Be One Traveler, Long I Stood

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Today, we sit at the eve of an event that will change one person’s life forever.

I don’t know if some of you grasp at the idea. Not that I’m trying to be insulting nor condescending, but tomorrow is a day that many have yearned for yet so few will get a better chance at it. A dream job will be open to those who are able to grab a hold of it with both hands and succeed.

There are two types of dream jobs. One, where you lie on the beach as women in bikinis fill your margarita glass as you house sit some rich person’s barely used house. The second is the kind where you wake up every morning and you can’t wait to get to work because you generally love what you do. Yes, hard decisions have to be made and it’s not all fun and games, but in that job, you feel most at home, like it was a piece of you that was missing for years until you finally found it. Everyone would love the first type of job, but only a select few get the opportunity to come even close to the second.

For this, this The Great Designer Search 2 (The Wrath of MaRo) is excatly that rare shot to get that dream job. No, the second one without the women in bikinis.

Thousands upon thousands will enter this search and from there. Wizards of the Coast will select one (maybe more) to work in their company to help create Magic content. While only a 6 month internship is promised, there’s the very real possibility of being hired there full time. To work on Magic. As their job.

It’s a little troubling when I hear things like “Sure, I won’t get it but it will be fun to do.” Why? Listen, this isn’t a lottery. They aren’t going to be picking out a random person from all the entries and just fly you out to Seattle just so you can tour the place. You enter lotteries and raffles for fun, not because you need money or whatever scooter the local charity group is giving away. That would be like a baseball team offering a raffle to win a spot on the team; it’s not a wise decision.

I’m not telling you to not enter this. Please do. If Wizards is going to open up to allow a person to enter into their hallowed ranks, I want the best person to get the job. Why wouldn’t you want the overall health of the game to be above your own self-serving interests. If you don’t care enough about the game to watch it succeed, then why would you even enter like this in the first place?

And this person who does get this opportunity to get this job, I hope it’s me.

Yes, I’m entering into this as well. I hope you are prepared, because I’m not going to take it lightly. I entered in the first one and I didn’t get past the second round with the multiple choice quiz; I only missed it by one point. Ever since then I’ve had a fire burn inside me to want to do better, understand Magic in and out, so that one day, if the opportunity arose, I would have the chance to succeed.

I’ve studied how Magic design has changed over the years, and where I think they’re going in the future. I’ve seen different styles of cards pop up, what was once unacceptable is now common place. The invisible rules for design have been noted and reinforced with new cards being printed every set. The Color Pie shift and eventual settling down. Anything I could get my hands on to increase my knowledge of the game I found. For me, I’m ready.

For me, my dream job is at Wizards working on Magic. I don’t talk about wanting to work at Wizards that often because it’s not something you readers want to read. Magic is a hobby to me, one I’m very passionate about (if you couldn’t tell by my blog and my twitter feed). I love to talk and discuss about this game with whoever I can. While I do like my job now (it’s a family business, of course I love it), I have the chance to do something I really really love and care about passionately as a job. I have a story to share.

In high school my father was a weatherman. Seriously.

He worked at a local Country Western radio station and reported the weather in the morning. Having to wake up early, he would do his own readings on his own equipment (remember, this was years before anything like computers were common place. That’s not to make him feel old, it’s just the way it was) and then go on the air and give the weather report.

His claim to fame is that he once forecast a huge winter storm while the professionals did no such thing. Living in Northern California, it’s pretty rare to get snow, but he was the only one predicting it; looking at his instruments, that’s what he saw. Sure enough, the area was covered in snow with one of the largest storms to hit the area in recent memory.

You might ask, “Well, what TV market is he working in now?”

None. My father became an accountant and now runs a small commercial property management firm, the one I work at.

Why does this matter? To this day, my father is still fascinated with weather. It’s easy to get a Father’s Day or Birthday present for him, just pick up something weather related. When the weather report comes on the television, he quiets everyone in the room, folds his arms and stares at the television in complete silence until it’s done. He watches the cloud patterns that the meteorologist have on loop and makes his own judgments about what he believes will happen; sometimes he agrees with the talking heads on television, other times he shakes his head.

I’ve grown up around someone who used to have a dream, but chose to do something else instead. Sometimes I wonder that if my father had the chance to do the weather again he’d take it. I know that he would say no, those days are behind him, he likes where he is now. But, sometimes when he’s just staring out the window, watching those clouds float by, I wonder if there isn’t some part of him that wants to look at storm models and history tables to see how much rain we’ll really get and go report it to people.

I don’t want to one day to look back at my life and ask, “What if I tried harder?” I look at my father and I don’t see disappointment, for I’m sure he’s been happy with the life he’s lived. There’s always going to be the roads not traveled when one takes stalk in their life. This is one of those times where life diverges. I’ve been given an chance to really take a handle on a dream and run with it.

So there will be those of you who do enter because it will be fun, and cute, I see where you’re coming from, but if you don’t respect it, it’s not going to respect you. This is for a job at the Mecca of Magic; there are going to be people like me who are going to treat it like an interview. Players playtest and analyze metagames to get an edge for PTQ and Grand Prix events. This? This is my Pro Tour. If you think for one second I’m going to take my foot off the petal this entire time, you’re sorely mistaken.

And if I get cut? I don’t end up with a job at Wizards? Mark Rosewater and Aaron Forsythe believe there is someone better at designing than me? I’ll tip my hat to the winner and say, “Good job.” For I believe in the better of the game than one person’s pursuits, even if they’re mine. I’ll continue to work at my job, I’ll continuing blogging and tweeting, for I will still love this game.

I have a great example of a man who’s lived his life loving his hobby.

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