Early on in Hipsters of the Coast’s life, I established a few editorial principles, also known as “things I repeated a lot.”

One was that dumb is good. Dumb stories are not bad, they are hilarious. Writers who worked with me at Blizzard on esports stuff would know that me saying “That’s so dumb” about a story idea was one of my highest compliments.

Another was that there is no such thing as clickbait. Clickbait is what haters call a good headline.

Maybe that’s going too far: clickbait does exist, in the form of headlines that don’t accurately convey the gist of the story. But clickbait is not something like “M14’s Sexy Shirtless Guys Card Quest.” If we were to publish that headline on Hipsters—and we did—then by god you are guaranteed to get some of the hottest stripped men and bitchiest commentary in Magic.

I also mandated, to the extent it was possible to do so, that if you write for Hipsters, you do so on a schedule—ideally weekly, possibly biweekly, and on a set day of the week—or not at all.

Perhaps this seems draconian, or not in the spirit of what started out as a fun blog project among friends. But we (or at least I) really wanted to make Hipsters last, and I knew from my career in websites and magazines how fundamental consistency is.

Marshall Sutcliffe of Limited Resources has talked about this a bit, whenever he and LSV alight on the topic of making their podcast, how to have success as a content creator, and so on. Basically it boils down to, you just do a thing you love, and you keep doing it, week in and week out, no matter the reception or lack of attention, until you’re an established part of the ecosystem and people can’t ignore you anymore.

We also didn’t try to appeal to the quote unquote masses. We did what we thought was fun, or funny, or interesting, or right, and we didn’t listen to anyone who accused us of publishing clickbait, or being “SJWs,” or whatever.

One of our first and most prolific staff writers, Jess Stirba, has long been a champion for issues of representation in Magic, both on the cards themselves and in the organized (and unorganized) play scene. Way back in December 2012 she was writing about being a trans woman playing Magic.

She wrote, “It’s in all of our benefit to get more people to play Magic, and the best way to do so is by demolishing the idea that it’s only straight white boys who play this game. It’s truly a win-win proposition. So get on board. And don’t listen to anyone who gives you license to treat another person with anything other than dignity and respect.”

That was true 10 years ago, and it’s arguably even more true today.

We did a story about 10 Magic Cheaters Who Look Like Cats, by Shawn Massak, which accomplished the important work of letting readers know who cheats at Magic, and also showing them cats.

I wrote about how Magic helped get me sober.

And I did full written common set reviews alongside Zach Barash, which took truly stupid amounts of time, and wherein I hold the distinction of giving out one of the worst grades ever:

Way too many people to call out by name wrote human-focused tournament reports, design analysis, metagame analysis, stories about how they were burned out at Magic, stories about how they loved Magic, interviews with artists, stuff about video games, stuff about fighting games—anything we wanted.

One thing that doesn’t get talked about enough is how important Matt Jones was to Hipsters’ early, and ongoing, identity. After Hipsters founder Zac Clark generously shared the keys to the WordPress account with us, Matt and I both took off doing what we do best: me making rules, and Matt being an avatar of chaos and creativity.

Matt designed our (initially) ever-changing logo; he wrote a column called Arting Around that brought his art school–trained brain to bear on Magic illustrations; he did a series called “The Blur of,” where he would blur together all the cards of a set to see what their composite image looked like (the best one is this one, for M14, where he did all the colors and card types in addition to a single composite, and wherein he also calls me a tyrant, which I believe at the time was still a joke); and he designed and illustrated our series of business cards/tokens, which are still some of my most treasured Magic possessions.

We had stacks of these, and would send them out with our writers when we would travel to GPs across the country. We would give everyone we played one of the cards, generally as part of asking if we could take their picture for a tournament report on the site. (In retrospect, I am genuinely surprised at how many people let us do this.)

We took a bunch of pictures of a bunch of Magic players. This is one that someone took of a kid that beat the shit out of me at GP Pittsburgh, posing with Matt Jones. I had started the day 0-1, not how you want to start a GP, and then sat down across from a kid in round 2. “‘OK, cool—a kid,’” I wrote at the time. “‘I can chill out a bit, win a match, and get back in the saddle.’ Because how good can a kid that young be?”

This kid, of course, turned out to be Oliver Tomajko, who went on to become very, very good at Magic. And he absolutely destroyed me.

I’ll finish it up by quoting from the picture’s caption in my original story:

“Matt Jones found the kid later in the day on Saturday and took a picture with him. Matt asked him, ‘Hey, did you beat the hell out of an almost-middle-aged guy wearing a red hat earlier today?’ And the kid says, matter-of-factly, ‘Yes.’ Also, the kid is drinking coffee. He’s a monster! Coolest kid ever. The tracksuit just kills it.”

Play the game, see the world, meet people, do fun shit. Congrats to Hipsters on their 10th, and here’s to many more.

Hunter Slaton was Hipsters of the Coast’s first Editor-in-Chief.

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