Warning: This is a very long article!
I thought I would share something that has been… not bothering me, but it’s a thought that has been twirling around in my head. Lately there have been a lot of articles posted about the female players of Magic, how they are looked at by 90% of the players who are male. And thankfully also their accomplishments in Magic.
I was thinking about this at the same time as I was sitting down at my local hobby shop, looking through my Yu Gi Oh collection. At the same time I was talking with a few of my friends that plays Magic the Gathering. The room was crowded with players playing different card games. A World of Warcraft TCG tournament was taking place in the room, some Yu Gi Oh players took up a big table discussing the game and playing it, and in front of me my friends were sleeving The Spoils decks to demo the game at an event here in Gothenburg the next day. A huge mix of games and players of all ages, it was a good day for card games.
In the past I was very active in the Yu Gi Oh community, as a gamer and collector. I’m still a moderator at the biggest Yu Gi Oh forum in Sweden, and I try to stay somewhat up to date so I can join the discussions or at least understand them. A year or so ago I switched my focus to other card games and haven’t really been active with Yu Gi Oh.
Recently the Yu Gi Oh Swedish national was announced, and I thought I would join in. Meeting with the people again and doing something that I actually enjoy more than gaming; going to events and experiencing the social side of card gaming. When sitting with the cards I was met by skepticism from the other Yu Gi Oh players. Mainly because I wasn’t active anymore, and they questioned why I would start with it now instead of just keep playing Magic the Gathering.
This onetime thing didn’t really bother me too much, I know the Yu Gi Oh players around here and shortly after I was offered to borrow cards for Nationals if I really wanted to join. I KNEW this, but what if I was a new player, sitting down for the first time, building a deck for a tournament that is way over my head (and still is to be honest). Just to hear: why are you even trying?
Yu Gi Oh is a constant eternal format just like Magic the Gatherings Vintage or Legacy. All cards are allowed in tournaments except for a selected few on a banlist. These types of formats and games usually costs more than games focused around new cards and sets. This is because of a simple thing: supply and demand. The older the set gets, the cards from it gets harder to find and fewer and fewer cards keep rotating between players. The prices go up and it becomes less interesting for new players to join that type of game because of this.
But not only is the cost a problem, but the community that plays these eternal formats are usually players that have stuck with it for a long time. What I’ve noticed with these players is the fact that not many of them allow new players to “join in”. New blood is considered players without skills and without decks and cards that are interesting to play against. And that may be true, new players don’t have the decks or skills yet, but why shut them out just because they aren’t at your level?
I think this is one of many things that are happening within Magic right now, discussing the female players. The male demographic is having issues with the fact that this smaller group of players that haven’t really been successful before, are starting to become worthy opponents. If a smaller group of Legacy players have issues with new players without skills or decks. The male gaming community as a whole has been having this issue with female players. It’s time to become more accepting of new players, especially if we want our gaming groups or games in general to grow.
We can’t let the new players be shut out just because they don’t know everything from the start. If we talk about the game with them, play it with them and discuss things that they may want to think about. They will find that once you become a part of the community, the community is awesome. The social aspect of card games is a huge thing, blogs, forums, gaming groups, these are all huge and important things for a card game to have. But as a social game, we also need to respect each other and people we meet through gaming. No matter the gender, what they’ve played before, how much they’ve played or even what their names are.
Learn the basics:
If you’re a new player, or someone that wants to try a new game out. Try and look at the rules before you head down to your local hobby or gaming store. The more of the basic rules you know, the easier it will be for the older players to respect you as a new player.
Even if the gamers there may a bit nervous with you being new. Talk to them, they are not as dangerous as they look.
Put your hard skin on:
As the new player you will realize that there is a lot of “friendly bullying” going on between players. And this is nothing to be afraid of, this is something that is very common within any type of gaming, online or offline.
Ask other players for help (even if you don’t really want it):
People that think they are good at any game, love to talk about their skills. Ask the other players for help, about your deck, gaming style or whatever. They love to share what they think is best. This way it’s easier to talk to them afterwards and that is a huge positive side effect of asking a simple question.
Well that was it for now everyone.
Until next time Nurglings, take care.