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By: Paul Leicht, Paul Emerson Leicht
Oct 28 2011 12:16pm
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Introduction:

There are a number of people in this game that have an influence that reaches much farther than their everyday presence would indicate. I have endeavored in this series to bring your attention to these people so as to show off the diamonds that sparkle in our midst's. One Million Words is such an individual. Also known as "Pete Jahn, level 2 judge", I have asked him a number of questions designed to illuminate his importance to mtgo and you. In our interview below I will refer to Pete with his Magic Online name and myself with mine (Winter.Wolf).

Background
Pete, is 51 ("ancient" in his words but young in my own view.) is an Economist originally hailing from Lake Church, Wisconsin.  (75 miles north of Chicago, near Lake Michigan.) and now residing in Belleville, WI  (south of Madison). He works as a telecommunications analyst for the state of WI, regulating telephone companies. He is married to Ingrid Lind-Jahn, an even higher level judge and mtg pro.

They met as follows: "At work: we were both serving as scouts on a jump ship exploring systems near the crab nebula.    (We met in a role-playing group at college.)" Romance in space! (That sounds a lot like Traveler (now MegaTraveler) to me.)

In addition to his work he also says the following: "I also coordinate blood drives for the Red Cross, and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and am a volunteer who helps run the local public TV auction.  I have also taught first aid and CPR, on and off, since junior high."

and he continues on with "I read a lot.  I have a large garden, build furniture and have a 120 year old farm and farmhouse – which means I spend a stupid amount of time on home repairs.  In my spare time I run with my dogs, do some fishing, read even more, play some video games, etc."


His dogs Buster and Bailey are respectively a golden retriever and a yellow lab/greyhound mix (greylab?) Buster, a rescued dog is a political activist as shown in this video below (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4kvNzuf_EY) and Bailey is the good one. :)

 

Look for Buster at about 1:35 in this.

Buster and BaileyBuster and Bailey

The dogs, Buster and Bailey enjoying the snows of Wisconsin.

 

The Interview:

 

On Magic in General
Winter.Wolf: Johnny, Spike, Timmy, Vorthos, Melvin?
One Million Words: Yes.

Winter.Wolf:  A combination thereof?
One Million Words: Probably a bit of all of them, and it varies moment by moment.

Winter.Wolf: Favorite Color?
One Million Words: Green if I’m playing for fun, blue/black if I want to win.

Winter.Wolf: Deck?
One Million Words: Whatever I haven’t played, yet, and am just beginning to explore.  Once I have played a deck until I know it, I want to find something new. My favorite decks are generally mid-range decks with a tutor/silver bullet package, like GB Survival, The Rock, etc.   The mono-green Birthing Pod deck with Wolf Run I wrote about a couple weeks back falls into that category. 

Winter.Wolf: Card?
One Million Words: Survival of the Fittest.

Autocard for this isn't working for some reason using the Parentheses



On Writing
Winter.Wolf: You've been writing articles for a long time now. How long?
One Million Words: The picture on the website is from 1996, IIRC.   I used it for my first Dojo articles, and pretty much every website since has kept it.  I’m older, now.  (Picture of Dorian Gray, doing it wrong.)

Winter.Wolf: How did you get started?
One Million Words: I submitted a tournament report to a web contest after I Top 8ed a PTQ in Masques block constructed.  I won – the prize was a box  - of Prophecy.   A bit after that, I was offered a featured writing gig at the Dojo.  When the Dojo folded, I moved on.  I’ve written for at least a dozen websites and magazines since then.

Winter.Wolf: Favorite article?
One Million Words: Favorite kid?  My first tourney report was well crafted, but it’s not even in the wayback machine.  “An Extended Fable” was kinda cute.  I really liked writing the public enemy series of daily articles.  The article I think I titled – or should have -  Silly Rabbit, Green is for Kids. A Long Rant.  Not That Kind of Judge!  A Judgeling at Worlds.  Lots more.   I’ve published something like 650 articles; I really can’t choose just one.

Winter.Wolf: Influences?
One Million Words: I probably started when I was writing adventures for my RPG campaigns, which was more interesting than classwork back in college.  I wrote plots, and improvised action and dialogue.  Ingrid taught me to actually write, back when I was just publishing technical articles for regulatory journals.  After that I started telling stories in newsletters, then wrote about Magic and it just grew.

I have a personally library of several thousand books, and have read infinitely more.  I have been influenced by a ton of authors. One influence – Jerry Pournelle, science fiction author  and computer magazine columnist.  He was once asked “how do you become a writer?”  His response was something like: “Write.  Write a lot.  Write one million words, and throw that all away because it is garbage.  Then write a second million words and put it in a box, because once you are famous, you can salvage that and sell it.  The third million word will be worthwhile.”  Something like that.

For what it's worth, I have published somewhere around 2.5 million words on Magic so far.   

Winter.Wolf: What sites have you written for?
One Million Words: The Dojo, the mothership (judge articles), SCG, New Wave Games, JoseMagic, MTGOAcademy, 5Color.com, a Spanish magazine whose name I forgot, Pastimes, Legion Events, MTGOTraders.com and PureMTGO.

Angry MobAngerHermit Druid

RE: Angry Pete
Winter.Wolf: People have noted the "Angry Young Man" (Or should I say "Grumpy Old Guy"? ;p) as an aspect of your writing.   Is this something you are conscious of?
One Million Words: Yes, unfortunately.  I try, unsuccessfully at times, to suppress it.

Winter.Wolf: How does this work for you?
One Million Words: I never wanted that approach, and I wish I could still write the light-handed funny stuff I wrote a decade ago.  However, ten years of forum trolls have taken their toll.  I  find I have become bitter in some ways, and I don’t have the endurance to tolerate obnoxious jackasses anymore.   I have dealt with a huge number of immature, socially unskilled kids who confuse being obnoxious with being cool, and I have lost the ability to laugh at it.  Now it is just feels like a bad headache – something that is annoying and cannot be gone fast enough.  And unfortunately some of that can bleed over into my writing.

Put it another way – I have sat in on all the classic arguments at least a dozen times.  I have heard it all before, and listening to people repeat the same old rants and misconceptions isn’t fun anymore.  Arguing with them is like shoveling water uphill, and I’m sick of doing it.

Ingrid and I are both involved in the skeptical movement, which involves looking rationally at things that are “paranormal” or “alternative” or “pseudo,” and it is all the same.  Someone is basically making money by lying, and proving the lie doesn’t stop it.  It was exciting being at the first world skeptical conference almost 15 years ago, but the same stupid stories that were being disproved back then are still around.  The list of the people hurt by this garbage is growing – see whatstheharm.net  - and fighting it is not as fun anymore.

Shoveling water uphill.

Winter.Wolf: Is there anything about your writing style you'd like to change?
One Million Words: I’d love to have more of the joy back.  However, I read every comment and every email, and I suffer when I get blasted, fairly or unfairly – doesn’t much matter.  A decade plus of flames, rants and hate mail has built up a ton of mental scar tissue.    I wish it wasn’t there, but then I wish I had the knees I had before a I spent a decade skiing moguls, too.

Winter.Wolf: Anything in particular you love/enjoy about writing?
One Million Words: I love to teach.  I love to explain.  It’s why I write, why I teach first aid, manage public TV volunteers,  etc.  Being able to clarify something for someone and see the light go on – that’s what it’s all about.

political trickerymerchant scroll

On Political Writing:
Winter.Wolf: I know that you have in the past expressed a strong sense of activism in politics, do you plan to write more on this issue?
One Million Words: I have, and will continue to do so.  However, way too much of the American public apparently cannot tell the difference between a debate on the issues and an ad hominem attack, and responds in that manner.  That’s serious problem in a democracy, and it does not make participation very pleasant.

For what it's worth: ad hominem attack – the logical fallacy that a personal attack on a speaker somehow refutes the points the speaker is making.  For example –

  • Debater 1:  choosing not to block when your opponent is attacking with lethal is probably bad, since you are likely to lose immediately.
  • Debater 2:  Of yeah, well you smell like a skunk.


Once upon a time, “spot the logical fallacy” was a kinda cool, kinda nerdy game we played while watching television.  Nowadays, it is like playing the alphabet game in a library – it is just way too easy to find fallacies everywhere.

Winter.Wolf: Anything you want to share about the Occupy Wall Street stuff going on?
One Million Words: A few years ago, I wrote extensively about how corporations were not people.  Corporations are immortal entities (unless they choose to dissolve themselves) with more rights than actual people (corporate slander protections, bankruptcy options, tax rates, etc. etc. are all better than those of living human beings.)   Corporations are legal entities created for the purpose of making a profit.  They should have the right to own property, enter into binding contracts, assume debt, etc.  They should not have the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights.  Alternatively, if they are to be considered people, then they should be held to the same sort of moral responsibilities that actual human beings are expected to abide by – in short, if corporations are people, then they should not be allowed to be psychopaths or sociopaths.

I try to keep the politics out of my Magic writing, and vice versa, but I don’t always succeed.

Winter.Wolf: Thoughts on the media/politician responses to it?
One Million Words: We have a corporate-controlled media in a world which corporations have carefully manipulated to maximize corporate profits.  It’s why the coverage tends to shy away from any mention of stories like that.  However, I have not watched network TV news for a decade or more – but I do have a subscription to the Economist, watch a lot of PBS and listen to NPR, and read a lot of news over the web:  BBCNews, the Guardian, NYT, Washington Post, Counterspin.net, Democracy Now, etc.   I also listen to the other side at times, at least until I score 100 in “spot the logical fallacy.”  Sadly, that does not take very long.

Winter.Wolf: What about the stuff going on in Madison, Wisconsin with Governor Walker?
One Million Words: There are a tens of thousands of people standing up and saying "NO!" to Walker.  Unfortunately, Walker’s backers can spend tens of millions – even tens of billions – of dollars, and the supreme court says that money = speech. The attempt to recall Walker is starting, but it is an uphill fight, and much of the damage has been done.  Walker has sold off public assets, like parks and protected lands, and thrown hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to his friends and to large corporations that backed him, and we will never get that back.

Winter.Wolf: There was a while there when it looked like the 60s on the nightly news. Any comments?
One Million Words: Not the 60s – far larger, and a lot friendlier – at least, friendlier than the anti-war protests were after Kent State.  It was nice to see that the protests had no violence, and people were happy to bring kids to the rallies.  (Note:  FOX News did show clips of “unrest” and “violence” at the protests, until people pointed out that there were palm trees with leaves in the stock footage FOX used.  There are no palm trees in Madison, and no trees with leaves in March in any case.  An exception, after FOX showed that video a few times, people started bringing inflatable palm trees to the protest.

The original CCC team with Erik, Pete, Thomas, Alex, Mike, Sam, Randy, Bubba and John

Erik enjoying PT Austin as a Journalist and player, (representing Puremtgo.)

RE: Erik "Hamtastic" Friborg.
Winter.Wolf: You took over State of the Program just as AJ and Keya continue with Hamtastic's Freed from the Real podcast. How does it feel to write this weekly?
One Million Words: I like doing number crunching and analysis – it’s what I trained for.  I had done some of this stuff over on SCG, and I would have done more on Pure, except that I don’t like to step on other writer’s toes.  I wish Erik was still writing this, but since he isn’t, I’m glad to be able to do this.

Winter.Wolf: Do you worry about filling Erik's oversized shoes?
One Million Words: Ingrid will tell you I have big feet.  ;) I will never be able to do everything Erik did.  For one thing, I don’t have his knowledge of the forums and forum history.  I also don’t have his connections, or time.  However, I have a different history, and a range of experiences he didn’t have.  (For example, this fall I will be going to Worlds, in San Francisco.  The last time I was in San Fran, in 2004, I was also there to attend Worlds.)  Different backgrounds, but I think I can find enough material to speak to our audience.

Winter.Wolf: Yours aren't inconsiderable though you guys have different approaches. Is there something you'd be open to changing?
One Million Words: I’m open to changing anything I can, provided that I can do it reasonably well, in the time available, and I have enough knowledge to make it work.   I put in at least 6-8 hours per article now, and I don’t know how much more time I could find.  If someone wants something, I’ll consider it, but it will be a cost-benefit issue.  For example, if someone wants an average price trend for alliterative cards (card starting with the same sound – e.g. Makeshift Mannequin), I could probably do that, but only at the cost of cutting something else.  Would it be worth it?   Another example – I could presumably autotune decklists, to make them into songs.  However, I have no musical talent at all, so I’d suck at that.  If there is a demand for that, someone else should fill it. In short, let me know what you want, I’ll see if I can do it.

Winter.Wolf
: Does SotP work for you as it is? 
One Million Words: I’m still tweaking it.  I know what I would like to do and add, but some of it will require a lot of groundwork.  For example, I’d like to do a lot more work on the cost of formats over time, but that is going to take a lot of work.  I’d also like to put the price data into a database and code some reports, but that would require buying a home version of something, then relearning to program it.   Lack of time is already my biggest problem.

(Winter.Wolf: Open Office is free, though that does still leave the learning curve, time spent to conquer it and I can tell you it is not user friendly.)

Winter.Wolf: How hard is it to compile and analyze a weekly price guide?
One Million Words: MTGOTraders.com trusts me with a weekly price list, but I still have to click on every card to check availability, etc.  To get a good estimate of what it takes, just click every card in the article, type in the current price, then do the subtraction (I could set that up in a spreadsheet, but importing into an article takes longer than working off an article shell, copying the last week’s prices into the tables, then entering new prices and doing the math in my head.

I think Hammie had a database that automatically extracted prices, then checked them against the previous weeks and flagged the big movers.  I could do that, but it involves stuff like the “buy a database program” and relearn to program it.  Time and money – mainly time.

That’s why I haven’t made more PTSDs, and why I haven’t tried finding another web site to write for.  I could, but only at the expense of shortchanging SotP.

 

The meat of the State of the Program in a nutshell: the price lists.


Winter.Wolf: Any chance of pack EV analysis coming back?
One Million Words: On occasion.  It takes 20 minutes or so to do, and recheck, the analysis for a given block.  If I had the database operating, I could program those in and produce them at will, but I don’t have the database. There is an old saying “he was too busy cutting to sharpen the saw.”

 


On The Community Cup Challenge
Winter.Wolf: You two were teammates (along with DangerLinto and others) in the 1st Annual Community Cup Challenge (now named for Erik), How was that experience?
One Million Words: Awesome!  Absolutely amazing.

Winter.Wolf: How was Erik as a teammate?
One Million Words: Erik was a cheerleader – a leader really. He was upbeat, interested in everyone and everything, and kept up a positive attitude.

Winter.Wolf: (and the others? how were they?)
One Million Words: All interesting people.  I think we would have bonded more, but flight foul-ups (presidential visit that closed the airport, then a broken plane) made me miss the first night’s get-togethers and dinner, and being the first CCC, both we and Wizards spent  a lot of time figuring out how this all worked.

Winter.Wolf: Did you enjoy your WOTC visit?
One Million Words: Very much so.

Winter.Wolf
: Tell us something about it that we don't already know.
One Million Words: I have been in a lot of corporate offices over the years, with a lot of different companies.  The WotC folks were notably geekier, and a whole lot smarter, than the people in any other offices I can think of.  And younger, for the most part.

Winter.Wolf: Any static?
One Million Words: No.

The victorious team poses.



On Judging
Winter.Wolf: You've been a magic judge for a long while now (how long?). How'd you get into that?
One Million Words: Since Mirrodin block.  I had been a playtester for Mirrodin (first set), and was not allowed to play in the prerelease.  I was allowed to judge, and I wanted to attend, so I passed my L1 and judged.

Winter.Wolf: Isn't it vastly time consuming?
One Million Words: Yes.  A big reason I have not pushed for Level 3 judge is that I don’t have the time that would take.

Winter.Wolf: How does it feel to stand in judgment over big name pros?
One Million Words: Terrifying, at first.  You just swallow your fear and do the job as best you can.  Over time, you learn that the good pros are still people – even if they are really, really smart people, for the most part.   

As Bill Stark notes in his scg article last year, this is the First Family of Judging.


Winter.Wolf: Have you ever had a call that was too hard for you?
One Million Words: Yes – two types.  First, I have had calls I have gotten wrong.  It happens.  When it does, and you realize it, you try to fix it, or at least explain to the players that you got it wrong, explain what the correct ruling should be, and apologize.  Then try never to make that mistake again.  There are plenty of new mistakes to make.  It’s one reason they print new sets.

The other problem calls are those where the player cannot agree on the game state, or where the players didn’t bother to communicate clearly.  Rules questions are generally not that hard, but debates about what was said or not said are much tougher.  You end up having to make a ruling that generally decides the game, and you have very little evidence or hard data of any kind.  I hate those.

Winter.Wolf: Over the years there have been a number of perhaps controversial, and definitely sometimes puzzling rulings about Cheating/Disqualifications (DQs). Have you ever been involved in that kind of thing?
One Million Words: Yes.  I have DQed people at everything from preleases to Legacy World.  I have been involved in DQs for fraud, cheating, adding cards to a sealed pool, lying to a judge, randomly determining the outcome of a game, bribery – pretty much everything except fighting.  DQs are never fun, but on very rare occasions, you get some satisfaction out of catching someone who is just bad for the game.  A great example might be the time we caught the bag thief at GP Chicago.

Seen from the inside, a lot of these DQs seem less puzzling.  The written rules are fairly clear.  Deciding what actually happened is harder.  Players, like all witnesses, may not have been paying full attention or misunderstood some things.  Memory is also quite malleable – people can change their perceptions simply by talking about them.  All of this requires judges to work hard, and be fairly skilled at investigation, to determine what happened.  A typical investigation involves 10-20 minutes of interviews with the players involved, with the judge paying attention to the players’ attitude and body language as well as what is being said.  The judge then tries to fit the first player’s statements and body language together with the board state and the statements and body language of the opponent, info from any other judges involved, and possibly info from spectators.  To make it harder, many deliberate cheaters are also skillful liars.

The Head Judge’s decision to DQ is not the end of the matter, however.  All DQs are reviewed by the Investigations Committee, a team of experienced judges,who decide whether, and what, further action may be warranted.

I suspect that the confusion usually results from discussions of the DQ on the web and in stories.  All too often, those stories either start with the DQed player writing an article, or the DQed player telling his/her story to friends, and a friend writing about it. Such reports are rarely unbiased, and often the article may exaggerate, or at least stress, certain points while downplaying others. The story in the public media may be a very good story;  an accurate account of the events might be far less interesting, and a lot less confusing.

Winter.Wolf: If so can you talk about instances?
One Million Words: Frankly, most are pretty boring.  Someone asks their opponent to concede, then offers money/packs/whatever.  DQ for Bribery.

Here’s one that is moderately interesting: a player attacks with Goblin Guide, and the opponent does not reveal a card.   The opponent clearly does not know about Goblin Guide’s ability.  The player continues to attack for several turns, and the guide’s ability is never resolved.  We are playing in a competitive REL event.  Note that the Guide’s ability is not a may ability – it must happen.  When the judges interviewed the player, we found that he had played his red deck, with Guides, in a previous GP and some SCG opens.  He had to know what the ability did, but ignored a mandatory trigger because he would get a benefit out of it.  That’s fraud, and worth a DQ.

Winter.Wolf: Similar to that incident with Master of the Hunt a few years ago. (Failed to remind his opponent about the return damage from the ability and then admitted afterward that he knew about it.)

Winter.Wolf: What are your feelings about the way WOTC (The DCI) handles these issues?
One Million Words: WotC is in a tough spot.  It would be nice to make all the details public, but there are a ton of details involved.   More importantly, a company like Wizards / Hasbro has what the legal profession refers to as “deep pockets.”  That means that they can afford to pay penalties if they lose a lawsuit for slander or libel.  This means that Wizards has to be very careful in what it can say about any given DQ.

ProsperityCadaverous Bloom

On Classic
Winter.Wolf:I know a lot of your time is taken up with activities relating to the game so that you actually don't have as much time to play it. I also know from your articles one of your main loves is the Eternal format, Classic. In particular legendary decks of yesteryear. Tell us a little about that. What fuels your need to play things like Prosper Bloom and Stroking Moma?
One Million Words: The fact that I can.  It’s partly nostalgia, partly a desire to tell stories.  A lot of MTGO players don’t remember Combo Winter, or know why Stasis was so annoying.  I also wonder whether the decks of yesterday were as good as those of today, or whether the “broken” combos and cards are really as broken as the stuff in the past.  Playing that out makes for interesting articles.

As for playing Classic, I am a collector, and I play limited in all formats in an attempt to get playsets of everything.  I then play pretty much every deck I can pull together in pretty much every format.  Classic is one of the more interesting formats, with a diverse metagame that not enough people are writing about.  (Whiffy Penguin is doing great things, but he can use some help.)

Winter.Wolf: I also noticed you were involved in MMogg's Classic League this summer. How did you fare?
One Million Words: I came in about the middle of the pack – 16th out of 34.  I had an outside shot at Top 8,but lost in round five.  I did make the “Top 8” in the single elimination “cage match” event that just ended.

Winter.Wolf: Do you plan to go again?
One Million Words: I will almost certainly play in the MMogg event.  The price is right – I just have to decide on the deck.  I’d like to brew something with Snapcaster Mages, but I don’t want to buy them too early.  I’ll either open them or wait for the price to fall.

Winter.Wolf: I imagine the competition is pretty stiff, any nemesis in particular stand out?
One Million Words: Bad draws.  Seriously, I lost far more games to bad draws and mulligans, and won more games when my opponent drew badly, than to any one player’s skills.  That said, I’m still pretty new to the format, and don’t spend a ton of time playtesting, so I am in trouble against any of the regular crew how know the matchups well.

On Magic Online, the client
Winter.Wolf: Now that V4 is in beta and in theory just around the corner, is there anything you'd like to see added to it, changed from V3?
One Million Words: Really, all I want is a way to play Magic: the Gathering easily online.  Anything that makes that possible is good.  Anything that detracts from that is bad, and anything that just wastes code (e.g. dancing 3D avatars) is pointless. One area that could really use some help is social interaction:  chat, clans, etc.
 
Winter.Wolf: Anything in V3 you hope stays the same?
One Million Words: The rules work, the server is solid, play is pretty much intuitive and the interface does not get in the way of playing the game (at least for me.)

On Sets and Designs
Winter.Wolf: What is your feeling on the current designs in magic sets?
One Million Words: I’m pretty positive on the new sets.  A big difference between the sets of yesteryear and today is that creatures actually matter.  Years ago, a creature with a casting cost of more than three was pretty much useless, aside from maybe Morphling.  Today, a lot of creature based decks, of all types, can compete with the spell-based combo and control decks.  The number of broken cards are also a lot smaller, and less insane, than they used to be.

Winter.Wolf: Overpowered?  Underpowered?
One Million Words: The power creep on creatures and Planeswalkers is a bit concerning, but the folks in R&D seem to be coping with it. Put another way, we have not seen another Urza’s Saga or Homelands in a long time.

Morphling ReplenishYawgmoth's Bargain

Winter.Wolf: Is Blue getting the shaft?
One Million Words: In the color pie, blue is the “clever” color.  It’s mechanics include card draw and counters, two of the most powerful abilities in the game.  As a result, if R&D does not stamp on blue pretty hard, then it is the best color, period.  If we ever see a format without a blue deck, then blue might be getting shafted, but it hasn’t happened yet.

 Note that Wizards has changed their approach to mana fixing, so that we will see fewer mono-colored decks in the future.  Seeing a U/x deck is good enough.

Winter.Wolf: Too strong?
One Million Words: So long as we have competitive non-blue decks in the format, other than just RDW, it’s okay.

Winter.Wolf: Are other colors balancing more now?
One Million Words: See above. They seem to be.

Winter.Wolf: How about limited play?
One Million Words: The Core sets have been fun to draft for a couple years, and the other sets have all been interesting and fairly balanced.  It has been a long time since we have had a really bad draft set – something like Masques – for a long time.  I also don’t expect to see one (other than Masques itself, on Dec. 5th, of course.)

Winter.Wolf: What's your take on Innistrad vs Zen block (one rotating out as the other rotates in.) Anything you'd like to see changed?
One Million Words: Rotations happen, and I have no problem with that.  We lose good decks, and gain new ones.  Rotations keep Magic fresh.

Pete and the WOTC mascot. How they got a dragon in there is beyond me.

 

Conclusions:

As you can see Pete is interesting, diversely interested, quite well informed and opinionated and while he is not the same kind of writer as Erik, he has picked up the reins quite well, doing the State of the Program articles. He has long been an iconic figure on here and other well known writing sites and has much wisdom to share. If you want to chat with Pete in the client go ahead and PM him at One Million Words. He is very accessible and usually has a moment or two to chat between games. Better yet challenge him to a game or match (though ask first.)

More of these
I would really love to hear from you readers whether you enjoy these Legendary Personalities articles, or if you have a specific person in mind you'd like me to interview or if you would rather me focus on other things (like casual tribal and commander strategies and decks.) I have been asked on occasion to cover several different PREs but hesitate because frankly covering a full event is a lot of work and stress. That said if that is something you would be interested please comment below.

Magically,
Paul Emerson Leicht
Aka: Winter.Wolf on Magic Online
Email GandoDOTthebardATgmailDOTcom

15 Comments

I still have to read it all by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 14:21
Kumagoro42's picture
5

I still have to read it all properly from the beginning (just started by reading some bits here and there), but it seems one of the best interviews you ever made. (Well, thanks to the subject too, I guess).
I loved to see Dwarven Pony as the ultimate bad card. :)

For the future, I just would like for you to interview more non-American people. Even "extremely" non-American, like seeking out that Japanese guy that just won that big tournament. To see how Magic is perceived at the other side of the world. More about the people and culture a player represents than the actual personality -- you can't have a Pete Jahn every time :)

Like it. by Lythand at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 15:03
Lythand's picture
5

I like the personalities series. To be honest, i get tired of reading about match reports and tournament reports all the time. Not that we don't need them, I just like a mix of things.

My only complaint, and its just a pet peave of mine, is to not use acronyms when writing articles. Some people reading these acronyms may not know what they mean. I don't know what IIRC is. At least spell it out the first time if you plan on using it multiple times in the article.

Otherwise a good job.

Iirc = If I recall correctly, by Paul Leicht at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 17:04
Paul Leicht's picture

Iirc = If I recall correctly, and you are right. I'm not sure why I put that in there instead of typing it out. I was jumping from section to section typing stuff up and finding errors to eradicate so I guess I just left it as a placeholder and forgot it.

Dragon by Lythand at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 15:04
Lythand's picture
5

Oh and the dragon. I believe I read one of Mark Rosewater's articles and it shows the dragon going it Via a crane.

Great interview by Jacobs at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 15:51
Jacobs's picture
5

Great article, great interviewer, and great interviewee.

I am tired of wondering, so I am going to ask and hope that someone please answers for me (and the many others that are probably wondering too).

What are the circumstances that led to Erik's passing? Was it medical or otherwise? In your reply, please be sensitive in what you write so as not to offend anyone, especially Erik's family, BUT be honest. Thanks in advance for putting that to rest.

Casual players rule!

This series is getting better by Lord Erman at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 16:25
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This series is getting better with each installment and this one was clearly the best one. I read it once and I'm most definitely going to read it again. I must say that my respect and admiration for Pete has doubled after this interview and after getting to know him a bit better.

Keep up the good work Paul.

LE

Agree with Lord Erman. This by seydaneen at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 16:46
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Agree with Lord Erman. This was great

I too also agree as well in by Westane at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 16:51
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I too also agree as well in addition to everyone else also. Good stff, I like articles like these, gives some insight into the community.

@Lythand thanks for that! :D by Paul Leicht at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 17:01
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@Lythand thanks for that! :D I had no clue (though it was more a question of what wizard did they bribe to summon it and keep it tame, than which contractor they used. :P)

@Kuma I am certainly open to suggestions but since I am not a polyglot I depend on my interviewee understanding my English. I also have some interest in interviewing those close to home (puremtgo.com) so for my own desires, Lord Erman tops the list of possible interviewees from other countries, though we have not discussed this yet.

@Jacobs, The death of a community leader like Erik is such a sensitive topic (as you point out) that talking about it and maybe getting something wrong or speculating, (and thus inadvertently maybe spreading false rumors) isn't something I'm comfortable with. Particularly since the family has not released any kind of statement (that I know about). The only thing I can say with certainty is Erik dying rocked a lot of us hard. I am not one to get sentimental about people who have not shared my personal air space usually. But this still resonates strongly with me. (Probably why I can't help but keep bringing it up :()

Lord Erman Thank you very much and I agree, interviewing Pete confirmed some of what I already knew but also expanded my understanding of the man.

Thank you all for the comments and the compliments.

Another Great Interview, Paul by apaulogy at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 18:18
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I like Pete. He seems like the kind of guy I want to be when I get older (endless house repairs and all).

This did a great job of giving us his perspective.

I agree with Kuma that we should get some non-US person interviews. Personally I would like to see an interview with Tarmotog or one of the many Italian witters here.

My .016 (that is .02 with a 20% discount)

great by howlett23 at Fri, 10/28/2011 - 21:56
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I love these interview articles Paul, they are always informative and interesting. Thanks

To be fair, Paul already has by AJ_Impy at Sat, 10/29/2011 - 06:51
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To be fair, Paul already has at least one non-US interview under his belt, his very first in fact. An excellent read as is now par for the course: Keep up the good work.

I just love this - so by deluxeicoff at Sat, 10/29/2011 - 19:25
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I just love this - so interesting getting in depth insight to folks we see so often, keep it up :) Great new idea.

Excellent read! I was by Phroggie at Sun, 10/30/2011 - 22:04
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Excellent read! I was fascinated about the judging details, I'm only an online player so those kind of details are bizarre and fascinating. I also find it amazing that people can be so self-serving that they would even consciously cheat, a genuine measure of a person is how they loose - not win.

I find playing Magic (Online only for several months now, but I played as a teenager back in revised, dark, legends, empires days) the extreme personalities - competitive, narcissistic, opinionated etc quite incredible. For over a decade I honestly forgot these people existed, and have been rudely reminded since. So I found the following to be an utterly brilliant, disturbing and damning comment:

"However, ten years of forum trolls have taken their toll. I find I have become bitter in some ways, and I don’t have the endurance to tolerate obnoxious jackasses anymore. I have dealt with a huge number of immature, socially unskilled kids who confuse being obnoxious with being cool, and I have lost the ability to laugh at it. Now it is just feels like a bad headache – something that is annoying and cannot be gone fast enough. And unfortunately some of that can bleed over into my writing."

Such an indictment of the effect people have on one another without fully comprehending that effect, especially through the internet and forums because this behaviour is certainly less in real life. When I was young and full of vehemence in my convictions I'd single-mindedly argue my viewpoints, which I understand (and just tend not to bait anymore) but serious trolling is no different to bullying.

I will of course add that I've met some utterly fantastic people via MTGO, who are friendly, funny, generous and honest. But the bad have already given me a couple of negative experiences that now make me generally avoid chatting to people while playing.

Yeah my own experiences with by Paul Leicht at Mon, 10/31/2011 - 00:11
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Yeah my own experiences with people on mtgo have been quite mixed between the bizarre and wonderful and where did that alien come from??

But part of that is that I tend to be a bit fiery myself so I can get into IT if you know what I mean. But I tend to encourage discourse despite the risk of a row or unpleasantness.

It is a joy for me to run into intelligence on the other end of the line but sometimes that is mitigated when they turn out to be turds. :)

I am glad you enjoyed the article. :D