Written by Az Johnston
Some time ago JediGeekGirl and I spoke about writing some articles for the website and I felt it was something I would like to try and do. In my mind, these were going to be about Star Wars: Destiny in some ways and then a few things happened before I could take time from my life to sit down and write. The focus of the site shifted to a wider paradigm and the game was canceled in terms of production, so I wasn’t really sure about what to write about that would interest people.
I had mulled it over for some time and then yesterday those of us in the European FFG/Asmodee Judge circle received the saddest news possible. One of our own, Vince Kingston, senior X-Wing Judge and Marshall at many System Opens had died. Vince wasn’t old, he was 43. I know many of you reading this will be around that sort of age. It’s younger than I am, and believe me that makes it all the more real. From that, it has allowed me to crystallize my thoughts and talk about a difficult subject for gamers.
Most of us that come to playing Trading Card Games do so because we were the nerds and geeks of high school and always slightly on the outside growing up. Like the party in Stranger Things, we gravitate towards our own but were isolated from the rest, most times mocked and sometimes bullied for being the way we were. We escape from that, quite literally by playing games about swords and sorcery, laser swords and starships, heroes and heroines, evil villains to vanquish and princesses (or princes) to save.
Acceptance of this has become much more mainstream now, so much so that rather than simply being delighted we have more content for our favorite universe, we can argue about whether it fits with the story and what was intended. I am not going to address that aspect of toxicity in today’s column because it won’t change anything, everyone is rightly entitled to their opinion and belief.
We need to make sure we bring everyone together for the events we do and the games we play. The jock that secretly loves D&D but doesn’t know how to let that happen naturally. The girls who feel as if they are some kind of prize, for the boys who don’t always know how to deal with of the opposite sex, the autistic players, and the super competitive players who see the games we play as a chance to prove themselves worthy and good at something when they have always been picked last at sports. Also for the rules lawyers. and filthy casuals, all have a place at our table.
We all come from different backgrounds, religions, income strata, but that really doesn’t matter when we are playing each other and having fun. We will have differing opinions about cards, episodes and movies, but that’s all they are differing opinions. They don’t have to be polar opposites, and we can agree to disagree and the end of the day.
I think in short what I am trying to say here in these ramblings is that we have to be as inclusive, caring and supportive of our friends, fellow players, shopkeepers and the people we meet at events because we all want the same things: to have fun with the people we care about, watch films and episodes together, and play games we enjoy. However, life is finite and unpredictable.
Star Wars: Destiny will endure and carry on if enough people want it to. Games don’t die because they aren’t being made anymore, they die because people stop playing, and telling people about them. This happens in other media too, take Firefly for example. I don’t know how things will turn out, but anyone who wants to come and roll dice and talk shop with me is always welcome and while it is within my gift we will have events in the UK and Europe.
Please rest assured if they let me write more pieces they will be a lot lighter than this. Starting with Tournament Logistics, and all the back end stuff that players don’t see often.