Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Closing the Mind

As of the date of this post, I have

  • submitted 98 posts
  • had 56,352 views from countries all over the world 
  • and earnestly attempted to give something back to the Yugioh community. 

But all good things, and even mediocre things, must end.  Regardless of what you think of this blog, it is my turn to bow out.  

This blog began with a few tournament reports that I sent to SSJason19.  As some of the readers know, he is a former Yugituber with remarkable insight into this game.  I sent my rather whimsical tomes because I had incorporated many of his suggestions into my deck. He liked them enough to encourage me to start my own YouTube channel.  I was flattered but decided to hide behind the relative anonymity of eBlogger.

While SSJason19 gave me the encouragement to write, LFN and YGO gave me the model.  At his peak, he was far more prolific then I would ever attempt.  However, I could maintain an independent and advertisement-free blog. Besides, I liked his rather cheeky style and have tried to imitate it.  I hope he is flattered if he ever wanders this way in cyber space. 
However it would take more than good examples for me to sign up and start writing.  The actual motivation came from my son who left a few days before my first post.  This game was a lifeline during some rather stormy adolescent times.  It was a counter-cultural, niche activity that no one else in our family understood.  When he was gone, The Mind of Yugiold became an open letter about the game we both loved.  The posts were intended to keep him ready for the day of his return.  

To those over the age of 40, blogging is a rather odd and even narcissistic hobby.   It’s like publishing without having to deal with critiques and criticism.  Heck, you don’t even have to proof it.  The practice can give you a peculiar sense of pride as you track hits from around the world.  While not a great accomplishment, I did feel accomplished.

My most popular posts were my meta predictions for all of the archetypes.  The point of the posts seemed to get lost in the details.  They were meant to highlight the absurdity of both the archetype and tier system.  My most vocal readers wanted a more dynamic list, one that was updated weekly.  While I would love to see an interactive poll on the place of all the archetypes, I never intended to provide such a poll.

Looking back, I am amazed that I was able to post as often as I did.  Ideas for topics came much easier than I first imagined.  But then, such inventiveness is a by-product of time spent thinking about a game I love. 

To quote Daphne Du Maurier, “You can never go back again”.  While keeping up with trends and tech can help you reacclimatize, there have been too many changes for this blog to document.  My son has entered tournaments but not with the same focus and enthusiasm. The game is a jealous taskmaster.  Failure to give 100% takes you from competitive to casual and casual doesn’t feel good for many players.  Throw in a $150 Brionac and other pastimes become more attractive.

Nevertheless, I am not leaving because I am angry at Konami or find Nuckros disagreeable.  I do not think the game is going down the drain and I haven’t sold all of my cards or retreated into the world of Goat Control.  In fact, I just spent about $20 to pick up the Yosenju deck.  I will still play at Multiverse in Chapel Hill, Game Theory in Raleigh, and the Toy Factory in Hillsborough.  Though I may limit my big tournament play, I won’t stop it altogether.  After all, where else can you go and play a children’s card game all day?

I am going to stop blogging because I feel I have little useful left to say.  I have written most of the mathematical analysis I can think of.  At this point, only the names of the cards will be changed.  While I find the psychological aspects of the game fascinating, I am in no position to write about bluffing or other Jedi mind tricks.  You can’t impart knowledge you do not have.

More importantly, this blog never became popular with the people that mattered to me, namely the young men that I compete against on a weekly basis.  The reason has more to do with the length then the content.  I was recently reminded of this issue when I showed a post to a friend of mine.  “Too much to read”, he said.  In a world of Tweets and messages, a page of text is too much.

All activities have a cost. Spending time on one activity means you must deny time to another.  Yugioh, like any game, can swallow your time and attention.  It gives you just enough success to make you think you can take on the world.  The fact is less than 5% will top a big tournament.  The numbers, as they say, are against you.  For me, this blog has taken time from my first love – music. I have been a trumpet player long before I was a card player.  Before this Yugintensive, I gave benefit recitals.  It is time for me to get back to that love.

I will leave the blog up.  I have tagged this post as “Yugi Math”, which will allow you to find the probability related posts.  These concepts should be enduring.  I will also post the occasional “Old Person’s Guide”.  These posts are little more than my personal notes on current archetypes.  Advanced players will not find them helpful, but you older guys might.

Thanks to all who read and commented.  Please, dool on.

Yours truly with Star Wars characters from a Durham Symphony Concert.  The lovely lady with the french horn is my wife of more than 25 years. 

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