Politics In Multiplayer!

Posted in Serious Fun on July 13, 2004

By Anthony Alongi

It finally happens

Those of you who have read my columns for some time understand I don't believe “politics” has much of a useful role in multiplayer Magic. Put another way, I don't believe wheeling and dealing, forging explicit alliances, or currying favor makes for a particularly fun or effective multiplayer strategy.

“No politics in multiplayer!” I've cried out periodically, to a chorus of applause (and the occasional, ill-informed jeer). From the feedback I've received over the years, I believe most casual players agree: striking bargains and cutting deals doesn't seem to work as effectively as playing strong threats and backing them up with instant-speed spells and abilities to punish any transgressors. Together over the years, we've forged quite a consensus – perhaps even a community within a community – dare I say, maybe even a family?

Well, guess what. I'm disowning you all, effective immediately.

Here's the deal: as of last week, I have injected politics into group Magic. The process is irreversable. The logic is incontrovertible. No one will be able to deny after this moment: politics and multiplayer Magic are forever entwined.

Political Trickery

Put another way, I've announced my candidacy for a City Council seat (First Ward, Hastings, Minnesota). Whether I succeed or not, one of the highest profile voices for multiplayer Magic has become (*gasp*) a politician!

Our playgroup has been teasing me about this. As I pointed out to them, this candidacy was inevitable. As a state bureaucrat, I was mocked but still maintained some small amount of respect among my friends. With this descent into full-blown, real-world politics, I will be free of that clingy last shred of dignity and can receive the sort of unblemished loathing civilized society reserves for lawyers.

In all seriousness, I've wanted to take this step for some time. I get a real charge out of my current work in public service, because I can see how I'm making a difference in the lives of real people. You do that for a while, and trust me – you want to do more. You can't do what I do for years and not want to take it to the next level. So win or lose, I've found just announcing to be truly exhilarating.

All right, I can't make this whole article about my political campaign – I need to respect several ethical and legal boundaries. The real article is about my relationship with my daughter, and how Magic has played a role. Sorry for the head-fake – I just thought some of you would appreciate the irony. Politics in multiplayer, indeed!

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