Magic Players: Grow Up or Shut Up

Posted on November 26, 2012

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Dear Magic the Gathering “community”,

My name is Pierre Lalague, although you may have never heard of me, I am one of your own [editors note – you may have heard of Marc Lalague, champion at this year’s GP Anaheim, Pierre’s twin, and the other half of the Brothers Lalaguchi].  I have been playing cards since middle school, and have been called many names, such as “dork”, “geek”, “loser”, and yes, even “fag” simply because I love playing cards.  For much of my life, I have been a “closet” Magic player.  I have always been a bit afraid of being laughed at for my love of Grim Lavamancers and Bone Flutes.

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But as I have grown older, I have learned that most of my strife and insecurity about being a Magic player stems from my own lack of self-confidence.  Do I still get called names?  Of course I do.  But by now I have learned that I am not alone, that I am part of a community of Magic players millions strong, and that finding acceptance (and more importantly, self-acceptance) comes from finding a place in a community of like-minded individuals.  But at times, the immaturity and outright bigotry of the Magic community worries me. Especially when it comes to the overuse of a word that has no place at FNM nor Grand Prixs: G*d.

 

Really, do we have to take the Lord’s name in vain so much?

 

We are daily witnesses to the Lord’s creation.  Everything on His great Earth, from the last purpling of daylight on the horizon to the cries of songbirds to the terrible sounds of “Tha Gathering” is the continued bounty of His divine grace.

 

So why dishonor Him?

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I do not go to church on Sundays.  I prefer watching Legacy Opens on my laptop split-screened with porn.  I do not go to church on Wednesdays either.  I wouldn’t miss Travis Woo’s 5C draft blunders for it.  I would not even call myself a Christian.  But that doesn’t mean I condone so many outright Blasphemous Acts.

 

I am no fundamentalist.  I believe in Him in more of a Unitarian sense, as responsible for all creation.  Who created Magic? Richard Garfield.  But Who created Richard Garfield?

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I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the artwork on those beautiful Islands you shuffle up was created by something other than John Avon.  But where did John Avon get all his inspiration for those Islands?  The Man Upstairs. 

 

So have some respect.

 

I know, I know, Magic is full of occult imagery.  The back of every card has a pentagram, made only a little less Satanic with its rainbow wheel of the five colors.  I know that demons typically have a higher power and toughness than angels.  I know that Damnation has a higher chance of seeing play in Modern and Legacy than Wrath of God.  Our moral fiber is not determined by the content of the game we play, but rather by the content of our character. 

 

But every time I walk through a Grand Prix, with hundreds of matches ending around the same time, I hear nearly half the winners end their stories with “And that’s the G*d d*mn.”

 

Really? Every time I hear this I am surprised that no one within earshot is calling a judge.  Maybe some of you judges can weigh in here.  Is it really worth it to say “that’s the G*d d*mn?”  His eternal damnation is not something I like to speculate upon, but those of you who feel its sting will know that the cost was more than 2BB. 

 

I know that many of you have great ideas on how to clean up our game.  I know I’m not the only one worried that our children and our children’s children will inherit a pile of filth instead of a nice family game to play with Grandma on the kitchen table.  So allow me to make a suggestion to you, my Magic “community”.  Cut the blasphemy.

 

And if you hear someone take the Lord’s name in vain at your next tournament, call a judge.  If he won’t listen, call your mother.  And if she won’t listen, call your fucking priest. 

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