into, and how you could join them. This time I’m going to talk about a similar subject from the other side of things.

Why do you want to be a part of it?
Is it really the thing for you?

I don’t mean that you shouldn’t play the games you love, I think you should always play the games you love! But sometimes, you just need to find the kind of people that have the same type of attitude towards the game as you. This can be extremely difficult, and I often notice that most card gamers, try their best to become a part of the more “elitist” kind of gaming groups.

I am like that as well; I really want to be at my best when playing games. I love to win tournaments, and beating players that always consider themselves “better” is a joy indescribable. But outside of the tournaments I always tend to have a different view on the game then most others. I enjoy fun decks, weird builds, and cards that are… unconventional at times. Playing my R/U/W Tempered Steel deck for example (it wasn’t horrible actually). This kind of thinking isn’t something that is very popular amongst tournament players.

Before I continue, I want us to look at something. The three different psychographic profiles of Magic The Gathering.

“A psychographic profile separates players into categories based on their psychological make-up. What motivates that player to play? What kind of cards do they like? What kind of things encourages that player to keep on playing?” – Mark Rosewater

The following quotes are all from Rosewater and this article: http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr11b . I will take a short quote from each of the personalities.

Timmy: “Timmy is what we in R&D call the “power gamer.” Timmy likes to win big. He doesn’t want to eke out a last minute victory. Timmy wants to smash his opponents. He likes his cards to be impressive, and he enjoys playing big creatures and big spells.

One of the misconceptions is that Timmy has to be young. While its true that younger players are more apt to fall into this category, players of any age can be a Timmy. What sets Timmy apart from the other two profiles is that Timmy is motivated by fun. He plays Magic because it’s enjoyable. Timmy is very social. An important part of the game is sitting around with his friends.”

Johnny: “Johnny is the creative gamer to whom Magic is a form of self-expression. Johnny likes to win, but he wants to win with style. It’s very important to Johnny that he win on his own terms. As such, it’s important to Johnny that he’s using his own deck. Playing Magic is an opportunity for Johnny to show off his creativity.

Johnny likes a challenge. Johnny enjoys winning with cards that no one else wants to use. He likes making decks that win in innovative ways. What sets Johnny apart from the other profiles is that Johnny enjoys deckbuilding as much as (or more than) he enjoys playing. Johnny loves the cool interactions of the cards. He loves combo decks. Johnny is happiest when he’s exploring uncharted territory.”

Spike: “Spike is the competitive player. Spike plays to win. Spike enjoys winning. To accomplish this, Spike will play whatever the best deck is. Spike will copy decks off the Internet. Spike will borrow other players’ decks. To Spike, the thrill of Magic is the adrenalin rush of competition. Spike enjoys the stimulation of outplaying the opponent and the glory of victory.

Spike cares more about the quantity of wins than the quality. For example, Spike plays ten games and wins nine of them. If Spike feels he should have won the tenth, he walks away unhappy.”

In my experience, there are usually plenty of Spikes around; they get themselves noticed because they express their joy of winning, and their hate for losing. These are not the most fun players… to just play with. Even testing decks can be annoying when it’s more about winning with the decks than actually understanding the decks. As you may understand, I’m more of a Johnny myself. I love to build decks and try weird things out. (Scythe Tiger all the way! *Cough*)

Something that I didn’t talk about in my first article about gaming communities, is the importance of finding a place where you fit in. Sure you want to be a part of that hard core gaming group, they seem to win a lot, do the right things, and why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that kind of success? But are they having more fun than you and your friends at the kitchen table?

Are they having as much fun as you when you bring that weird new deck?
Most importantly, are you sure you want to be one of them?

If you feel like one of those players, you should try it out. I’ve been trying it out myself, but always tend to realize that it’s not my thing. I smile when I win, I think about the times that I lose, and I enjoy playing the games!

Enjoy yourself! It doesn’t matter if it’s by winning, building decks or just being social.
It’s important that you find the people that you want to play with and hang out with. Without those people, you will never enjoy gaming like you should.

Until next time Nurglings, take care.
Cya soon!

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Posted on 15 April, 2012, in Card Games, Collecting, Magic The Gathering and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Playing Magic can bring the worst side of me. Guess there is a big Spike in me. Thanks for reminding me that Magic is about having a good time with your buddies.

  2. I’m a mix of Timmy/Johnny. I am always trying to make new and innovative decks, but I usually use what’s big in the metagame at the moment. But because I don’t go out and buy singles all the time, I make decks only with what I’ve traded for or what I get from booster packs. This helps you to be creative and think of those new combos that nobody else thought of before. It can be tough breaking into new Magic communities. I’m motivated to play Magic anywhere, and I usually just want to have fun. But when I first started playing Magic in Nagoya, I heard a lot of people doubting if I could actually play or speak Japanese (they didn’t know I understood Japanese). Luckily I’ve changed their view of me, and now when I bring other foreigner friends to play at events in Japan, they aren’t doubted like I was when I first started.

    I think I made a post about the Japanese player archetypes which is similar to this, but those 3 psychographics you posted are right on in describing them!

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