The Human Condition: Magic Style!

  • #1
    This thread is for the discussion of my latest article, The Human Condition: Magic Style!. We would be grateful if you would let us know what you think, but please keep your comments on topic.
  • #2
    Interesting article Will, thanks. What i would say- in terms of writing- is that many writers choose to take complicated concepts and couch them in more comprehensible terms: you appear to have taken the opposite approach here. Nothing wrong with that per se except that you run the risk of a) Losing the target readership and b) People reading the (well written) article, getting their heads around the concepts you are explaining then coming to the end and saying to themselves "Hmmm, nice, but i don't think this had as much to teach me as my effort warrants."
    I like that articles such as this one exist (i.e. articles which arent just purely about cards and lists and tests and strategies etc) and you deserve credit for writing it- especially in an interesting fashion. Thanks again.
    Q: How many Magic players does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    A: 2. One to screw it in, and one to tell him he could have done it three turns quicker.
  • #3
    You are so right about the being too hasty thing. I have a real problem with that I usualy dont wait for the opportune time and it loses me games that i should have won.
  • #4
    Well, while card advantage is important, so is tempo advantage... which essentially is being hastey. It honestly depends on what sort of deck you're using... MUC wants to take it's time and get the most advantage out of everything, even if it takes ten or twenty turns, while Sligh wants to hit you now, before you get that luxury, regardless of lost card advantage.

    Possibly the last remaining member of the Banana Clan (+1)
    Banana of the Month Feb '05
    Cool stuff here.
  • #5
    Quote from Solace »
    Well, while card advantage is important, so is tempo advantage... which essentially is being hastey. It honestly depends on what sort of deck you're using... MUC wants to take it's time and get the most advantage out of everything, even if it takes ten or twenty turns, while Sligh wants to hit you now, before you get that luxury, regardless of lost card advantage.

    Its this kind of blantant generalization that keeps these articles coming.
  • #6
    Quote from gamermk »
    Its this kind of blantant generalization that keeps these articles coming.

    Indeed.

    The strong player must constantly be waging a battle within his own mind to determine the most opportune time to act. Generalizations simply fuel a player's predispositions and tendencies. Smile

    Quote from stalanquin »
    Interesting article Will, thanks. What i would say- in terms of writing- is that many writers choose to take complicated concepts and couch them in more comprehensible terms: you appear to have taken the opposite approach here. Nothing wrong with that per se except that you run the risk of a) Losing the target readership and b) People reading the (well written) article, getting their heads around the concepts you are explaining then coming to the end and saying to themselves "Hmmm, nice, but i don't think this had as much to teach me as my effort warrants."
    I like that articles such as this one exist (i.e. articles which arent just purely about cards and lists and tests and strategies etc) and you deserve credit for writing it- especially in an interesting fashion. Thanks again.


    Thank you very much.

    Whilst I did figure this article would be one tending to draw a "tl;dr" reaction from most players, I also thought there would at least be a small portion to read it. :p. I think, next time, I'll write an article focusing entirely on one of the given aspects, and draw a parallel with something more recognizable to the average player.
  • #7
    Really interesting article Will, though as I read through it the second or third time one or two minor things bothered me slightly about it.

    a) was that point Stalanquin brought up about it being slightly too entrenched in its own concept. Having written many an essay over time often about complicated and diverse theories, it is often hard not to get elaborate. It was good to see you trying to lighten it slightly but not too much, though it suffered for its art in the end.
    b) the article also suffers from a bit of repetitiveness. This isn't so much about the topic, more of the style and format. The article lost a lot of its flow and it started to chug along as you tried to explain each point. The numerous paragraphs make it more disjointed and scattered, almost like train of thought which isn't exactly the kind of feeling I'd want from such an article.

    Overall I'm glad you wrote it though as your summary is very valid; many veterans would profess to knowing it all already but it's perfectly valid for new and old alike. Smile
  • #8
    Quote from Aldwyn »
    b) the article also suffers from a bit of repetitiveness. This isn't so much about the topic, more of the style and format. The article lost a lot of its flow and it started to chug along as you tried to explain each point. The numerous paragraphs make it more disjointed and scattered, almost like train of thought which isn't exactly the kind of feeling I'd want from such an article.


    This was something I had an issue with. On one hand, I didn't want to alienate readers with a wall of continous text. On the other, I didn't want a disjointed feel. In the end, the former won out over the latter.
  • #9
    It was interesting, but there were a quite a few problems with it.

    First, I had to read it like twice to actually grasp the whole thing. It could have been much easier to understand and concise.

    Secondly, once I did understand it, I realized that the entire topic was one that could have been summarized in a much shorter article without the complications.

    Anyway, good luck with your next article!
  • #10
    Quote from Hunted Charlie »
    It was interesting, but there were a quite a few problems with it.

    First, I had to read it like twice to actually grasp the whole thing. It could have been much easier to understand and concise.

    Secondly, once I did understand it, I realized that the entire topic was one that could have been summarized in a much shorter article without the complications.


    The issue lies within the fact that this wasn't just a "What not to do in Magic" article. It dealt primarily with the implications of the theory of the Human Condition, how it's relevant to Magic, and how using this, we can derive "What not to do in Magic".
  • #11
    Quote from gamermk »
    Its this kind of blantant generalization that keeps these articles coming.

    My point wasn't that you must play a deck a certian way (though, I've never seen Sligh playing control when matched against MUC), but that the article kinda made it sound like card advantage was king, and I feel that it's even in importance with tempo. Though, well, I suppose I might have read it wrong.

    Possibly the last remaining member of the Banana Clan (+1)
    Banana of the Month Feb '05
    Cool stuff here.
  • #12
    I read the first paragraph and emerged feeling like I'd just started reading a uni textbook. That was it for me. It was all over.

    Sorry, but if you want to keep me reading you need to entertain me. First lesson in media writing: capture the audience's interest.

    Didn't happen.
    Winner of the November Art Contest.


  • #13
    Quote from El Garbo »
    I read the first paragraph and emerged feeling like I'd just started reading a uni textbook. That was it for me. It was all over.

    Sorry, but if you want to keep me reading you need to entertain me. First lesson in media writing: capture the audience's interest.

    Didn't happen.


    So, rather than actually seeing whether the rest of the article was worth the effort, you just thought you would skip straight to the forums to have a pop? How nice of you.
    Q: How many Magic players does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    A: 2. One to screw it in, and one to tell him he could have done it three turns quicker.
  • #14
    Quote from stanalquin »
    So, rather than actually seeing whether the rest of the article was worth the effort, you just thought you would skip straight to the forums to have a pop? How nice of you.

    Ironically, his comment spoke more about himself than it did about the article.
  • #15
    Unfortunately, I did not learn anything from this article as it does not advocate anything specific. All that you have written the average person should already know. If players are predisposed to being too hasty, too calculating, or too doubtful, they will not change their style just because they realize or know that they should.
    Only human remains.
  • #16
    So, rather than actually seeing whether the rest of the article was worth the effort, you just thought you would skip straight to the forums to have a pop? How nice of you.


    I offered some constructive criticism. A write has to engage with readers if he's to be successful; in this case, it didn't happen.

    I'm not offering comment on the content - it might be brilliant for all I know. I'm offering comment on the introduction, which, IMO, was not an example of good writing.

    Take it or leave it.
    Winner of the November Art Contest.


  • #17
    Quote from El Garbo »
    I offered some constructive criticism. A write has to engage with readers if he's to be successful; in this case, it didn't happen.

    I'm not offering comment on the content - it might be brilliant for all I know. I'm offering comment on the introduction, which, IMO, was not an example of good writing.

    Take it or leave it.


    I see the point you are making, but just asserting "Writers need to engage their audience: you did not engage my interest: therefore this is an example of bad writing." is not hugely constructive. For one thing, a writer should not necessarily set out to engage as many people as possible- certainly he should try to be accessible, but not pre-occupied with the volume of people his writing attracts.
    Q: How many Magic players does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    A: 2. One to screw it in, and one to tell him he could have done it three turns quicker.
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