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[Article] Lending a Helping Hand

Humans can be pretty mean.

“Woah woah Michael, you take a break from writing articles and hit us with this negativity. What gives?”

I know it’s not the greatest way to start an article but I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind. Apologies if it seems a bit “ranty” but I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’d like to talk about the Magic community.

Living in the age of technology where the majority of people spend a good amount of their time online, negativity is quite easy to spread. I’m sure we’ve all done it at some point whether it’s in the comments section of YouTube, a forum, or possibly an online game. It’s easy to be a bit more arrogant than we normally would, being able to speak behind a fake name and a computer screen. Of course we’re not like that all the time and sometimes it just slips out. However, these situations don’t contribute to a growing community such as Magic where many new players are just looking to have fun and get by. When I first started Magic, I was just like every other new player,

Clueless.

It’s such an overwhelming game that it’s difficult to do everything on your own so what better way to get try and get better than gathering some information from the fellow players online? Places like reddit and other forums are great for asking questions and hopefully learning more about the game. Now that I’ve spent enough time on /r/MagicTCG (The main subreddit for Magic) I’m quite disappointed at how unhelpful people can act there. For those of you who don’t frequent reddit, it’s generally just a large website that is separated into different topics, or “subreddits”.

Anyways, we get a lot of threads started from new players, usually asking the same kinds of questions. Usually asking how to improve their deck, or simple questions like “When does RTR rotate out?” Whenever I’m on the computer I try and get to these right away, not just to help them out but in hopes of beating the people who are bound to give a negative response. It’s sad that this is one of the reasons I feel I need to do it. I was probably one of the lucky ones when I first started. I didn’t ask many questions since I’m pretty good in figuring things out on my own but when I had to ask, I got some pretty helpful replies.

Now that I’ve spent more time on the Magic subreddit I’m starting to see more negative replies than I’d like. Sure, the person replying to the question might give the right answer, but it is usually delivered in a very un-friendly fashion. I understand how tiring it is to see the same question repeated over and over. Even I get pretty annoyed sometimes when the question is obviously from someone who is just too lazy to consider Googling it themselves. The replies to these questions are usually from the same people and are quite rude to the original poster. I also see many stories of players being harassed for being new at their Local Game Stores. New player or not, I don’t think that there’s any reason to berate someone, especially if it’s because they are new. We should be as positive as we can to the newer players. It’s not easy but it’s the right thing to do.

This is one of the reasons I started my YouTube series called “Deck Tech Doctor”. I give my opinions and advice on other people’s decks, trying to give them more direction and hopefully help them improve it. Doesn’t matter if you’re a new player or older player, I’ll gladly help you to the best of my ability.

Maybe it’s a silly sentiment, trying to help every person I come across but seeing the comments and thanks I receive is worth the time to do those videos. Even in the comments on reddit I try to be as thorough as I can be. I realize the majority of the community isn’t mean but there are still jerks out there. Everyone’s going to encounter them in Magic but reducing that amount even just a bit is something we should all consider. It’s not even a matter of helping people or not, but letting them know what they can do in a nice way rather than making a snarky remark about how they should “Learn to use Google” or something along those lines.

Let’s lend a helping hand to others and build this community. Not put down others within it. I hope more people can do what they can to help those in need. However small it may seem, it can mean the difference in how this community grows.

– Michael Y

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