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What is a Casual Player?
By K.Salam "DÛke" AL.H
Alright…you’re packed and ready to go. You’ve been looking forward to this tournement – you’ve preprepared a solid deck that was your own creation. You’ve even added that one favorite card of yours that you can’t play without. Your deck is original, and you’re proud of it…that’s all you care for. This is going to be a nice Saturday afternoon.

You arrive at your local card shop, and see that you’re not late at all. You sign up for the tourney, look through your wonderful deck, talk to some familiar people, and you sit, getting ready to play.

Your first opponent seems enlightened. He’s playing the latest T2 net deck - not even his own creation…he seemed friendly though. You prepare for the game, and you begin.

The round ends – you won. It was an amazing game. Your opponent was humorous thoughout the game; he even complimented some of your good moves. He chuckled at his own loss, but seemed careless about it. Just by looking, you could tell he was having fun just playing. You were too. You liked to win, but you really enjoy the playing aspect of the game, and really enjoyed playing this person. You shake hands, give him some helpful advice, he thanks you; you go to your next match. Perfect.

Coincidently, this new opponent is playing the same T2 net deck your previous opponent was playing. It’s gonna be another good game, or so you think. Unlike your last opponent, this one seems uptight – he sat himself without even saying a word, glared at you as if you were unworthy of his time. You begin the game, not many words said. The game ends, you lost. You never had any problems with losing…but…this opponent makes it sound outrageous that you lost. He showed off thoughout the game, and even made jokes about some of the less accurate actions you had made. He even showed you the 3x Counterspells in his hand, implying that YOU were not gonna win…and you didn’t. He gets up, and moves on, feeling joyful that he won…no handshake…no compliment, and no advice. Pathetic.

You feel disgusted, and you wanna kill him. You suddenly don’t feel like playing anymore; you take your cards, wave a quick “bye” to some of the friends, and you leave.

What was it that made you leave? You played against the same decks, didn’t you? You don’t care about losing…you were proud about your original deck…so what happened?

There ya go.

How many types of players are there anyway? An automatic response would be “casual” players, and Pro Tour players or not so-“casual”-players.

…well, that’s the wrong response. Common, yes…but right, no.

We know what a Pro Tour player is…do we know what a casual player is? Not really. What is a casual player anyway? How do you contrast between different types of players?

Is it the amount of cards owned? Many of us know casual players that own a few cards, and those who own thousands of them. It just depends on the money and the quality of cards a person likes to buy…that’s all.

So speaking of money and quality – is that differnece between the two types of players: how much money they spend, and what cards they buy? Well, to tell the truth, many casual players buy a lot of T2 cards, and in fact, play T2. Many also buy older cards from older sets. I’m a casual player who owns ONLY T2 cards – I’m casual; yes I am. Some spend a lot of money, and some don’t…that, again, depends on the person’s taste and the amount of money a person has. I know casual players who spend as little as eight dollars for a preconstructed deck with every new set released…and I know those who spend so much money and are very extravagant.

Then how do you distinguish casuals from others? The answer is: you can’t. Not because there isn’t a reason, but because there is no such thing as casual or whatever.

When you play against someone, and you enjoy the game, despite the outcome, do you consider it a “casual” game? Surely you would. Hey, you lost, but you still had fun…that’s casual. What if the opponent is playing a net deck that everyone else is playing…and you STILL enjoyed the game. Is that casual? You DID have fun. You did enjoy…and you DO wanna play again. Sounds like casual to me.

If you think closely, you would see that it’s not the type of cards, the amount of money, the time devoted, or whatever that makes a “player.” It’s the Spirit. The attitude. The style. This Spirit is the reason why you let your opponent rethink his or her latest action...it’s the reason you let an opponent go back and pay a forgotten upkeep cost...it’s why you agree not to attack provided that your opponent doesn’t attack you...it’s why you make the friendly, silly jokes during a game...it’s the reason you shake hands after a game, despite the outcome. This Spirit is why you compliment one’s actions and decks...why you advise...why you offer free cards. It is why you enjoy a game, regardless of the outcome.

The more I think about it, the less “different” types of players I see. All I see are players whom are fun to play against, and players that you just don’t even wanna go close to. As it turns out, to me anyway, it’s not the multiplayer aspect that we love. It’s not the wacky cards we inject to our decks, but rather, it’s all because the peaceful, careless atmosphere that wacky cards and multi-playing create. We could have fun playing any deck, any cards, but not against ANY person. Truly, it’s the person you’re sitting across from that decides if you will have fun or not. If you do have fun, you wouldn’t give a dang about any cards and any decks the opponent use, even they his deck was Pro Tour material.

It matters. If I play a “casual” deck but I’m an a**hole, it wouldn’t be such a casual game, now would it? You see what I mean? There are no casual players, and no other players. There are Magic players…and that’s it. Magic players that have the Spirit, and Magic players who lost or are losing their Spirit. We're all Magic players nonetheless.

It’s all about the Spirit…nothing else…just the Spirit.

Read More Articles by K.Salam "DÛke" AL.H!

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