I have heard a slew of stigmas and slander about people that play table top games such as Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons in my years.
"...people who play that crap are social inepts..." , "...only geeks play that junk..." etc...
I am here to tell those people, shut your mouth. I spent MANY years, over 23 to be truthful, in the U.S. Military, Emergency Medicine, Law Enforcement and Fire Service. Guess how we passed the time when things were slow and there was nobody to fight, save, arrest or rescue?
We played Magic. We played D&D. We played a myriad of games that, yes were fun; but also kept our minds fresh and strong. Not all of us, but a fair portion. From Infantrymen to Machine Gunners. Combat Corpsman to Mortar-men, we all found ways to keep our minds occupied in our down time. Table Top gaming provided this distraction from the reality, that we have to do what most people can't/won't.
Logistics, Tactics, Psychology, Reading Human Behavior; all these things come into play when you're at the table with another opponent who you have to 'battle'. So when my Brothers at Nether Void Games said they were holding a Magic the Gathering tournament, I just HAD to go.
I have never competed in a tournament before, so I was a little anxious I must say. A 'Pauper' tournament (a.k.a. poor mans deck) , all card decks in play, MUST be made with all "Common" cards. No rare, Uncommon, or Mythic cards are allowed. For those who have no clue what I am talking about; in MTG, some cards are stronger/more rare than others. In this type of tournament, you can't use them. A true challenge.
From a 6 and a 1/2 year old to full grown adults, we battled until a victor emerged. A boy named Jason, and my own 6 1/2 year old Tristan attended. In this game, age, race, gender, social up bringing; none of it matters. We are all equal on the battlefield. Metaphorically speaking. I personally played several hands against the 6 1/2 year old Jason, who I must say...is a force to be reckoned with. The kid has NO poker 'tells'. Honestly. His face, was like watching paint dry, he was that focused. A little scary, if I am to be truthful. I won my hands against him, but I have to tell you; this kid held his own against me. Tit for tat, he was in it to win.
R.J. (the store manager) and Adam (not Andy, as I once called him in a previous article. Sorry Dude.) Had their hands full and I must say, they performed beautifully! Registering new competitors to the Wizards Of The Coast, and running the competition. They were exemplary!
One thing is for certain. Veterans, to store clerks. Firefighters to college students, there were many different people from many different walks of life in attendance. Smiles, small talk and new friendships all seemed to be produced in the inaugural sanctioned tournament held at Nether Void Games.
Maybe, just maybe;... if the entire World would just embrace their "Inner Geek" a little more, it could be just as AMAZING as Nether Void Games and all those who competed today. Today, we all went from "Paupers, to Kings." #ProfessionalGeek
CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
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