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  • posted a message on Christine Sprankle and Harassment in the MTG Community
    Guys, I've effectively quit Magic at this point. Like, I sold 90% of my cards and haven't played in almost a year. But this still managed to reach me! I occasionally watch MTG videos and Jeremy's ban video came up in my recommended section. The Professor, which is the main channel that I do watch, laid the heart of the matter out nicely. Someone was hurt bad enough by Jeremy's repeated, unsolicited, and frankly quite crude criticisms to leave the MTG community and that person was a highly visible and well liked individual. I work with 1st graders at an after school program and we work hard to foster a sense of community between the kids themselves and with the adults who care for them. They all can tell you that doing something mean is bad for the whole community because if one person is hurt then the rest must take stock of the situation and form a layer of social protection. Jeremy has benefited from way too much social protection within the MTG community for way too long. One thing I always have to remind the kids about is that even when you don't agree with someone or they make you mad you have no right to punish them. Jeremy has the right to free speech but at the same time he has no right to question Christine's level of worth to the MTG community or shame her for the way she raises money. One of my favorite cosplay creators, Cat Cosplay, recently asked for money from their followers because they were taking on a lot of projects, which said followers asked for, and their 9 to 5 wasn't cutting it. So Christine's request isn't unusual nor is it a plea for attention. The thing that bothers me the most is that I think Jeremy unconsciously went after Christine because she's a woman and women are perceived as more vulnerable. A.E. Marling, a male MTG cosplayer, raises money the same way Christine does and Jeremy hasn't gone near him. So clearly Jeremy sensed that Christine was emotionally vulnerable and decided to make bullying her a thing because she didn't fight back. Becoming "internet famous" because some guy is making fun of you or just doesn't like you can be downright dangerous and there should be some consequences for putting another person at risk just to get thumbs up and subscribers.

    Cheers Sally folks, I've missed you and it's sad that it took an outrage for me to return.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Tamiyo's Journal
    Not as playable as Venser's Journal but I love it from a lore point of view. One day maybe we'll have FtV: Books! MTG's most famous(and infamous) tomes in foil!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Why are parents and grandparents of young players so mean and thoughtless
    A mom came into my old LGS one day and just dumped a whole bunch of valuable Yu-Gi-Oh! cards onto a table. When we asked whose cards they were she said they were her son's cards and since he was fighting on Iraq they didn't need to be in her house. Our jaws dropped and we ended up giving the cards to some new young players. It felt wrong to take a soldier's cards and his mom was so casual about it. What if taking up an old hobby would have helped him take his mind off what he went through on the battlefield?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Mothership Spoilers September 14 - Legendary Merfolk, X-Eldrazi and Full Art Basics
    Endless One is actually kind of scary. It's a make your own monster that literally any deck can just throw in, for Ula's sake! People are talking about it at 7 or 8 but it's solid at 5 or 6 too. It has no fancy bells or whistles but it would be too powerful if it had any abilities. Imagine this guy with reach or vigilance. Those are two of the more mundane abilities but on a creature of indeterminate size they could actually be relevant.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
    Seemed kinda meh to me. A longer trailer is needed before I can say anymore. Any Star Wars film will have to work hard to please me because I've been a Trek(except the last two films!) fan since childhood and prefer it's more sci fi approach to a space opera. I do appreciate the fantasy side of space though and both Dune and Star Wars explore this facet of imagination pretty well.

    With a name like The Force Awakens, I imagine the plot will revolve around some sort of Jedi/Sith arms race to see who can field the most badass disciples following the deaths of Vader and Palpatine. The Rebels need Jedi pretty badly and while Luke Skywalker is powerful, can he prevail against a galaxy filled with dark Force users and Sith? If nothing else, it will be interesting to see the Empire start to decay and fall apart without it's brains to keep it running. Hell, the Rebels could probably just kill all the politically important people in the Empire and then sit back, watch various alliances form and break and see civil war decimate large swaths of the galaxy, and then swoop in and seize control.
    Posted in: Movies
  • posted a message on There is no room for casuals at FNM.
    Quote from TurboTurbot »
    It's not the players, it's the prizes. Most players labeled as 'overly competitive' appreciate a chance to play stuff they like that isn't Tier 1. Once you require an entry fee and put up prizes, there's no incentive for running something that isn't a good bet.

    Use FNM to meet and network with other players and arrange some meet-ups on your own time to do what you want.

    The whole entry fee model of prize support actually pushes casuals away. Paying $5 to reward the people who are already winning is insane and unless your FNM gets 10 or fewer players shouldn't be a thing. None of the major stores in my area charge entry fees for FNM. The why of it is kind of a long story* but needless to say that attendance improved drastically once the entry fee was eliminated. If a store has a decent event calendar then not charging for FNM is feasible and pretty smart. Players still need drinks, snacks, dice, pen/paper, singles, packs, etc so no money is really lost and prize support is entirely unaffected.


    It's the end of 2011 and things could not be worse for Magic in the Buffalo area. The store I worked at closed, one store was about to close, and the other major store was having major drama among the staff and players. I was at my wits end and pretty much decided to quit Magic. Then I had an idea for a new kind of LGS. My ideal LGS would have a full event calendar, gaming demos, plenty of play space, snacks aplenty, and most importantly would not charge for FNM. I shared my ideas with the local Magic community and they loved it! I didn't know it at the time but two local guys were raising money to open a new store and they planned to use some of my ideas.

    Flash forward to mid-2012, the new store opens and the store that was on the verge of closing has a new owner. Players flock to the new store on Fridays and the other store owners take notice. These new guys were hosting a free event AND giving out pizza but weren't losing any money. So the other stores start to offer free FNM and things improve a little. People who have never set foot in a store or just never played in FNM are filling every store to capacity.

    Let's jump to mid-2013! The drama-filled store changed hands very quietly and a local sports memorabilia store that sold Magic decides to hold tournaments at their new store. Magic players learn that if enough people want something that store owners will listen to them and the game just explodes. FNM's go from 30 people to at least 50! Pretty much every format is now supported and players can generally play in events for their favorite formats at least 3 times a week.

    At the end of 2014...three stores opened this year. That's insane! Our biggest FNM is held by the sports store and has roughly 150 people each week, divided up between Standard and Modern. Prizes are offered according to your record(prize cards are still given out by record though), not what place you come in, and players play with their minds on the game and not things like tie breakers. The best part is that people are going to many different stores and meeting new people. When I talk about the pre-2011 days there are those who can't believe anyone played FNM under the old conditions.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on There is no room for casuals at FNM.
    I've been playing MTG for 11 years and been an off and on FNM player for 10 of those years. What you have today is nothing compared to what it was like when I first jumped into tournament play. High level event grinders ruled FNM and anyone not playing a Tier 1 deck just didn't win or have a good time. When Planeswalker Points were introduced FNM became the fun, inclusive event it had been advertised to be in years past. Now people come to FNM to win AND have fun! Let me put this another way. Prior to Planeswalker Points the biggest FNM in my area had 30 people tops. The demise of grinders allowed more casual players to attempt playing in a store and now the smallest FNM is 20 people(the store is new though) and the biggest is 140 to 150 strong.

    FNM may be hardcore and cutthroat in some areas but the current Standard environment is annoyingly diverse. You can plan your SB around certain staples and strategies but there isn't really one unassailable deck. One guy in my area consistently T4's with an U/R Ensoul Artifact control deck and another is doing well with Abzan Constellation. The more money you throw at your deck, the better it will perform but you can make some cool/fun/weird decks right now and not do too terribly. *sigh* I'll take a wide variety of hardcore decks to playing against 4 round of Faeries, Affinity, CawBlade, or Jund(I recognize it's degenerate nature though I did play with it!) any day.

    OP should keep playing Standard and also explore other formats. Standard is the flagship format but Limited is something everyone should learn and Modern and Legacy allow you to play with a bigger pool of cards and have a bigger casual following than Standard.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Ugin, The Spirit Dragon - Uncomfirmed
    I looked for the artwork and saw it among the general artwork for Fate Reforged. The original image actually kind of looks like Fat Pack art. Past experience has shown me that if the art looks really good the card sucks or it's fat pack art.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Finding Women for your home RPG group...how?
    As a lifelong female gamer I can only say that having the same gender as someone is kind of a shallow point of commonality. I've played with mostly women and have been the only woman at a table and the experiences have been pretty much the same.

    If the OP's wife wants more women in her playgroup she should entice her female friends to play. Very few people I know got into gaming out of their own desire! I got into TCGs and tabletop RPGs because friends asked me to play with them. A home group has a slightly better chance of attracting women because there is less of a chance of having to deal with creepers, white knights, and the overall dudeness that can pervade an LGS at times.
    Posted in: The Colosseum
  • posted a message on Agents of Shield
    Quote from brasswire »

    I don't know that I would agree with that. In IM2 Vanko's grudge against Stark is a personal one. He's obviously Russian, but... I don't know haven't seen the movie in a long time (because I didn't think it was very good) but I don't remember his Russian-ness being played up as something to be afraid of, just part of his background. It's not the fact that he is Russian or The Mandarin is Chinese that makes it racist or not IMHO, it's how that is used to create the character.

    It's pretty well known that IM2's Whiplash is actually a fusion of two character named Anton Vanko. One being the current incarnation of Whiplash and the other being a 1960's Soviet/KGB controlled character called The Crimson Dynamo. The Crimson Dynamo element of the story was altered though so that the defector was Vanko's father, Ivan Vanko. It would have been simple to ignore the association with the earlier character because the newer Anton Vanko was well established and no one would be scratching their head about some 1960's relic of the Red Scare.

    As a result of that poor taste...Anton Vanko will be appearing on Agent Carter! I don't know any more than that but I think he will be a very young boy.
    Posted in: Television
  • posted a message on Agents of Shield

    As for Iron Man 3, I loved the twist. But if you didn't...
    You know there is a real Mandarin out there in the MCU, right?
    They're always going to tread on eggshells there, though, because frankly, if played faithfully to the comics, "that part of the mythos" is pretty darn racist.

    The Mandarin twist in IM3 was a money grab. By making The Mandarin not the traditional Mandarin they were able to market the film in China. No way would the censors have let it through if there had been any negative stereotypes or anti-China rhetoric. I agree that the past Mandarin is a reactionary piece of racist drivel but he was created at the height of the Red/Yellow Scare and Marvel thought it was okay for a Russian to be IM2's bad guy. If the Mandarin is racist then the Whiplash/Crimson Dynamo character is also racist.

    As for this week's episode...I feel like it was kinda phoned in. Pretty much everyone who has access to the internet knows Marvel is doing an Inhumans movie and ever since the first episode a lot of people have assumed Skye is an Inhuman and that AoS will be Marvel's delivery vehicle for lore. I just feel like more interesting stories could be told, especially with the bigger cast and thus wider array of skills and personalities. Ward is the most interesting character right now and I hope to Foom that he doesn't try the whole redemption thing. He needs to die in a blaze of glory or live a life on the edge(and be the show's recurring anti-hero). Hunter isn't mean enough for the job and Skye doesn't have enough real rebellion inside of her.

    My favorite part of the episode was when Mack made Fitz sit down and play Halo with him. I get the impression that Fitz hasn't had many friends in his life and certainly not many guy friends. At first I thought Simmons made a mistake by leaving Fitz but now I see that they needed the time apart to grow up a little more and learn what they can become, both inside and outside of S.H.I.E.L.D..
    Posted in: Television
  • posted a message on Squatters?
    Call the police and/or demolish the trailer. Both solutions get the guy off your land and destroying the trailer ensures no other squatters can setup shop easily on your property again. Also, put some signs up along your borders warning people that they are entering your property.
    Posted in: Real-Life Advice
  • posted a message on Big Hero 6
    I saw it on Monday and really liked it. As an adult there were some predictable plot points but the movie was so funny and awesome that I can forgive that. Baymax is kind of my fav robot now. Probably because he reminds me of a former co-worker with the same overall build. Smile
    Posted in: Movies
  • posted a message on Why Are Secret Identities Less Prevalent in Recent Media?
    I think a lot of people take the concept of a secret identity as a given for a superhero. Unless the mythos makes it clear that the person's identity is know to the public(e.g. Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, etc) it seems logical that their identity is a secret. Though sometimes it seems incredible that people don't see through the outright lies or clever disguises. *shrug* You gotta suspend your disbelief and go with it sometimes or stop seeing superhero movies.
    Posted in: Movies
  • posted a message on Agents of Shield
    I wish Skye was a Makluan and her dad was Fin Fang Foom. Space dragons are the new mutants!

    Edit for great justice: I think this season's big reveal isn't the Ward family values debacle but that the FitzSimmons power duo are both LGBT. Fitz's subconscious finds Mack attractive and he acknowledged it. So I think he is bi because his feelings for Simmons are painfully genuine. At first I was willing to believe that Simmons was really into Tripp last season but the more I think about it, the more that makes no sense. Tripp is an assertive, alpha male kind of guy who wouldn't play coy about liking Simmons and so if he actually had a shot with her I think they would be together. I think Tripp and Simmons get along so well because the air is clear between them and thus there is no romantic tension. IMO there is no basis for Simmons being straight or bi because there has never been any indication of interest in guys other than professional, familial, or friendship.

    How could Fitz and Simmons both be LGBT and not know about the other? As a member of the LGBT community I can tell you that you truly never know how people will react when they know. People who seem really cool will display shocking amounts of bigotry and ignorance. Quite recently I was in a situation with a co-worker where we worked together for about 6 months before we knew the other was LGBT. We worked with kids and that industry is very unkind to LGBT people in some settings. Frown No matter how professional you think your co-workers are it's just smart to give people as little as possible to judge you about.
    Posted in: Television
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