The question of questions: What is casual?

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

  1. HOUTS New Member

    Sorry but I've already replied on everything I've wanted to say. There is nothing more to say. You've brought nothing new to the discussion. Please learn to reread forums.

  2. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Actually, defining the term "casual" helps in communicating ideas. Keeps everyone on the same page.
    Defining to the smallest minutia is an exercise in futility.
  3. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    I asked to start off:

    What I am curious to ask is do you think your points are the be all and end all of this discussion. Is playing in the manner you describe "THE" way to play the game, and any other way is less than yours? Are people who disagree with you wrong?

    I'm assuming from your reply that you do think your points are the end of the discussion, the method of play you describe is "THE" only right way to play the game, and indeed any way other than yours is a lesser thing, and that people who disagree with you are wrong.
  4. orgg Administrator


    I do have a deck that I've built, tested, tuned, and the rest that has only won one game.

    Yes, one. And I've still put a lot into it, and enjoy playing it.

    Why? It's a Millitant Themedeck built around Barbarians.

    Pull out a Barbarian, put tons of creature enhancing weaponry, enchantments with angry names and emotions/tendancies a barbarian would have.

    ...then each turn, attack with that barbarian. If he dies, put out another and equip him with what was dropped... then swing again.

    It's a very casual deck that I enjoy playing a very large amount...

    ...but it's not about winning. It's about attacking with a giant, pizz'd off guy holding two swords and wearing a giant suit of armor charging into the mist of five elves.
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    HOUTS: I believe you started it. And yeah, that doesn't make the other guy right for responding in kind, but it's all cause and effect.

    And once again, it's not a case about "handling" it, it's about being civil. If you can't be civil, then you have no business here. Start your own forum where you can spew profanity and insults in every post. I don't care. But I'm giving you now a warning: keep it civil. Or your posts get deleted flat-out.

    Edit after seeing orgg's post: How'd the deck do pre-Mirrodin and Equipment?
  6. HOUTS New Member

    I'll reply how I want.

    We could argue over what "civil" is, but I don't agree with any of the admin's thoughts/ideas.

    I have every right to be here, and before you came in here with your little whining, noone was bitczhing about the discussion.
    If you don't like it, close your eyes.

    These are forums. Hence the reason to allow such replies.

    Delete as you want, but trust me...I'll keep replying. Not hard.

  7. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Right........ the deck has a chance to win, maybe only a slim one, but it's fun to play and can win.
  8. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    I understand your point, and can agree with it as an ideal, but I'm not fully sure it works in this thread. I guess the point I'm beating around the bush to get to is that after reading (and re-reading) this thread it seems that certain views are being forced onto the term, which is what I don't agree with.
  9. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Can anyone guess which views those are.... hehe

    Thats why I started with a general definition...... informal.
    Hard to disagree with that........ well for some people.............
  10. DÛke Memento Mori

    CasualOblivion. I am not disputing the chance that most casual players identify with the mutli-player format. In fact I've conceded this point from the beginning. What I resist is how you say that to an extent mutliplayer does define "casual," when I can tell you, from pure experience, that it doesn't. Why does your experience overwrite mine here? Mine doesn't overwrite yours; I've already conceded to your point. But you keep wanting to conjure this illusionary nexus between two things that have only a coincidence in common: casual and multiplayer. Neither case depends on the other, but you want to relate the two so bad that your failing to see beyond the paradigm of your experience: that although multiplayer is popular with those who call themselves, and more importantly claim to be, casual players, it does not assert any implications beyond that.
    Every deck, at its genesis, is meant to win and only win - everything else is purely consequential, not preliminary. Anything that doesn't abide by this basic principle is not playing the game, not playing any form of Magic as a game, but playing "casually." You are right when you say that a competitive deck is not one that plays casually. Playing “casually” is not playing the game to begin with - that’s why. Other than the few decks that pop up every now and then that can win between turn 1 and 3 or 4, I would say that every deck has interactions with the opponent, in whatever form it may be. You mention that you play cards like Wrath of God. How is that any different than playing counter magic, discard, land destruction, or even combo decks that screw the entire board and hinder further development of a certain aspect of the game (in the case of Wrath of God, it's creature battles and creature interactions)?

    Orgg. Yes, you may have built such a deck. There is nothing wrong or right or unique about that. In this case, I would say you built a deck to play casually, to get few kicks and laughs here and there; Magic, as a game with rules and objectives, was not the point here - your objective was pure entertainment, not the game as a sport. That meaning, the deck is constructed to be played casually, but not as one that can play casual Magic. Casual Magic is more serious than that, no matter how hard some players try to resist this idea.

    MikeyMike. I'm the first person who would want to the term "casual" to be more subjective and more "open-ended." That doesn't mean it doesn't have its own implications. Therefore it is essential to at least identify the very basics and objective grounds on which a person can at least half-safely claim to be a casual player or not, or that he's playing a casual game or not. It's not as much trying to enforce a point of view on the term, or restrict it. The term wouldn't even exist if it didn't imply something of a particular nature. I guess I'm trying to see what that particular nature is, the very essence of it, nothing more or else.
  11. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    It doesn't matter if you agree or not. There are forum rules, of which none are arcane, and if you post here you are choosing to abide by them.

    You have a limited right to be here and on the contrary, others took offense when it happened. And I don't have to close my eyes precisely because I'm a moderator.

    These are not YOUR forums. You're in someone else's house. Deal with it and stop your own whining.
  12. Mikeymike Captain Hiatus

    I can respect that DÛke, actually I can see it as well.
  13. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Is there a difference between "Casual Magic" and say "Tournament Magic" ?
    But, playing magic casually is different than "Casual Magic" ?
    Do I have all the different varieties here?
    Rereading your posts, did not clear this up as most of those were in reponse to others statements.

    Could you rephrase your points in a few sentences, so as to keep the ideas clear for everyone?
  14. DÛke Memento Mori

    Tournament Magic. This is a class of Magic in which it is erroneous to say "winning matters." Winning matters in every format and class that actually plays the game and is not exclusive to this class. It is more correct to say that tournament Magic doesn't care how it establishes the win. The array of "net decks" that exist, copied by a many players, shows just that. Decks that win within a single turn, and usually very early in the game also belong here.

    Deck building, although maybe essential and intriguing in this class, especially to those more interesting and masterful minds that help shape a "winning deck," or an archetype, it is not by all means the essence of the game. He wants to establish his win at all costs. If there are means to do so within a turn, why bother do it in 2 turns? If he has to play a color that he doesn't like because it has all the cards he wants, he has a willingness to do that. If he has to copy a deck and maybe modify it, he is willing to do that.

    Additionally this player is not attached to the flavour of each color. He can build a 5 color deck easily because it establishes a win condition as fast as he set himself out to accomplish. He doesn't care that Blue is the color of "trickery, mind, air, water." He doesn't give a damn that Black is the color of "darkness, distress, death." These things are inconsequential to him, more or less, and he doesn't necessarily identify very closely with them. That said, he may have a hard time choosing a “favorite color” - at a point in time he played them all, in fact, probably build or copied decks that play them all, or many of them. He is less monomaniac and obsessive than those in other classes.

    Finally, like everyone else, this player does enjoy the game. It is erroneous to suggest that tournament players can't be friendly, humane beings who can’t enjoy the lighthearted match, no matter what deck he is playing or facing. Playing a killer deck doesn’t mean he has no manners. This player doesn’t have to play in an actual tournament to play “tournament Magic”: he only needs to exhibit the instincts and urges that I described here. Though naturally, needless to say, those in this class are likely to participate in tournaments.

    Casual Magic. This is a class of Magic in which it is erroneous to say that "winning doesn't matter." Winning matters in any game, and seeing that Magic is indeed a game, winning is an obvious, necessary objective. The attitude of a player engaged in this class is different than his fellow in the former class: of course he wants to win, but he is not willing to delve into colors that he doesn't necessarily find deep and personal interest in; he's not willing to play cards that may be powerful and popular only to obtain the win. He's more bound to build what he personally finds interesting. He enjoys the deck building as much as he enjoys the game play, more or less depending on the player himself. He can take the game just as seriously as anyone else, though he has his own terms.

    This player is more familiar with the natures of each color in Magic. He can identify with the colors, and thus have favorites. Most of the time he can even be monomaniac and obsessive, playing almost strictly just his favorite colors and concepts, unless something in another color proves eye-catching in one way or another. What he plays can reflect who he is, as a matter of fact, to a great degree. There can be all sorts of fast and furious winning conditions in the given environment, but they mean very little to him as he can be interested in something altogether different.

    The greatest misunderstanding concerning those who marvel in this class is that they are "nicer" or "more friendly" than those who indulge in the previous class. But that's far from the truth. Human beings are human beings - playing different classes of any given game, or being in a situation at any given point in time, doesn't have to have an altering effect on their personality; most of the time it can only evoke their personality. There is nothing special or great about the manners of players in this class, as they come from all kinds of backgrounds and are bound to display many behaviours, good and bad, like those of the previous class.

    Some of them are sleeping tournament players only they don't realize it; others are in fact tournament players, bad ones perhaps, in disguise for one reason or another. Others may play this class because they can be the sub-standard “tournament players” within it, as in, they play this class because they can win in it, and not necessarily because they exhibit any of the instincts hitherto discussed regarding those who indulge in this class, not in any essential way, in any case. Others maybe retired tournament players, perhaps a little more serious than usual, yet still exhibit the urge to spent effort on personalizing their game play and their decks.

    Finally, it is not necessary for this player to participate in tournaments, though sometimes it may be tempting or desired. The games he plays with his friends or opponents are naturally serious and mindful to all rules and objectives, though they are not at all restricted to a tournament scene, or associated with them.

    Exterior Magic. This class is the loosest and has the least concern with the objectives of the game: that being, winning. I call it “exterior Magic ” because it is the farthest from the game, its rules and objectives - it is most of the time really outside of it all. It does not necessarily play the game as it is meant to be played. New rules maybe created to satisfy the group or the circumstance. The “game” here is least important. Other things - making a statement with a deck, being humorous, enjoying the company, amongst other things, are the point of focus. More so than in any other class, in here the game can serve merely, or to a great degree, as the backdrop and context to a social event, or as a fundamental reason to create friendly gathering of people; the game here is not the ends, but a means to a more sociable experience. In here, too, the newbie usually starts and lurks for a while before he either discovers deeper instincts in regards to the game, which opts him to start focusing on the game more, or simply he might find no greater joy than treating the “game” as a context for his social endeavors.

    Any deck built with very little or no regard to winning is placed in this class, however seriously it may take itself. Reason being: it is not playing the game because the game is concluded at the very beginning due to the lack of focus on the winning condition. Any deck that desires to make a statement with absurd combinations, or themes, in which winning is merely consequential, accidental, or if desired at all, is placed here.

    Above all, this is not saying that there is no challenge in this class. There is a challenge, of some sort, and there is an objective, though these challenges and objectives are not in terms with what a basic concept of "game" is, much less, of Magic. The challenge and objective can be one of many things: making a silly gesture with even a sillier combination of cards, seeing who can be the most annoying player in a multi-player format...etc.

    Tournament-Casual Magic. This class of players blurs the already blurry lines between Tournament class and Casual class. He enjoys winning slightly more than the average person in the Casual class, and at times even more than those in the Tournament Magic class: he enjoys a killer deck, one which would use every means it has to crush the opposition, though he refuses to do this in any way, but only his way, his means, on his time.

    Where a person of the Casual class may be a little too tame and less mindful to the winning and more geared towards style, a person of this class is where the killer and untamed casual instincts grows bolder and more defined. In a sense, this player has it the hardest of all: the clash between his creativity with his will to power, his personality and flavor with an environment with notable powerful cards and powerful decks which he refuses to play, at times even despising them because they are popular and "in." He's firey, restless, and wants to win, and show you how he can win while being so original it can make you cry tears of blood.

    And somehow he aspires to beat it all, only on his own terms. The "rogue" player can easily be placed here. Of course he has a natural apatite for winning, more so than anyone else at times: only because he feels that he spent much brain power, time, effort, and artistry, and so winning to him is a slice of heaven, a testament of his mastery. Losing may be a little dramatic to him, but having that casual essence in him, combined with that of a tournment essence, he knows better than to dwell in his loss. He'll reinvent everything if he has to, and show you that you're wrong. Or just forget about it to create the next big secret invention of his.

    This can be the most ingenious and revolutionary of players, with such raw awe-inspiring determination that rivals and exceeds that of the usual person of the Tournament Magic class. He can be the hardest working player, one who enjoys nearly every aspect of the game, and thus who enjoys its versatility.

    This player can also have a deepseated attraction to the allure of the colors and their natures, and at times he may even build his decks to portray him - not that he builds such decks with weakness in mind; on the contrary! But with the same and usual (or is that unusual?) lust for creative victory that’s worthy of being rubbed in the face, not just once! This player can be the most egotistical and fixated, but all points considered, in a way, he has the right to be.

    Finally, this player may or may not be interested in tournaments. The term "tournament" in the class-title only implies a type of aggressiveness and seriousness, and urge to win; while the term "casual" implies an ability to make connections that other players in other classes may not be able to spot.

    Casual-Exterior Magic. This could be the hardest class to define mainly because the distinction between the Casual class and the Exterior class are already very vague, and so to combine them theoretically is difficult.

    In this class resides the player who does play the game itself, with clear objective to win and all, as opposed to his fellow solely of the Exterior Magic class. However, he plays to win on loose and foggy grounds. He has no problem with his opponent forgetting an Echo cost; he has no problem with his opponent drawing an extra card accidentally and then placing it back as if it never happened. This is the player who will most likely say "but it's just a game." A game, it is indeed to him - it still has its objectives and rules, though they are not as necessary to enforce; sometimes you can even say that he's too good to care! He’s willing to “overlook” mistakes, though he is fully aware of the rules and so he doesn’t often make them himself. He can think through a strategy when needed, and have focus, but to him it is nothing more than a smaller part of the whole, the whole being the socialization, the atmosphere, the food, the entertainment, the conversations that are besides the game. Winning is great, but it’s one of many things. Of all classes, he can be the least bitter one when he loses - to him it’s just another loss, one of many, and it’s forgotten by the end of the second. He can even be less bitter than those who are of the Exterior Magic class: winning against those of that class can conclude in resentment; “of course you won, you’ve been playing for longer than I have;” “of course you won, you have better cards, I just started;” “in few weeks I’ll be able to win too.” In contrast, those of the Casual-Exterior class wouldn’t really think such things. So you won. Congratulations. They’ve won many times. The world didn’t change then, it’s not going to change now.

    In a way, people of this class can indeed be the friendliest, but only because they're experienced, elegantly confident in a lot of the cases. Players in this class tend to be those who have played the game for a while, and they perhaps had belonged, or still belong, to a more competitive class such as the Casual or the Tournament class. They can be sincerely mature, without the subtle contrivance and double-mindedness that easily inhabits some of those in all other classes. In a sense, this is the "highest level" a Magic player may reach: one who has played the game, enjoyed it, and now retired to a more personal, lighthearted, sociable, mature class. This is the player that is commonly known as a “casual player.” A rarer species than made out to be, to be sure.

    Of all players, a newbie cannot be in this class, as in, he cannot be what is known as a "casual player" (or with my words, an "exterior-casual player.") He just started, he hasn't reached that level in which he's aware of the game but less bound to care. He also perhaps never cared to really win, so he essentially belongs to the Exterior class, not this class. Until he learns how to win, to appreciate winning and know the value of it, he cannot graduate to this class. So in essence, to reach this class one must first have experienced Casual Magic, Tournament Magic, Tournament-Casual Magic, all, or some, for a good amount of time. Otherwise one is a newbie, and remains a newbie, which is almost the opposite of what is commonly known as "casual player" (again, in my words, an "exterior-casual player").
  15. HOUTS New Member

    Well said.

    You nailed the "casual" player, where you merely echoed my own opinion, and tournament player on the head.

    Good job.

  16. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie


    There really aren't many casual players are there. With you DUke, and possibly 2-3 others talking here, and maybe 1 or 2 people I have actually met, that makes 4-6 casual players I have met in my entire magic existence, and that spans 10 years. I have met a lot of Tournament-Casual players, and I've met a lot of exterior and casual-exterior players. A casual player is something I have almost never seen. Its kind of interesting that you describe yourself as a true casual player and that what you describe as a casual player is a very tiny minority, yet is still the true definition of casual. Maybe things are different on MTG: Online, who knows.

    Its a shame that there aren't any casual players. I would imagine this would be a more popular site if there were.


    HOUTS--You would agree with that, wouldn't you.
  17. DÛke Memento Mori

    Actually, I spent about an hour writing that stuff down and thinking them through. I wouldn't call myself a "Casual Player" now that everything is clear in my head. I would call myself a Tournament-Casual Player.

    Also, CasualOblivion, keep in mind that my experience is not limited to MTGO. I've played only real life Magic before I had quite. I played it for over 2 years, as a matter of fact. After I quite, I came back solely to MTGO only to try a card known as Time Stop. From there on I was pulled back, and found no real reason, or time, to play in real life. Majoring in philosophy is not an easy feat, and is time devouring. Useless, but not easy at all.

    As for your concern that you have not met many of those who belong to the Casual Magic class...well. You said you know a good number of those who belong under Tournament-Casual Magic class: well, there is a great chance that these people have evolved either from Tournament class or Casual class, or from both. It's not everyday that someone jumps from Exterior class (or being a newbie) into such a firey and dedicated temperment that those of the Tournmanet-Casual class hold. Usually a person either evolves into the Casual class or the Tournament class, maybe switch between them back and forth or something, and then...maybe...evolves again into the fusion of both the Casual class and the Tournament class.

    The "classic" definition of "casual player" that most people probably talk about is what I called the Casual-Exterior class. The one thing that became clear to me, after reflection, is that this class is not as easy to attain as first meets the eye. It actually requires maturity and understanding of the game on many levels, its rules, objectives, goods, and bads. It's the class that can safely say "I know the rules, I've played them, I enjoyed them, but it's time to not care about them and just be loose," in contrast with the Exterior class.

    So by my own defintion, the reality is, I'm not really what people call "casual player" (Exterior-Casual player).
  18. orgg Administrator

    What about those that can be, by your definition, Casual, Tournament, or 'Exterior' as whim demands?
  19. DÛke Memento Mori

    Then it's easy as that: they can be anything they want. If they're in the mood, or if the occasion is there, to play Exterior Magic, then they're there. They can also function perfectly in Tournment Magic and Casual Magic. It's more tricky and complicated when you insert Casual-Exterior (read as "casual player" in the classical sense) and Tournament-Casual, though, because the fact that they can on whim dabble between Tournament, Casual, and Exterior Magic, doesn't mean they can be classified under Casual-Exterior, or that they have the instincts to go under Tournament-Casual. But for the three you describe, it's perfectly normal, and I think it may be a widespread case with people.
  20. TheCasualOblivion 10 year Veteran Newbie

    The progression to Tournament-Casual for most of them I've known kind of goes like this:

    1. Exterior
    2. Tournament(badly at first, net-decking with a limited collection, and growing better from there)
    3. Tournament-Casual

    Most of the Tournament-Casual players I know were pure Tournament players before they became Tournament-Casual, and also most of them still play in Tournaments both often and competitively.

    The same sort of expertise and experience you described as being required for Tournament-Casual is also just as neccessary for the casual player you described. The only difference between them is how competitive their decks are compared to a real tournament player. I'm not really sure there is any significant difference between the two of them.

    As you've described it, the vast majority of players are either Tournament players or exterior players. Those of us in the middle are a small minority.

    The only real argument I have with the bulk of your post is that you exclude "exterior" players from the game of magic. That's a little condescending, and more than a little unfair. I'm sure that if you told an exterior player that they really aren't playing magic you'd get more than a few words thrown back at you in anger.

    I really don't think that "exterior" players should be defined as not playing casual magic.


    As far as the Exterior-Casual player as the "definition" of casual, at least traditionally, its more of an ideal than reality. There really aren't that many of them in the end. You do have a point that few people have both the ability and the restraint to do it. Most players who end up under the "classic definition" of casual magic are what you describe as exterior players, and don't have the experience or expertise to be what you call an Exterior-Casual player.

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