Why play the game?
Lots of people often analyse the game of magic trying to place people who play the game into one of three categories. Well I like to think people are constantly changing their attitude, after all the cards evolve with each new set so isn't it realistic to expect people to adapt too?
So I thought about it a bit and decided that perhaps I could use this to explain the reasoning behind my lack of interest over the last few months, the more I looked into it the more I became aware that it happens to everyone but in to varying degrees.
Why do people move away from magic?
One of the reason's could be the amount of work that needs to go into making someone a good player, often people think you only need the cards to become good and don't realise the amount of time and practice it takes before you know how to play them. Another reason could be they just don't like the feel of a new set of liked an older one just that bit more, I suffered from this when Saga rotated out, after all it is hard to put away hundreds of cards and speed x amount on a new, unknown set. Sometimes people feel under too much pressure from other people to make the grade when they just want to play for fun. Or commitments get in the way and start to effect, or be effected by, Magic.
One thing is for sure people who don't understand can often get the wrong idea and that can lead to an uneasy feeling between players, often making it far harder to enjoy the game.
Will they come back?
That depends, if they were one of the players that thought about becoming good they may just decide to play for fun, rather than spend hours upon hours practicing for tournaments. Perhaps they don't like the new expansion, in which case they may come back after awhile as the set becomes more established, or wait until a new set rotates into the environment. Over time people's commitments change, so perhaps they may decide not to play, or to try and sort out things before popping back. If asked why most people who leave due to unrest or disagreements will come back, remember it is a game and as such should be fun, no one plays the same or has the same feelings for the game.
What does Magic mean to them?
If they see it as a craze then don't expect them to play for long, even if they do spend silly amounts on cards etc.. Taking the game too seriously can also mean they might not like the casual game as much and may give up due to lack of interest. Perhaps it's an excuse to go down the pub or just to get out once in awhile, in which case you may find them not even playing sometimes, preferring to watch games from time to time. Semi-Serious players are the people who try and keep up with the game but tend to have other commitments that take up a lot of there time, these players are generally liked by many but tend to go through phases of disinterest.
The great thing about life is the way in which it can throw up a complete unknown, for instance someone might be a casual player until a new set comes out then get seriously into the game. If you think about it this offsets the people who are serious and lose interest with the introduction of the new set.
No matter what anyone tells you people cannot be put into categories and trying is just an exercise in futility, so why talk about it? Well it helps to remember that of all the categories at sometime you either feel you are, or someone sees you as, one of the above.
So the next time your down you local club or bump into and old friend don't moan and mutter about how lame it is that they gave up, instead ask why they did and if they'd like to pop in sometime just for a chat and to catch up. Above all remember that could be you in a few months time when Counterspell is removed from standard, or a broken deck just drives you mad!
Shane 'Chain' Mussell.