The game of Yu-Gi-Oh is amazing; it can bring people from all walks of life together in one place and create an enjoyable environment. The game itself is complex and constantly evolving to keep us challenged, but no one would be playing this game without the support of a strong community. This is why places like Alter Reality Games, which let the “pros” of Yu-Gi-Oh reach out and help the community grow, are amazing. I recently lost my local, so believe me when I tell you to value your local community.
I have witnessed the Yu-Gi-Oh community at both its best and at its worst. Recently at a regional, a little boy, who couldn’t have been more than 11 years old, had his bag with his trade book stolen. Luckily, he kept his deck in his pocket so he didn’t lose that. This instance is Yu-Gi-Oh at its worst, but sometimes it takes tragedy to bring the best out in people. Players from the regional came together and started to donate cards to help this little boy to rebuild his collection. Before you start thinking, “oh they just gave him some terrible commons and rares no one wanted” stop. I saw him receive two Dolkkas and several other cards from one person. The tears on the mother’s face and the smile on the boy’s face spoke volumes for the compassion they had been shown. I watched as this little boy sat on table 20 something in round 7, I was judging, and win; needless to say all the cards he received will not be going to waste. After relating this story to you I must pose a question to you all. Is your community that kind or that strong to come together and help a mother and child in distress?
I have always tried to be kind to my fellow players. Sometimes I seem harsh, but it is to help the people around me grow. It might be helping them to grow a deeper understanding of the game or just helping them grow as people and become a respectable member of society. Keep in mind there is a fine line between joking around and just being a plain out jerk. I have witnessed many friendships end because a joke was taken a little bit too far. Little things can go a long way when it comes to leaving a positive and lasting impression on someone. Some of the people who know me may be laughing right now because I have a reputation for being kind of mean, but very few people actually dislike and are genuinely happy to see me on most occasions.
There is always something you can do to help make your community a stronger, closer, and better place. First, you should never dismiss new players or children. They are the future of this game and they need to be helped along sometimes. After I play someone new or I haven’t seen before I always try to give them advice to improve their deck or play style. It wasn’t an uncommon sight to see me offering extras out of my book that ranged from staples to any extras I could spare. Second, you should always try to be fair. This is rather broad and can be applied to both playing the game and trading. When you play you should always make you intentions very clear and leave ample response time for your opponent. Everybody knows at least one person who fast plays every game and tries to rule shark, and not many people like playing the person or even being acquainted with that person. At my old store we had a term for someone who undercut people during trades or blatantly ripped people off. We called them an AJ or we called it the act of AJing. When you trade with someone you should always try to value your stuff reasonably and only trade with one person at a time. If you only trade with one person at a time it becomes harder for your stuff to be stolen while you are distracted looking at someone else’s binder. Obviously, if your community has a reputation for stealing stuff people won’t be too attracted to your area and stealing stuff isn’t exactly a method for obtaining cards that is looked upon favorably. Last summer at nationals, a player beside me rage quit and left his deck on the table, and my first thought was to call for a judge and place the deck in the hands of someone I believed had the ability and the moral standing to do the right thing. Finally, you should always respect the people around you and the venue you are in. Respecting the venue is as simple as pushing in your chair and picking up trash; at least half of a judge’s day is spent doing this. There is always more you can do for the venue, but these two things are easy and every one can benefit from it. On the side of respecting those around you, you should always be mindful of your language, this is a children’s card game after all, and keep up with basic personal hygiene. Yu-Gi-Oh players have a terrible reputation and there is no reason to prove them right. I will not continue with this subject as most of us are young adults and know how to take care of themselves.
There is so much more you guys can do to help build your community, but this is all I have for you guys for now. Feel free to comment and share some of the most touching moments you have seen in the Yu-Gi-Oh community. It could be something huge like my story or something as small as giving a Kycoo to your opponent so they don’t get a game loss. I look forward to hearing what you guys think and sharing more of my work with you guys in the near future. Until then keep an eye out for Christopher ‘T-Rex’ Moore.
I should also thank my Yu-Gi-Oh community for helping me edit and proof read this. Without them I would have never considered writing something on this scale and that would be seen by thousands, if not more people.
Warner robins, GA
Heroes and Villains