Yesterday, I got an idea for a new Magic deck: red & black artifact aggro. It is still a work-in-progress, but you can see it here. I use the website TappedOut to manage my deck ideas and share them with friends; it’s typically a friendly site with a ton of great ideas. While I perused to see if anyone had done anything like my idea before, I found this.
I know, I know, you should never read the comments section. Since returning to Magic, the experience has been wonderful. Most events I attend are friendly, fun, and everyone just wants to play. No one judges (outwardly, at least) based on appearance or physical traits. I always succeed at striking up friendly conversations with my opponents. But this… this hurts.
Maybe you think I’m being too sensitive, or you think that this person was just messing around. This isn’t something you just mess around with; not now, not ever. There is talk in the MTG community about people who want to just play Magic, and think that women, LGBTQ, non-binary, non-Christian, and non-white players should stop being so political. That’s the thing: people like the one I highlighted above are why we, the marginalized and non-privileged, are so political. Things like this happen to us. Trust me, all MTG players who aren’t white, cis, straight, Christian men would love to just sit down at a table at FNM and just play. We’d love to just peruse MTG sites without a care in the world. That simply is not a reality for us when people still feel empowered to say terrible things about us.
I am fortunate that this experience is not my prevailing one. I do still enjoy playing, but I cannot ignore that some players would rather not have me at their table. This blog post will likely not change the world, but I hope it’ll change someone’s mind. My charge is to you, the members of this community – back us up when you see or hear something happening at a public event. Stick up for us when we’re not there to defend ourselves. If someone drops an N-bomb while you’re drafting at the kitchen table, talk to them about it. If someone makes disparaging comments against women when you’re streaming Infinite Warfare, call them out. Be an advocate for gamers.
Racism will likely never be eradicated, but we all can help make our playgroups and game stores havens for all gamers of all kinds of descriptors. Yes, we all just want to play the game. Let’s stop the hate speech, and just play.
Finished with my end step. Pass turn.
Dante Buccieri is the resident comic book savant of The Geek Embassy. He’s been reading comics for as long as he can remember, and now that he’s a librarian he gets to advocate for comics in libraries and get paid for it. He’s also a tabletop gaming fan, especially those that involve cards, with favorites including Sentinels of the Multiverse, Magic: The Gathering, Bang!, Smash Up, Star Realms, and 7 Wonders. Dante is a library professional at Portland Community College in Hillsboro, OR.