I am writing this latest article in response to a lot of feedback from female players both locally, but as well as those who I have never met before. Thank you for your emails and messages. Your feedback has been a lot of fun and it feels very rewarding to get to be a voice for some of us.
I love playing Magic. There are few things I love more in this world than the feeling directly before sitting down, preparing myself to draw seven and wishing my opponent a good game. However as with every enjoyable hobby there are the untold pitfalls that every female player faces when entering the realm of competitive play.
The first being the egoistical male player who because he has an extensive win record believes he is entitled to bestow his unbelievably accurate and thoughtful advice onto each player he meets. Every community has these players. The ones who enjoy vomiting their expertise down your throat regardless of if you asked for it or not.
Maybe its because of these players that the amount of women who play competitively in our local community remains at a mediocre three, or maybe four if we’re lucky.
The second problem that we face is the lack of respect and acceptance that we as female players receive. I have been especially lucky that I have yet to encounter much of this issue, but the complaints I have received from other women has been significant. Other than the occasional opinion I never wanted to hear, the male players in my community have been great. I love bragging about how awesome they usually are, how much they’ve helped me or how many times they’ve lent me cards. However, when I have an opinion and it doesn’t necessarily coincide with theirs; the last thing I want to hear is negative feedback that has hardly any relevance. I don’t use this card game to stroke my Magic ego; I do it because I enjoy it. I love learning. I don’t pretend to be an expert and my opinions are far from it. This has been an extensive learning experience for me and an especially unique one. Being a competitive player in a game dominated by men has been tough. Regardless of the criticism, I have received so much positive feedback and met a lot of really awesome people in the process.
Recently one of our local game stores has started their own Magic team. The elite members of this team are admirable representatives of the community. They are approachable, informative and all of them have been respectable gentlemen towards me. These are the kind of people that will not only encourage new players to join the community but they are exactly the representatives that we need. They are willing to lend an ear and they are the type of players I actually want to introduce my girlfriends to that are interested in learning Magic.
Honorable mentions go out to the players who actually support the women in the community. A friend of mine recently brought me back a playmat from Grand Prix Calgary which had been signed by Melissa Detora. It meant a lot to me because I was stuck at home due to previous obligations and was really disappointed I didn’t get to attend. The players who have helped me acquire cards, lent decks and supported the female player base have been absolutely awesome. The bigots thankfully are fewer and farther between for me.
To all of the female players that I have received so much positive feedback from: Please continue to play and be competitive! I know sometimes it’s extremely frustrating, but at the same time that only makes winning your first FNM that much more satisfying and rewarding!