For this Vorthos Wednesday, I’ve transcribed my weekly thoughts, and I’m going to just say whatever comes out in a stream of consciousness. These are the fifty-seven questions that I’ve had in a notebook but have never asked Trick, have never heard his thoughts on, or have never heard enough about. So, I’m going to share them with him and with all of you.
I’ve omitted tangents like, “What if an evil ninja jumped into the room right now? What would I do?” A sense of awareness is a key state we’ve all been in, whether while in a schoolyard scuffle or while playing across from Kibler and trying to interrupt his shuffle.
I encourage you to take at least five seconds to consider each question.
You skim too much already.
Set aside five minutes to read this through.
You’ll appreciate the article more if you take the time to read it.
1. What if Wizards were a company in a non-Westernized country?
2. What if Wizards printed cards in ten more languages?
3. What if more women played Magic than men?
4. What if a large number of celebrities played?
5. What if Wizards commented on society through the cards?
6. What if all online Magic stores honored their prices at all times?
7. What if reading the Magic novels gave advantages during gameplay?
8. What if Wizards made a limited number of planeswalker costumes?
9. What if pundits in the Magic community became community organizers?
10. What if you kept your Magic collection out at all times? How would it affect your dating life? Would it?
11. What if Blue didn’t exist?
12. What if instants were never created?
13. What if the fantasy setting were more medieval? Would it be historically accurate, or would it be fictional nonfiction like Ken Follett novels?
14. What if Legends and The Dark didn’t use all of the normal fantasy creature tropes?
15. What if Homelands and Fallen Empires weren’t powered down?
16. What if the main demographic were twenty-two-year-olds? How would that change the perception of the game? The art? The design?
17. What if cards had microchips in them or QR codes on them? What innovation could be used?
18. What if the backs of the cards changed? (The iconic back side isn’t a necessity anymore, as evidenced by double-faced cards.)
19. What if tournament-playable promos accompanied every tertiary product?
20. What if Rosewater retired tomorrow? How would design change?
21. What if the copyright ended for Wizards and more than one company printed Magic cards?
22. What if Magic 2.0 came out and previous rules like the Reserved List were abolished?
23. What if there were a fantasy football–type league for Magic professional players?
24. What if a Sports Center for Magic existed?
25. What if The Duelist were still around? What would it look like?
26. What if Magic made a movie?
27. What if Magic made a television show?
28. What if Magic had an Adult Swim cartoon?
29. What if Magic went all-in with graphic novels?
31. What if Wizards pushed mobile applications?
32. What if Magic Online had a Mac version?
33. What if Magic Online were available on smartphones and tablet computers?
34. What if upcoming sets had no spoilers or leaks? How would that change the landscape?
35. What if all third-party Magic writers, including me, had strategic plans on what to cover?
36. What if junk rares ceased to exist? What would happen?
37. What if boosters jumped up $2, but the potential for a “bad” pack diminished?
38. What if the game stopped being made? What would happen to the secondary market?
39. What if financial Magic enthusiasts gave actual tips on Twitter?
40. What if Wizards totally reprinted an entire set from the past?
41. What if the postal service started rejecting letters with cards in them on the grounds that they’re obviously worth more than a single stamp?
42. What if Wizards made another art book? What if it were a coffee-table book?
43. What if atrocities were portrayed on cards? (Mind you, medieval life was nasty, brutish, and short.)
44. What if alterers actually made museum-quality alterations?
45. What if 3D alterers made Commanders that weren’t rectangles?
46. What if artists had absolute free reign with regard to what to paint?
47. What if Wizards sponsored art exhibitions?
48. What if the art changed for every language?
49. What if framed original art were given out as an option for prizes?
50. What if Magic artists came to random prereleases? FNMs? What would happen?
51. What if a central, high-resolution depository existed for all Magic art?
52. What if major tournaments weren’t at concrete convention halls, but were instead at rotundas in malls, museum event centers, or domed sports venues?
53. What if all tournaments allowed a set number of proxies?
54. What if you made a player collective—like an artist collective—and whenever you had enough people show up, you’d have your own keys and could sanction a draft or a Standard tournament?
55. What if libraries started sanctioning tournaments? The game isn’t necessarily loud.
56. What if tournament organizers took advantage of a large tournament for what it is—a spectacle? For example, does Magic need to be the only game? Can there be limited-time venue collectibles? (There could be tee-shirts, as seen at GP: Fargo in 2011.)
58. What if every major tournament had as much theft as GenCon 2011?
59. What if every major tournament had side events for charity?
60. What if a charity tournament had celebrities?
Click here to reveal all the questions.
In case you’re wondering, I’d inform the wiener dog, throw a pillow in the air between us to block the ninja stars, and start throwing DVD cases before settling on a Dachshund Dash trophy as a hand-to-hand weapon. Obviously.
No idea is original, and I’ve been listening to Trick lately.
Are all of these my ideas, or was Trick just dropping hints?
What he’s exceptionally skilled at is empowering innovation.
So . . .
Good luck, Trick; GatheringMagic and I are going to miss you.