10 Reasons Why You Should Like Mark Rosewater

6 months since my last post! So much to catch the world up on with my adventures! I got a new job, signed up for 9 credit hours for my Masters…now that I have caught all of you up to speed, lets just jump into things!
I still listen to Mark Rosewater’s pod casts (click here to check them out, highly recommended!)(and if you don’t know who Mark is click here to learn more about him).
In a recent pod cast he discusses being a minor celebrity and what that is like personally. One thing that really struck home with me is when he talked about the hate on the internet about him. Someone even wrote an article “10 Reasons Why You Should Hate Mark Rosewater”. I’ve had a taste of that medicine too. When I was Head Judge of YuGiOh Regionals I tried extremely hard to have all the rules and policies memorized and while I can count on one hand the number of wrong rulings I gave out, I had a poor reputation as a judge. Mostly people made up stories about me, or gripped about one of those bad rulings from years ago. Eventually you learn to deal with it, but it requires thick skin.

Out of empathy then, and simply because he has earned it, I came up with writing my own blog about “10 Reasons Why You Should Like Mark Rosewater”.

1) He Answers Emails: People take this for granted way too much. On the old Magic The Gathering website he used to have his actual email posted for everyone to see! A couple years ago I emailed him asking him how to get a job at Wizards of the Coast. He emailed back and forth with me for a good while. A few months later I emailed him again asking for advice and he answered! Eventually the emails stopped however. I probably emailed him too many times and he needed to move on to other fans. This guy probably gets thousands of emails every month and to actually respond back several times is incredible! I wish I hadn’t over taxed him, but live and learn, personally I understand.

2) He Loves Magic: One thing Mark is for sure – he is passionate for Magic. I don’t even know if he likes playing that much or not, but he loves the art, the flavor, the stories, the fans. He appreciates its roots, because of that he would never do anything irresponsible to the health of the game. There are many stories about leaders of companies who get spoiled with success and just squeeze it for all they can get out of it (cough* YGO *cough). But no one at Wizards has done that, and Mark continues that trend.

3) He Understands Magic: It is one thing to love, another to truly take the time to understand it. He has studied Magic to its roots and more. He created the color wheel which brilliantly gave ever-lasting flavor to the game. He broke down its psychology, even down to the key words.

4) He has a grasp of the business: Anyone can answer emails or know Magic, but to also keep in mind the market and business side of things is a real feat. Does Mark have a degree in marketing? No, that is why Wizards hired a marketing department; however, he does have a self-observant mind set about it. He also understands what it takes to make an idea of a card go onto the shelves, like the actual logistics of card making (he has done several pod casts about it). To be a fan and have working knowledge of the industry is amazing.

5) He makes Pod Casts: He could just drive to work listening to the radio every day enjoying himself, but instead he shares his knowledge with everyone by making several pod casts every week. If you ever have tired to do something consistent before (such as managing a blog on a personal business website *shifting eyes*) it is very hard to do. But he does it in stride. Not only that, but they are clear, cleaver, interesting, and honest. Very inspiring, hopefully one day I will be able to do that too.

6) He goes to events: Being more than just the man behind the curtain, he actually goes to events. In a pod cast he says that he will pop into local card shops from time to time, or go to Comic Con (lucky). In the past he Head Judge tournaments at Gen Con (even dressed as animals to add flavor to the event!). I personally have never met him, but I’m out in Missouri.

7) Great Role Model: There are some who make it to the top and let it all go to their head. They act as though that now they are in the dream position all shall revere them forever! This sort of arrogant is common now-a-days. It seems in the game community it is really hit or miss; either you are the coolest, nicest person in the world, or just selfish and cursing up a storm. I’ve been lucky to meet and stay in contact with some of the finest. Real role models that honestly inspire you and give you hope. Mark Rosewater is that way for many people in the Magic community with good reasons. He is polite, helpful, never heard him curse, and thoughtful. It is easy to see why he would make such a great role model.

8) Very Professional: There are some awesome people out there who mange companies, but aren’t very professional about it. While I still appreciate them, I have learned that there is an air about professionalism that is lost on many people. You have to know when to have fun, but you also have to know when to get a job done. This also means knowing how to manage others and not overwhelm new employees, how to handle past mistakes, or how to handle emotions around others. Whether he realizes this or not, he has demonstrated all these things in one story or another.

9) Willing to let loose and entertain!: This is where I personally fail. I am the personality that shows up to a football game wearing a business suit. I like to try to “let loose” but just not me. I’m 26 now and I act more like a 70 year old man than ever! But Mark doesn’t have that issue. He is willing to make fun of himself to make others have a good time, such as wearing a rabbit suit in the office for a party, or a chicken outfit while judging at a tournament. He has done funny videos with Walk the Planes and more. Got to respect that!

10) Respect for the fans: You don’t have to respect him. You don’t even have to believe anything on this list, but I think he has a great deal of respect for the fans. I’m not talking about Magic fans; fans of all games. His pod casts relates mostly to Magic, but he goes into all kinds of game theories that can be applied to anything. More so, he gives personal advice that I have shared with non-gaming individuals to help them through their tough times. The fact that he makes articles, pod casts, visits tournaments, answers twitter, emails, tumbler, etc. is evidence that he really does respect and care for all gamers in a very balanced way that is refreshing.

Well, that’s my top 10 for why you should like Mark Rosewater. I’m sure there are dozens of articles similar to this one, you should find out more by checking those out to. I purposely didn’t look because I wanted to be original to myself. Keep on gaming!