What I’ve learned in My 1 Year as a Female LGS Employee:
My journey with Magic: the Gathering has extended longer than I ever anticipated and, during that journey, I’ve been lucky enough to serve my local gaming community as an employee of my local gaming store, Clockwork Games and Events. As it has been about a year since I first officially began this job (my first ever!), I wanted to commemorate it by writing an article that details my experiences as a female LGS employee and what I’ve learned from them. I hope you’ll at least give this a scan, if not a full read and feel free to drop me a question or comment in my ask box!
Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa:
It’s important to know that just playing a lot will be helpful, but it will only get you so far. After you’re done with playing a lot, then you need to work on the quality of your playtesting. In Poker, I’ve often heard it said that Online players are better than IRL players, because they play a lot more hands. I’m not sure whether that is true or not, but in Magic I don’t think it is.
Playing three matches at once in Magic Online for months certainly qualifies as “playing a lot,” but it will never make you excellent—it will make you decent. To improve from decent to good, you want quality playing, not necessarily quantity. It’s better to play ten games versus a good player, focusing closely, than a hundred games versus worse people when you are hardly paying attention.
Which brings us to tournaments. A lot of the time, people decide they don’t want to play in tournaments, because they aren’t good yet, and they’d just “embarrass themselves.” I can sympathize with that, but you have to try—playing in tournaments is how you become good, so you can’t wait until you are good to start playing in them.
The reason you should go to those tournaments is twofold: one, you get to interact with people who are better than you. Not only do you get to see the plays they make, but also how they react to the plays you make.
Two, we remember things a lot more when we’re directly involved and there is something at stake—you might watch a GP match and see a mistake, but you will likely forget it. When you are playing a GP match and you make a mistake that costs you, you will not make the same mistake again, and you will see more clearly why it was a mistake to begin with. When your opponents make good plays, you will actually understand why they are good, because you’ll be on the receiving end of them—you’ll think, “wow, he did this, not that, which I was expecting, and that turned out much better for him.”