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Spirit of the Game
Of a Different Breed
Written by Mike "Karn" Jarvis
karn@phyrexia.com


If you ever go to a tournament take a look around. The variety of people there will amaze you. You have freaks, preps, girls (sorry about grouping this together, but we must realize there are so few of them they can have their own group.), older people, parents, children (who are very good too!), religious types, and even those who worship the coin. However, that is not what I'm talking about in this article. I'm talking about attitude. The difference between a winner and a loser in Magic is skill and what cards you have available. The difference between a good player and a bad player is, you guessed it, attitude.

The Breeds:

The Confident Type (a Chris)
The Confident Type doesn't enjoy small talk. The average game with this breed is as follows:

1. Sits downs
2. Shakes opponents hand
3. Cuts deck
4. Flips coin
5. Plays game
(optional) - Looks annoyed if other person tries for small talk unsuccessfully.

This is the kind that makes it to the tournys, plays for ratings, winning matters. These guys arn't bad, in fact they are usually very nice people. They just get stressed out about winning or they just are having a rough day. Or they enjoy being like that.


The Funny Guy (An Uncle Mikey)
This one . . . look out for him. He's a winner at heart, but can stand to lose. Always acts for a trade, and tends to laugh when it's not appropriate (like when he gets a super good hand and starts showing everyone around him but you). If you underestimate him, he will win. If you let him get to you, he will win. If you treat him like anyone else, then it's a fair game and you have a chance of winning. Note these people have this engrained in their personality, and they don't do it to win alone, they are just having the time of their lives. The people who do this just to win go under our next category . . . .
The Brat (a little Steevy)
He whistles through his nose when he breathes. He laughs whenever you make a play. He smells like last weeks roadkill. This guy is a wiley one, he annoys to win. Be careful—these guys are creeps, they like coping the Dojo's decks and are of varying skill. They might just win even without their antics.
The Scrub (a Jason)
I don't mean to be rude, but some people just come under this category. It isn't acctual skill that decides it, it's just their rate of play. Biting their lip, sucking their thumb, hold an enchant creature card in the air for five minutes before they put it on the only creature on the board . . . these people are ANNOYING. They don't mean to do it, and they certainly don't want to annoy you or appear to be in this category. Don't confront them about it, they will get extremly mad. Just pray that their insecurity is because they are bad players, and not because they are nervous.
One last one, my personality take on the webmaster:

The Die-Hard (a Matt Manly)
(using he for second person point of view since this IS Matt)

This one loves Magic, loves the game, loves the story, loves the pics. A shame he doesn't want to play seriously. He will go to prerelease events just to see the pics and the people, to win packs most of all. Give credit to these people, they play Magic for all the right reasons.


There are countless more breeds, but if we were to name them all then you wouldn't have the fun of finding them and recording them at tournaments. Just don't try to catch them in a jar, it makes them upset. If I find an especially interesting one I will post it along with one of my articles.

—Mike

P.S. - If you really want to know, I'm an Uncle Mikey. (it's named after me after all)


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