This will be my only post on these boards over the foreseeable future.
As many of you know, I have been playing this game since its inception and have traveled extensively to play this game over the past ten years. I have play in tournaments, Regionals and Championships in 12 different states. Next weekend, Worlds in Minnesota will be my 13th. While I have had a lot of success over the years in this game, and have been lucky enough to win a World Championship, the #1 thing that I treasure most in this game is the number of friends that I've made in this game. A large number of these friends are people that I stayed in touch with during my near-death illness, my almost three-year hiatus from the game and the two years that I've been back playing. Many of these people have become true, longtime friends that I know will stay my friend whenever I quit playing this game or whenever this game no longer exists.
Over the last two years being back in the game, I've seen AGOT grow in many forms, thanks to the TV exposure. This had led to a growth in the LCG. I applaud Martin, HBO, FFG and everyone who has had a hand in this, because, in the end, this game has grown. This year at Gencon, we had the second-largest Gencon showing (89 players, which only trailed the debut Worlds in 2003 by approx. 10 people) and this year wasn't even designated as a Worlds! Over the last two years, my own meta in Los Angeles, San Diego and NoCal all have grown and I've made even more friends whose friendship I also cherish. When I play this game with these people, winning is secondary. The camaraderie and the time we have together mean so much more. That's why I traveled to play this game in the past - the people I play with. I enjoy competing, strive to win, but in the end, it's the people you play with that bring you coming back.
These boards have always been the same. Communicating with the community, the joking/teasing (~) with a group of people you know, has always been what I like best about these boards. I also enjoy the sharing of ideas, venting of frustration, the "sky is falling" (aka "this card is broken and is killing the game" threads are all a part of this community. But lately, that is missing. Too many people are making rash judgments before even trying out cards. People are personally attacking and calling out other people. People are stirring up the pot for no other reason than to cause trouble. I was a high school Cheer Coach for over two years and lately this forum is more drama-filled and more-negative than my high school cheer squad!
In person (and on the boards), gaming is my escape. I get a chance to hang out with a bunch of people who accept my old, fat ass as one of the group, even when I act like Beavis or Butthead though I'm almost twice as old as them. Gaming (and teaching) give me a chance to stay young at heart. This community is best and thrives when it's fun to visit the boards and meeting in person is something you look forward to. But, in the end, this community is so large now that I prefer to talk and hang out with people that I enjoy playing with. If you have a poor attitude and try destroying the game that I love, then I don't have time for you. If you don't like me or have time for me, it's not the end of the world. I've live. "I'm a man, I'm 40"!
I'll be in Minnesota next week for Worlds. I know life is short-lived and fleeting. I've been fortunate enough to have five more years of life that I almost lost in 2007. If I haven't met you, introduce yourself. I love to meet new people/players. I wish everyone the best win or lose, because I'm going to Worlds to socialize with my friends, make new ones, play the games that I love and do my best to compete, win or lose.
Let's take our game back and quit the personal bashing. I will no longer respond to these threads. See you in Minnesota!