Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pull Up Your Damn Pants!

The world of Magic: The Gathering has been in a mini-uproar over the past few weeks. They claim to uphold their high standards of sportsmanship and competitiveness, but I just wished they kept their pants to a reasonable level.

Recently, a Magic player took a series of pictures of himself, posing behind some his seated competitors whose major sin was an excessive amount of exposed rear end, the infamous "butt crack bandits."

His actions earned him a six-month ban from sanctioned tournaments by the DCI (the old Duelist's Convocation International, the governing body of Magic). While a bit harsh, it was understandable that the mocking of opponents, regardless of intent, should be heavily discouraged, if not outright banned.

As I navigated around the gaming sites, I made the continual mistake of stopping at rpg.net. Instead of the regular chorus I've heard locally of (a) the dude's crazy, but it is kind of funny, (b) that's a lot of crack, and (c) six months is a bit too long for this minor shenanigan, a horde of people vilified the poser for being insensitive and then went around and defended the posterior exhibitionists as if they suffered some debilitating physical handicap.

You can scream for expanded definitions for ADHD, Autism, Mad Cow disease, and fever for more Cow Bell, and even if I don't agree with it, I will acknowledge that there may be medical basis beyond my limited comprehension for this change. Being a lard ass who only wears sweatpants or not having having the manual dexterity to properly put on a belt is NOT a disability. Even if you have an eating disorder and are taking steroids for some injury that makes the local Chinese buffet quake from your hunger pangs, being called out for you lack of proper decorum in public IS not discrimination. It's probably long overdue.

As a fat dude myself, I understand the dangers of crack. Even if my milk shake brought all the boys to the yard, you're not supposed give out free samples. Hell, even the sight of most women showing the elusive thong is more disconcerting. In the comfort on my own home, I still have a wife who yells at me if there's crack showing (and she likes my sweet patoot when my pants don't droop like a gangsta rapper wannabe.)

I spent eight years working in gaming stores and either running, judging, or participating in various tournaments. This is not a new problem. Outside of the infernal hygiene issue and overreaching smack talk, it's probably the third biggest problem a store faces when they sponsor any sort of gaming event. The sight of a disruptive derriere is a major turn off to a new customer, or worse yet, the parents of a younger customer. Would you drop off your kid at a store for a tournament when 20% of the participants have either hygiene issues, no sense of social decorum, or can't even dress themselves properly in the morning?

Guys, even if there was a Homosexual with No Standards Magic Tournament, NO ONE wants to see prodigious amounts of posterior squeezing out the open area of the folding chair you're sitting on. NO ONE. We all have bad pants days, we may have forgotten a belt in our rush to play and have fun, we may have playtested our new deck concept and forgotten to do laundry, thus forcing us to play in the loose-fitting sweatpants. Our playing posture might force our pants down to a revealing point.







...and keep them pulled up, or wear an appropriately sized shirt to cover your butt.  Some of us haven't been a normal XL in a looooonnng time. 

Again, it's not just Magic players.  I only caught one major violation at Cold Wars, and that was a five compared to the tens of those pictures.  Perhaps it's the idea that most (historical) wargamers are bit more self-conscious of their appearance, as we move around, bending across tables to measure and move units.  At least the HMGS conventions are family affairs, so if you see one offender, you certainly don't want to embarrass your own kin (at least that way).

But seriously, people of the world, keep your trousers high.  I'd rather see the psoriasis on your ankles than the badly placed tattoo that is too far south to be considered on your lower back.  Don't make all the tournaments black-tie, though from the looks of some of these people, they might still pull off the crack kills look.

The world thanks you.

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