The question of questions: What is casual?

Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by TheCasualOblivion, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    I utterly disagree with everything Duke said there and think he's deeply exploring his own rectal cavity at the moment.

    I'm not sure quite who gave you the authority to say how people are allowed to enjoy Magic. Magic is a social game, the enjoyment comes from the SOCIAL side as much as the GAME side. I will build decks that dont intend on winning, and I will enjoy playign them. I will play decks with the objective in mind of losing - I will throw the game - and if I do it right my opponent wont realise it and will not feel cheated, and we'll both enjoy the game.

    Sorry Duke, you're just very wrong and I feel sorry for you that you can only find enjoyment from Magic in the challenge of winning, when that's only one of the many ways you can enjoy this great game.
  2. DÛke Memento Mori

    Actually, Gizmo. If I was right anywhere it's in that last post of mine. The only reason why there is a game is because it has an objective, that being winning. You can't scramble that away for the sake of socializing and say you really played the game. What can be done, what I see being done, are people who forget about the challenge, hence forget about the game, and focus on other aspects. Frankly, that's not fun, in any case, not for me.

    For me "fun" equals knowing that I might win, that my deck can kick-butt, and yet it can still be fun to play so that when I lose, the time would still be well spent and not simply wasted because I lost.

    No one can say "Magic is a social game" without implying that the point of this game is to win: as soon one mentions "game," he or she instantly mentions that the goal is victory, that's the concept of every game, after all.

    Indeed, Magic is a social game, like a lot of other games. Would it still be there if it didn't have the strict rules that makes it what it is? would it still be there if the objective of winning is taken away? would any game, as a matter of fact?

    I'm not being authoritive here. This is basics, mere basics. Having fun, socializing, making friends...all that is a consquence of playing, isn't it? It's not gonna happen on its own. And when you're playing, you're playing the game, and..."the game" means one thing: "challenge and winning." If those are not there, essentially it's not a game. Everything else that follows, i.e. entertaining the other plays for the sake of "casual" Magic, is a consquence, not a cause. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with playing any way you want, I would never stop you, but should you ask me: "do you think I'm playing casual Magic if I just slap a deck around, tone down my playing level to suit other plays," I will gladly say "no" - because at that point you're not even playing the game.

    No, that still gives me a challenge. If I willfully choose to discard my deck and go build a deck that suits the circumstances, that's different than me willfully playing a weaker deck to begin with just so that the other player doesn't have to feel intimidated. Also, my reason for playing a toned-down deck would be different: it's because I want to challenge myself, see if I can build a good deck from "crap cards," and still win. Nevertheless, the objective of the game wouldn't change for me, or anyone who is willing to admit it: it's still challenge,'s still winning.

    Just not long ago I posted a "peasant Magic" deck here on the boards for an online tournment I'm about to have in few days. Surely you know what peasant Magic is - it's when you play all commons. Does that mean there is no challenge? On the contrary! The challenge is even greater. Does that mean the objective of the game changed? No. It's still winning. That's why we still call it a "game." Am I gonna have fun playing it? God yes. Why? Because I will present a challenge towards other players to overcome, and they will present a challenge for me to overcome. That doesn't mean there won't be smilies and virtual handshakes and jokes being cracked left and right (the tournment is within my MTGO Clan, all my friends). Fun, yes. Only because it's a challenge for me and other players. All other aspects of fun, i.e., cracking jokes and bitching about the latest love affair, that's just socializing that occures within any social setting, in this case, the setting being playing a game called "Magic" for which the objective win.
  3. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    I disagree.

    Of course it would. Let's Americanise this (sorry, AmericaniZe it)... lets say you play Basketball with your buddies. Don't you sometimes go and shoot hoops and not keep score? Just chill out and play the game for the fun of it? Surely you do. Nobody can 'win' because nobody is keeping score. But it's still a game, and people still have fun.

    You're just wrong, sorry. What happened to 'it's not the winning or losing, its taking part that counts'?

    Let's go to the dictionary shall we, seeing as you're so obsessed with this definition of what is a 'game'? And if we DO go to the dictionary we find that what you are saying defines what a 'game' is, is in fact only ONE of the definitions of the word 'game', and not even the primary one!

    Main Entry: 1game
    Pronunciation: 'gAm
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old English gamen; akin to Old High German gaman amusement

    1 a (1) : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : PLAY (2) : the equipment for a game b : often derisive or mocking jesting : FUN, SPORT <make game of a nervous player>

    2 a : a procedure or strategy for gaining an end : TACTIC b : an illegal or shady scheme or maneuver : RACKET

    3 a (1) : a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other (2) : a division of a larger contest (3) : the number of points necessary to win (4) : points scored in certain card games (as in all fours) by a player whose cards count up the highest (5) : the manner of playing in a contest (6) : the set of rules governing a game (7) : a particular aspect or phase of play in a game or sport <a football team's kicking game> b plural : organized athletics c (1) : a field of gainful activity : LINE <the newspaper game> (2) : any activity undertaken or regarded as a contest involving rivalry, strategy, or struggle <the dating game> <the game of politics>; also : the course or period of such an activity <got into aviation early in the game> (3) : area of expertise :

    In fact let's go one further... let's look up 'play' as well.

    Main Entry: 1play
    Pronunciation: 'plA
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old English plega; akin to Old English plegan to play, Middle Dutch pleyen

    1 a : SWORDPLAY b archaic : GAME, SPORT c : the conduct, course, or action of a game d : a particular act or maneuver in a game: as (1) : the action during an attempt to advance the ball in football (2) : the action in which a player is put out in baseball e : the action in which cards are played after bidding in a card game f : the moving of a piece in a board game (as chess) g : one's turn in a game <it's your play>

    2 a obsolete : SEXUAL INTERCOURSE b : amorous flirtation : DALLIANCE

    3 a : recreational activity; especially : the spontaneous activity of children b : absence of serious or harmful intent : JEST <said it in play> c : the act or an instance of playing on words or speech sounds d : GAMING, GAMBLING

    4 a (1) : an act, way, or manner of proceeding : MANEUVER <that was a play to get your fingerprints -- Erle Stanley Gardner> (2) : DEAL, VENTURE b (1) : OPERATION, ACTIVITY <other motives surely come into play -- M. R. Cohen> (2) : brisk, fitful, or light movement <the gem presented a dazzling play of colors> (3) : free or unimpeded motion (as of a part of a machine); also : the length or measure of such motion (4) : scope or opportunity for action

    5 : emphasis or publicity especially in the news media <wished the country received a better play in the American press -- Hugh MacLennan>

    6 : a move or series of moves calculated to arouse friendly feelings -- usually used with make <made a big play for the girl -- Will Herman>

    7 a : the stage representation of an action or story b : a dramatic composition : DRAMA

    And so to 'play a game' is 'to engage in activity for diversion and amusement without serious intent'.

    Just, you know, if you're so obsessed about definitions of words.
  4. HOUTS New Member

    Sorry, but the real definition of "Game" does have the objective of 'winning' and 'losing' Regadless if you are playing seriously or not, it is still a goal that must be obtained.As part of the concept. I learned this in my basic socialology class.

    As I've said before, if everyone is SO into this dicussion, send me what you have. I'll post into my article.

  5. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Exactly where did I write this? Which thread and what was the date on it.
  6. Gizmo Composite: 1860

    What do you mean by 'real' definition - seeing as that came from the Merriam Webster dictionary?
  7. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    DUke and HOUTS:

    I play casual magic in order to avoid the "win at all costs" and "I play better decks" sort of people. You guys sound just like those people. You play a game against me with that sort of attitude, and afterwords, I'll walk away, go find the newbie section, and avoid playing you ever again since I wouldn't consider you to play casual magic. If somebody was being a real jerk about it, I have stood up and walked away in the middle of a game more than once.

    DUke: I think MTG:Online has clouded your thinking a bit.

    HOUTS: I'm really looking forward to your article. I kind of expect to write one in response after you're done. I may even consider sending you some opinions even though I have a strong feeling sending you anything would be a waste of time.
  8. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    DUke, when you quote me, please take the time to put my name with the quote.

    What circumstances would merit a toned-down deck, if not a inferiour magic player with a much smaller cardpool? It's not a question of not wanting to intimidate the beginning player, but of having a chance to lose. Your win will mean nothing if it was a certainty (for me anyway).

    I really like trying to build decks around crap rares. That's why I like multiplayer games; it allows every player a bit more time which is what these cards need; because they are crap for a reason.
    If, during casual games, the others were all playing "top-notch" decks (to best of their abilities) these crap-concoctions would never hold up. I would start the game knowing I'd lose and not have a lot of fun. Most of my friends would not have a lot of fun knowing they were going to win..
    So I should play my "top-notch" deck. Play to win. These games will be exciting and difficult... and, to me, eventually boring. I'd really miss seeing a weird and knowing "This card is terrible, but there has to be a way I can abuse it...". There will be some player who don't have the money to construct these kinds of decks and they stray from the flock.

    Loss of your prized creativity.

    When toning-down your decks to a level the entire group is confortable with, you can try that wacky combo and play with mediocre/crap cards. More importantly, I be constantly surprized and amazed at what the other players came up with.

    Social rules restricted the power of your deck, just like type 2 rules preventing you from playing with P9 cards.

    I'll try to make one more point which will totally tick you of:
    The main goal of the game is to have fun.
    You happen to be kind of person who receives 'fun' mostly from winning. I derive 'fun' from creativity and surprise.

    We are different people. Who would have guessed?
  9. DÛke Memento Mori

    My god.

    You people can't get the point can you?

    There is no fun if the objective of the game is taken away. There isn't even a game. You can socialize, you can play your crap cards, you can play with your idiot friends - if all you're going to do is sit down and flip cards around and focus on CSI and Britney Spears instead, than you're not playing the game. Your mind is somewhere else. The game just happens to be one of many other things in there: it just happens to be the social setting, for example, the "reason" why you and your buddies gather around, the reason why you have met these new friends in the first place maybe. In any case, "the game" is not the focus here.

    You make it sound like I don't enjoy building decks around crap rares. My favorite deck is built around Reweave, that crap rare no one cares about from CHK. That doesn't mean I'll build a weak deck around it just so I can satisfy some idiot who doesn't know up from down. Why would I even bother building a deck around anything, in fact...if the goal, at the end, is not to show that "hey, look at me, I am using a crap card and beating your super rare cards." Or, just "look at me, I've managed to make this work!" What's the point of building any deck, around any card, if it's not to show that you somehow managed to make this or that card, however crap it is, work just divinely? and what do we mean by "work"? We mean that it somehow leads you prepared and close your eyes if you're offended by Truth: to winning! Oh no!

    You guys also make it sound like I am some expert tournament player when many times I have repeated that I have never been to any tournament, never won any prizes, never paid any money to be enrolled to anything involving a game of Magic; don't know what DCI is, don't know why, how, when, and where. And all my games are "casual" games, as a matter of fact. "Casual" as in I'll build whatever I want, with no regards to anyone and anything, and play it. Behind that, there would be no point of me doing any of this if there wasn't a single objective: winning. It's what drives "the game." I don't treat my opponents like a jerk and in fact I would say that my "casual" opponents have mistreated me more than anyone else, period. Nit-picky, bitter, lifeless idiots whose idea of fun is letting them win, and that's the main reason why they want everyone else to play around their level, so that they have a shot at winning.

    Gizmo, although I appreciate you referencing the dictionary, I am well aware of the academic definition of "game" and "play." If it was that easy, maybe you should also reference what the term "casual" means, and solve this issue? Ah! Now we're talking: it's not that simplified when we're talking about a particular subject, a particular game, and that being, Magic.

    Also, Gizmo, shooting hoops "casually" is different than playing "casual" Basketball. What you're talking about is shooting hoops casually, as in not really playing the game, but as a social activity that serves as the backdrop to a different objective than actually playing basketball. Playing "casual" Basketball is different: it's when scores are kept, rules are followed, but the game tends to be between friends or relatives who happen to socialize greatly throughout the event, laugh, and enjoy themselves. Subtle different, by all means. And that's the same difference between playing "casual" Magic and playing Magic "casually." These two need to be separated because the former one implies that the game is being played with respect to rules and to the objectives, the other implies a more social setting in which "the game" as a whole is not the sole focus, if it is the focus at all, and is used merely as a social setting and context.

    And that's the problem.

    Until people start separating playing casually from playing casual, this is an issue that will not be resolved at all. I rarely play casually. I mostly play casual. TheCasualOblivion, Limited, and Mooseman play more casually than casual. There is no "which is better" here as they are completely different means of social interactions, with completely different objectives. They just happen to both use a game called Magic.
  10. Killer Joe Active Member

    When I play in a game of Magic I like to "win". In fact, when I sit down to play in any format, I fully expect to win. Moosman can vie for me, I do play with some "good" decks that I have both won and lost with and I have some bad decks (although I don't build decks to lose) that I won and lost with. And, with those two types of decks I have carried on conversations and joked around (but never about Britney Spears, which, BTW, I thought you would be over her by now DÛke ;) ) and still had intentions of winning. But I don't feel bad about being that way. Does this thread now ask me to start feeling that way. Do I now show "Shame" for wanting to win?

    Winning games does not define who I am, it just makes me a little happier :D
  11. jorael Craptacular!

    Maybe Limited sounds like he plays casually, but he certainly tries to win. And he will if it is possible in the circumstances. He just tries to do it with not-so-standard decks.

    There is a whole creative dimension in constructing a deck. Especially if you do not restrict yourself to the 'best cards ever'. That is casual magic for me and I know Limited feels the same way to a certain extend. This won't be so for everyone, but nothing is.

    I hate playing casually and thus make mistakes or fail to win when I could. I want to play at my best in every casual game. The decks I play with just aren't all that geared to winning (some certainly are). That makes it more fun and more challenging for me. The objective is still to win, but I like to restrict it even more at times. For example, win with a Timesifter-deck. That objective is harder to achieve, but much more rewarding.

    Sometimes my objective is just to surprise players with a new combo or synergy. I try to win, but I'm satisfied already when I can just do the trick my deck is supposed to do.

    Just my view....
  12. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    Thank you Jorael. My thoughts exactly.

    I probably take offense to DUke stating "It's about the win" because I associate this with the kind of decks I don't want to be building. The game is not just about achieving 'win', it's how you win (or lose)... so.. how you play.

    Not all the guys I play with are close friends, but I would never call them "Nit-picky, bitter, lifeless idiots whose idea of fun is letting them win".
    Furthermore, I would love for everybody to play on the exact same level because it poses the biggest challenge, and expect other to want this to. So if someone with less cards/experience wants to play with me, I will gladly town down a deck. "the main reason why they want everyone else to play around their level, so that they have a shot at winning".

    DUke, I don't have any P9 cards and hardly any T1 worthy cards.. let alone decks. If all my friends suddenly 'went T1', i wouldn't play anymore. Is that what you want?
  13. DÛke Memento Mori

    But that's your problem, no one elses. I will tell you this: it's wrong to associate winning, or the decks that are designed to win (naturally!), with uncreativity. Did you seriously miss the point when I said my favorite Standard deck is a deck that abuses Reweave, which is a crap card if there was any? What does that say about me? That I like to win, but not by taking the same beaten path that other players may take.

    Jorael, your Timesifter deck can be an example of, in fact, what I too consider a casual deck geared towards a casual game of Magic. You still design the deck to win - that's the only way to design a deck, after all: that in some way it will win. Otherwise, there is no real design, or real game for that matter.

    Just because someone likes to win, like me and like Killer Joe, does not automatically makes us uncreative tournment killers who are out there to get you. I pretty much enjoy winning using cards that are rarely used, crap rares, or combinations that are not very popular. Example: everyone is doing Spirits and Arcane in current Standard, or Samuri, or whatever...but I'm actually in the process of designing a tournment worthy Demons'n'Ogres mono Black control oriented deck. Naturally, I am designing it to win...but of course it is taking me well over 2 weeks to figure out what exactly the deck will do, how, and when. And that challenge is fun. Playing the deck later on is fun, whether it's a good deck or not. But all of these experiences wouldn't be possible if I hadn't built the deck with the one objective: that it can win.

    As I said earlier: winning is the objective. I know how harsh that may sound, or ill-informed. But that's the truth. You can't, ever, and no one has or will design a deck that doesn't aim to win somehow. Everything else, the interactions between the cards, players, the social atmopshere, the friendliness, the experimentation, and the learning...all that and only follows after the initial spark of inspiration that makes you design the deck, which you can only desgin to win. Otherwise, you're not playing the game, but using the game as a medium for socializing or other ends, which has nothing to do with this issue, which is of "what is Casual Magic," and not what is "playing casually."

    It's so easy to understand our differences and respect them, and more than ever before, now that we have separated casual Magic from playing Magic casually; there really should be less tension and more smilie faces. :)
  14. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    Here's one for you DUke:

    1. I don't play against competitive decks. I avoid players who play them, and if I play a game against someone who I've never met who turns out to have one, I excuse myself and don't play them again.
    2. I instead play against casual players, who almost universally prefer multiplayer.
    3. I play mostly against "bad players playing multiplayer with random piles of cards"
    4. I play with decks that are in essence "bad decks for playing multiplayer with random piles of cards." I try to make a deck like that as good as it can be.
    5. I try to build the best deck I can build, with the restriction that I'm going to build a multiplayer speed deck that makes no effort to win the game fast or establish control fast(such is pointless in a multiplayer game), and instead tries to be stronger in a longer running game. I can do this with no regard for the negative consequences because I know my deck will be facing only decks similar to itself.
    6. I play to win, knowing that I'm not going to have to deal with a competitive deck because I have determined in advance the environment I intend to play in and I'm going to stick to it.

    I play to win just as much as you do, DUke. Its just a different style, and it doesn't change the fact that I play to win. Playing a deck that actually lets my opponent put his deck into play doesn't mean I'm not playing to win. I plan on letting my opponent put his deck into play and THEN beating the snot out of him because, in the end, I'm playing a superior deck. I'm just not in so much of a hurry about it.
  15. DÛke Memento Mori

    That's your personal decision. Of course the definition of a "competitive" deck is vague, too. Do you mean a net-deck, perhaps? or what do you mean? what is a competitive deck, to you at least?
    This is also your decision. It doesn't make you any more of a casual player than it makes me less of a casual player for not playing, and actually not caring for this format.
    Well then we have no problem. The only difference between you and I is this: I don't avoid playing any type of players; I play them all. When my Clan friends invite me for a multiplayer game, I join in. I play it all, do it all, and enjoy it all - from facing net-decks, to facing idiots, to newbies, to those bitter guys who frown at the sight of Ravenous Rats (yes, it happened before). Does that make me any less of a casual player than you? If it does, I would love to hear why.
  16. Striking Dragon Goblin Lackey

    1. Do not play with alot of disruption. Disruption stops another player from achieving their goals.

    2. Do not play combo. Combo is very hard to stop if there is no disruption being played. It also lets one player win.

    3. Do not make a deck that can win quickly. If your deck can win in under 10 turns it is not casual.

    4. If your deck wins more than 50% of the time it is obviously not casual.

    5. If you could win by attacking, stop, tap all your lands for as much mana as possible and end your turn immediately.

    6. Do not play control, it tries to stop other players from winning.

    7. When possible, skip drawing cards, card advantage can win games; unless of course you may lose by decking, then just remove your library from the game immediately.

    8. If you would target an opposing players permanent with an effect that destroys one of their permanents, target one of your own permanents instead.

    9. If you would play an effect which would destroy more of an opposing players permanents than your own, don't.

    10. If your deck includes any card that was used in tournament play before, it is not casual. This includes basic lands.

    Casual doesn't have any set definition; the broadest of which is probably non-tournament play. I have different decks, I play mono blue control, I win sometimes, i *gasp* lose sometimes. If I know I'm playing against someone who doesn't invest the same time/cash into, I'll use a less *uber* deck; if they are an oink, mono u control it is. All decks are not created equal, so when I play against someone who doesn't have a great deck, I'll use one that they may possibly be able to handle; does not mean I wouldn't put a card in even though I have it. It's also different in each group, just because one group bans congregate, doesn't mean every group must ban congregate. This arguing seems a little bit pointless, like arguing what's cool or what isn't.
  17. orgg Administrator

    DUke, for you, the entire point of the game is the challange of victory.

    Fair enough.

    ...but the point of the game to me is to be challanged. Winning is a distant and hazy goal that comes from success, yes...

    ...but the point for me is getting from point A to B. The deck building. The tuning of the deck. The study of card synergies for limited. The rules knowledge to make the most of tricky cards. Playtesting one deck against another, and one build for another.

    If I do that, I should win... but that's just icing on the cake...

    ...and nobody says I have to be playing the same game that everyone else is. If I want to have out Green Eggs and Ham... let me have green eggs and ham, then. If I want to feed 'em to Fallen Angel to create Angel's Food, why not? If I want to eat a cheesecake in front of you because I'm... err, because I've got a fat ass in play... why not?
  18. jorael Craptacular!

    Winning is certainly the goal of magic. However, you can have fun while not winning (irritate opponents, get your combo off) and win and not have fun (bring a fully tuned T1 Welder deck and crush your friends without giving them a chance). If I make a deck that wins a few games, I deconstruct it again. Why win again with it? I rather try something new. (If I'm correct Orgg says the same thing in his post)

    DUke shows he makes decks that sounds fun (Demons & ogres, yay!) and try to win with an original approach. That is my goal too. It seems to me the differences here are not that big...
  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Man, I can't believe this thread took off as it did in five days (with Friday being the heaviest day). So I apologize if I'm a tad late with some replies:

    This could go around and around. I read what you said and you read what I said, but apparently, neither is understanding what the other is writing. I'll say mine again: exactly what arcane rules are you postulating/suggesting that this site operates under? Because I am telling you that there are none.

    Again, it appears we're talking about two different things (and I apologize if you have to go back to the first page to remember what this is about :) ) I'm not arguing that pros will talk about casual situations differently or even play their casual games differently; what I'm saying is that if two "pros" (probably a better term is "players", as that seems to be misleading to begin with) paid to be in a tournament and are playing a game that will determine their rankings for the next pairings and ultimately their DCI ratings, they will not be arguing whether a spectator can come over and offer play advice. If that happens, presumably the other player or another spectator will call it to the judges' attention and the appropriate penalties will apply. THAT is the situation I was referring to, not the same two players playing a "side game" while waiting for the next round or at the buddies house or whatever.

    You're probably right. The proper term should be "conduct of play".

    I asked the question to try to clarify what you were saying before and as shown, I think we were talking about two different situations. See above for mine.

    I was going to ask what you meant but you pretty much stated it clearer in later posts :)

    No one's saying that for these days. It was said for past days :)

    All: If you're on 30 posts a page, I thought the discussion was going quite well for the first 2 and a half pages. Then it degenerated a bit with HOUTS, CO, and Mooseman, then picked up with DUke and Gizmo, then degenerated a bit again (I deleted a post of Gizmo's that had nothing to offer) and now on the 4th page it's back up there. And I have to say somewhere between DUke's and Gizmo's exchange that DUke made sense with his articulating the difference between playing casually and playing casual, which it does seem people get mixed up. But I await HOUTS article because like him, this and past discussions in the past reinforce my feeling that there is no "solid" definition of casual, that different people have different feelings about it and to me, the only one is you're playing casual if you didn't pay to play and are playing for rankings :)
  20. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    Summary of this entire thread:

    Various opinions on what is "casual"

    1. Interaction with your opponent, whoever it is, either by going easy on them, playing lesser decks, or playing evenly matched stronger decks
    2. Some people have seemed to argue that #1 is unnecessary, some people have argued that #1 is required and defines casual
    3. Casual Players largely prefer multiplayer
    4. Casual is anything that is non-tournament play
    5. Casual is played with looser interpretations of the rules, and in some cases throwing rules out the window
    6. There is no casual
    7. There is a difference between "casually" and "casual". Unlike Spiderman, that one still isn't clear to me, and it isn't clear if they are mutually exclusive.
    8. This is a game and you play to win, regardless of other considerations\

    The biggest arguments I've seen here deal with #1 and #2.
    Feel free to add if I missed anything

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