As many of you know I work at a game store and once in a while I’ll run FNMs or game days. Overall, I really enjoy doing that—it’s another way to interact with my favorite game.  Plus it’s a great way  to test knowledge, watch some games and interact with new people.  But since starting to do this I’ve noticed a few things and thought I’d share them with everyone.

FNM is designed to be a casual, fun environment, somewhere anyone can play whether you’re grinding to prepare for that PPTQ or you’re a casual player who just loves playing Magic any chance you get. I feel fortunate enough to work at a store where there is a great group of both players but sadly sometimes I feel like players forget that their opponent’s goals might not always align with their own. Watching games I sometimes feel like there is a war between grinders and casual players when I don’t see any reason why we can’t all play together and have fun.

For the Grinders, I sometimes feel like they get upset with their opponent for not being as serious as them. As someone who uses weekly magic tournaments as a way to practice and get better for bigger events I can understand why every game feels so important but there is no reason to look down or treat those who just want to play casually with disdain. We should always respect our opponents no matter who they are and what their goals are.  Just because someone is casual doesn’t mean they aren’t a good player who doesn’t have anything to teach you.

As for the casual players, just because you aren’t worried about becoming the next Tom Ross or Feline Longmore doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously at all. I’ve had players who show up consistently late because they aren’t paying attention to when the round is announced or just aren’t focused on the game at all because they’re too busy with their friends or their phone. I know that this is just a fun thing for you but make sure you’re respecting your opponent’s time too.  People have paid to come play Magic so make sure that you focus on that during a game.

This brings me to my last observation, respecting your LGS and the person running FNM. For the most part anyone I’ve ever had at an FNM has been amazing but I’ve had a few people who don’t realize how much work goes into running an FNM. It’s so important to me to try to make FNM an enjoyable experience for every person who is in attendance but sometimes people forget that they’re one of fifty and that I need to try to divide my time evenly.  If you expect me to track you down after every round, leave trash everywhere, give me attitude because you’re unhappy with the night, or make me chase you down because you keep loudly using inappropriate language it’s going to make the night less enjoyable for everyone.  I love running FNM and working directly with players but LGS’s can support you more if you support them in return!

Magic is a great game, and FMN is a fun time but it can be even better if we all are willing to put a little bit extra into it! So next time you’re at your local store take a minute and look around you, see what other people are doing and take it in.  You might just learn something that will make you a  better player.

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of Card Altering. Check her Stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH. She has recently succumbed to MTGO.

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