Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,
Wow do we have a hot topic today - or hot potatoe. It is this kind of post that we here at MTG Realm really do not want to touch with a ten foot pole because no matter which opinion you may make, you will definitely make some people upset. So to this end, we will attempt to maintain an unbiased neutrality like the Swiss.
The blog topic today regards a risqué playmat which was planned to be given out to first 500 Magic the Gathering players to register for the main event at Grand Prix Indianapolis (March 10-11, 2012). It is believed that the tournament organiser, Pastimes had posted an image of said playmat on their Facebook or Tumblr page. Shortly after Megan of MTG Mom, (whom we're fans of) had posted this to her twitter -
— Megan (@LifeOnAuto) February 17, 2012Within twenty-four hours, Elaine Chase, Brand Manager with Wizards of the Coast had provided this reponse . . .
Elaine had also following up with this brief explanation -
@LifeOnAuto that is not authorized and will not be given out. Thanks for making us aware!— Elaine Chase (@ElaineChase) February 18, 2012
So what's all the hub-bub about ?
We keep a standard for Magic art to portray strong female characters. Sexy is OK, submissive or damsels in distress is not.— Elaine Chase (@ElaineChase) February 18, 2012
Here's the (now-banned) playmat -
First of all, we think that it was the correct thing to do for Wizards - to remove the corporate entity from any real or perceived controversy - it's just good business and we would likely do the same.
Secondly, it has MTG players and gamers in general talking about this. Whether they are expressing views in forums and in articles such as here at MTG Realm or over at Legit MTG (by our tweep Heather / RevisedAngel). We think that the most important thing is that people are discussing this and providing arguments for or against such artwork.
Wizards has some very revealing card art which some may insist is hypocritical. Others may suggest that the not-very-modestly clad babes of Comic Con are indicative of the gaming / entertainment genre of today. There are even others who want the playmat as a collectors item anticipating that they will be destroyed.
Whereever you may stand on this issue, get talking - this we hope ensures a moderation of our views of and maintenance of our values. Our culture here in North America is constantly evolving and what we collectively thought as outrageous in the 1920's now think as prudish.
Anywhoos - here is the response from Pastimes posted to Facebook regarding the GP Indianapolis Playmat issue :
I would like to make several comments here - and my hope is that this puts some of this to rest. While I love a good debate and discussion as much as the next person, I REALLY do not like how some of this has stooped to name calling etc... At some point people have to agree to disagree. Send whatever comments you want to me... email is below.
1. I appreciate the comments by everyone - and hope folks are mature enough to realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinion about anything and that their opinion on that one item should not be held against them for everything. This is true of both sides of this discussion.
2. I absolutely apologize to anyone this offended. That was obviously not the intention.
3. Pastimes has always been out "for the good of the game." At GenCon we incorporated "beginner" events as a way to grow the game, and we just had a birthday party for 11 year olds at our store at the last Pre-Release. Pastimes has been around since before Magic was printed because of a desire to see unplugged entertainment thrive.
4. The playmat is 100% NOT a Wizards of the Coast project - the mat was to be handed out by the organizer of the event, not by Wizards of the Coast. This may seem confusing, but Wizards had no hand in the playmat.
5. The characters on the mat are NOT Magic characters. When the concept was sent to the artist words like "fantasy", "sexy", "demoness", "goblin","harem", "throne", "vampress" and "angel" were used. I guarantee that "slave" and "submissive" were never uttered. That does not mean that the perception is not there, I am just saying that is not what we were suggesting.
6. We definitely sent the artist (who is does not currently have any Magic card art - he has done art for other TCGs) links to a ton of art we liked - including art from many card games, RPGs and video games. There is no question there are influences here, but these are NOT Magic charachters.
7. We will not be handing this mat out at the GP. We have had numerous questions about whether this will be available for sale. To be honest, I am not making that decision at the moment.
8. It is my great hope that people do not make any real decisions about the game, going to events or judging the community based on this one "discussion." The country is divided about a lot of things, right down the middle, but we have (mostly) figured out how to get along.
9. Please forward comments or questions to email@example.com
As long as we have so much attention on Grand Prix promo items - can I ask what people would like to see given out as promotional items at GPs in the future? (Let's leave specific art aside, please, and focus on the "item", i.e. playmats, deck boxes, storage boxes, sleeves, posters, life counters... etc...) And, more importantly, do they make a difference to you coming to an event? (this playmat aside, please)
Thanks again for listening - and for the opinions.
The latest Magic the Gathering set ,Dark Ascension, has now been out since February 3rd. MTG Mint Card, has this list of the top ten selling Dark Ascension cards to date in February.
1. Dungeon Geists
2. Geralf's Messenger
3. Predator Ooze
5. Vault of the Archangel
6. Lingering Souls
7. Increasing Savagery
8. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
9. Drogskol Reaver
10. Drogskol Captain