Running this World has prompted me to think about MTG on a deeper level than I ever have before. In attempts to contextualize it, explain it, research it, and understand the parts of it that I don't yet understand, I have come to an unexpected conclusion: I'm old.
I know I'm not actually old. I'm 25. But there are, as always, more people younger than me than ever before every second, and those people are more mature than they ever have been. As I ranted and gloomed about the changes in MTG and how the new cards suck and the rule changes suck and all this stuff is so new-jack, I remembered that that was inevitable. Things change, and that's not a bad thing. If they had kept printing hand-painted cards with matte colors and the same set of abilities for 18 years there's no way MTG would still be popular now on anything but an uber-niche level, like Stat-o-Matic Baseball. When Wizards of the Coast made major changes to the game, it was because the game had gotten stagnant. They didn't change it for me, a pathetically insecure kid who wouldn't play for years at a time because he thought it wasn't cool, but for people who had embraced their creation fully, consumed it completely, and demanded something new. I didn't demand something new because I never really embraced what was old. That has kept me from enjoying MTG as much as I could. It's kept me from enjoying turn-based games and electrical engineering and Medieval art and all kinds of other "uncool" varieties of particular things that I like and that I have gotten excluded for.
But you know what? Being excluded isn't bad. It can be great for you. It makes you realize who you don't fit in with, refines what your idea of what you want in other people, and help guide you towards people with whom you belong. I wish I had believed in the people who liked me whether I played MTG or not instead of trying to get in with abritrarily cooler people who didn't. They weren't me, I wasn't them, it never worked, and it made my life and the lives of everyone I could have shared myself with fully worse.
From now on there is nothing too nerdy for me to shout from the mountaintops. I'm buying some new cards as soon as I have enough money to gas up my car and go to the game store. I'm learning the new rules. I'm still the same guy, but I think some of the crust might finally be shaking from this old husk as it's hips start to sway to the electronic beats of a new age. Welcome to the present, Old Krusty Nick. Enjoy your stay.
And of course, if the new sets blow as much as you always thought they did, you've still got your all-pre-2000 deck to go back to.