Wednesday, May 29, 2013

more magic jobs that can make you $$$REAL CASH MONEY$$$

Okay so we all play this game, right, but let’s set all that “game” shit aside for a second and focus on the real question: how can I make Real Cash Money off of intolerable nerds with too much of their parents money. Remember, the bank takes $20 bills even if they smell like a Five Guys Fart Burrito. That’s where I come in: I’m here to tell YOU what YOU need to focus on with this *makes a shitload of air quotes* Trading Card Game.

1. Creepy Exploitative Coach of Small Children

Basically you’d convince a bunch of parents and the like to get you to “teach” their kid Magic: the Gathering, and that would involve berating them constantly and make their entire life revolve around Magic: the Gathering like it does for any “true” pro player. Hopefully, we get to a point where if you haven’t been playing since you were in Necrotic Ooze-filled diapers, the game will be totally inaccessible to you since you have absolutely no skill and probably do things like play “other games” in your spare time, scrubbo. But don’t worry if you can’t actually “play Magic” or “teach Magic” or “interact with children,” because that won’t be your job at all! You just get them to play it nonstop, make sure they sign a binding contract that entitles you to a huge chunk of their lifetime earnings, and have no social contacts outside of you so they don’t know that you’re actually awful in every conceivable way!

2. Screaming Head

We already have a ton of people that will vehemently give their overly-sensational kneejerk reactions on a website, but do you really expect people to read??? Read words??? In 2013??? Please. This is the Information Age, and information should be delivered VERY LOUDLY. What Magic needs is the equivalent of ESPN, where people can yell at each other about whether a certain player is “elite” and give absolutely no useful content or context about anything so that casual observers understand that Magic is a thing that people care very, very deeply about. Let’s face facts, having people berate each other for hours will be way more interesting than goddamn Eggs matches.

3. Payday Loan Service Specifically for Magic Players

When smart people look at a community like Magic pros who travel constantly on a limited budget and have an unreliable source of income, you know what they really see? Profit. Like, I’m just spitballing ideas here, but if payday loan companies can blatantly market themselves to minority groups and low-income people living paycheck to paycheck, why can’t you do the same but like instead of “500% annual interest” it’s like a “Tarmogoyf Loan” because if you don’t constantly check how big it is you’ll probably just die. Look, these are just ideas.

4. Magic Pro Groupie


5. Motivational Speakers

Basically they don’t like help you get better or entertain you or act worthwhile in any way, they just remind you that “hey! You’re not wasting your life away at all, you’re doing something really useful by learning to play Magic! It could even, like, lead you to playing more Magic and we know how great that is!” You see, Magic players oftentimes will feel weird guilt-esque feelings like hey maybe I should be having sex instead. But no. No that is bad. So just tell them like “no you should not be having sex, also you look great. $100 please.” This idea is pretty much Travis Woo but for money.

6. Inside Trader

Okay have you ever seen the salaries that Wizards people make? Ahahaha they suck so bad. They get all these applicants that are all “hello I am competent professional that will design good client for Magic Online Digital Objects, please pay me a rate that is competitive with what I could be making at a similar non-game-related position” and Wizards be all “haha nerp” because some guy’s resume said that “like oh my god dudes I love Magic so much!!! Magic for teh epic winzorz!!! I looked at HTML source code once” but they only have to pay THAT dude like $30k. So this is why it’s so important for us to make Real Money off Magic: no one other than the executives at Hasbro is doing that at the moment. Here’s where the real hotness comes in, though: bribery. Yeah son. So you can be all “hey why don’t you tell me what cards will be the best ones two years from now” and they’ll be all “nope” and you’ll be all “I’ll give you $10” and they’ll be like “oh well then sure,” and they give you a list of cards but they actually didn’t playtest enough to find out what would be good. I might not have thought this one through.

7. Go To Magic Tournaments and Steal People’s Bags

This is undoubtedly the best way to make money off Magic.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

criticizing a criticism of critiques

Doug Beyer wrote a response to a question on tumblr about dealing with criticism, and it’s started to spread from Magic to the larger Nerd Art Community. As soon as I saw that a Wizards-employed person was writing about criticism, I almost tripped over myself in a silent movie-era slapstick manner to respond to it, because I have deep disagreements with most in the Magic community regarding criticism. Basically, I think it’s a valuable thing, and others disagree.*

Beyer, to his credit, doesn’t say that one should just ignore all criticism… but he starts off by saying that artists should try to see what the author of the criticism was saying. This is completely off, for a few reasons: first, intent is bullshit. I’ve criticized a lot of things in a lot of ways over a lot of different mediums. I’m not sure I could tell you what my intent was for all of them, other than I’m saying what I thought at the time. The artist doesn’t need to put themselves in the shoes of the critic, because all the information they have is there already, without the need to divine the authorial intent of the critic: they can already see the criticisms. They can judge each of those criticisms independently of the critic, and independently of each other.

Let’s use a non-artistic example here. You go for your morning run, since you’re an active, attractive person who cares about your physical health. Unfortunately, you have to deal with an emergency in the morning (eg someone in a forum Mafia game accused you of being scum), and are unable to take your morning shower. You dash into work, and the office bully, who you loathe due to the fact that well he’s just an idiotic bully, tells you that your shirt is “like, so gay” and that you smell “like a gym locker room today.” You can analyze these criticisms independently of who he is, and independently of one another: you know that your shirt (which features an elephant taking a picture of itself with its trunk) is the absolute best, while you smelling bad… there’s a good chance he’s right on that one.

In this case, getting outraged that he’s criticizing you for the smell is probably the wrong way to go. You will not look like a coward caving to a bully if you run out for some deodorant. You will, however, continue to smell terrible if you don’t, and no amount of loud protestation on your part will change this.

On the other hand, if your beloved mother, who has not an unkind bone in her body, comments to you that you will never get anywhere if you continue to wear t-shirts and jeans to work, you can safely smile and nod and entirely ignore that criticism because you work at Google and earn $250k a year. Sometimes, criticism from even your biggest fans and supporters doesn’t mean that you should question something, but instead that those fans and supporters have no idea what they’re talking about.

Especially when it comes to arts-related as opposed to smell-related criticism, there will be plenty of times when you make something that you know is incredible because it was exactly what you were hoping to end up with, and other people just don’t get it at all. These people might have even adored things you’ve made previously, but if you were previously recording solo acoustic guitar songs and now you’re the second coming of Jesus Lizard, it’s pretty safe to ignore that. This isn’t because of who those fans are, or whether they’re trying to hurt or help you, but by the criticism instead. Criticism doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong, and lack of criticism does not mean that something is right. There’s been plenty of great art intended to shock, offend, infuriate, grate, piss off, and even to itself criticize, so if that’s what you’re going for, then a lack of criticism should send up a red flag. People not caring can be worse than criticism.

Mr. Beyer ends by reminding us that criticism is “just words,” so who cares? This is the biggest load of shit I’ve read in quite some time. It’s very possible that what you’ve created is “just mostly-water organisms making vibrations in their throats,” or even markings on a page intended to symbolize that, and if not, then it’s still work made by and (probably) intended for human consumption that won’t affect the larger universe. Human communication is what makes us special as a species, so the communication we have with each other had better matter or we’re all fucked. Since this is all just words, I’d like to remind Mr. Beyer that mdj4jmf8ir.

In short: criticism does matter. It should not be ignored because of who it came from, and neither should it be listened to because of who it came from. Listen to it on its own merits. Sometimes, critics will be wrong. Use criticism as a tool to better make what you want to make.

*For the purposes of keeping this a short response to a specific thing Mr. Beyer wrote, I’ll use the same interpretation of “criticism” he was using, ie negative feedback given to an artist about their work, mostly unrelated to the fields of literary criticism, art criticism, etc. I promise I have some fascinating thoughts relating criticism in the Magic community to the art and ideas of Marcel Duchamp, however.