|Your Inner E-Samurai
E-Samurai is having an impact. Weíre still a few dollars short of the orbital mind control lasers, but weíre changing opinions and attitudes throughout Amtgard, one reader at a time. Iíve heard several people changing the way they talk about titles in the last several weeks; no more are they saying ďmy thisĒ, or ďmy thatĒ when it comes to the awards they havenít yet earned. And the article on saying thanks was referenced in an ongoing debate on the Emerald Hills list on what titles and awards mean.
I owe all of the writers, forum-posters, and readers of E-Samurai a big thank you for the help and support. Pat yourselves on the back and slouch a bit. Weíre making a difference.
Amtgard is better because of us.
Everyone who plays this game should be able to say that with conviction. We donít spend a lot of time on introspection in Amtgard, and itís a shame. So many people spend all their time looking outward for what they can get, or who they can beat, or what award they can earn, when they should all be looking inside themselves Ė what can they do, who can they help, and how can they improve.
So, Iíd like everyone to take a moment and be a little introspective. Think about the things you do and the game you play. Your inner e-Samurai better be able to say that heís making Amtgard a better place. If he canít, itís time for you to whip that ninja into shape.
And if thatís the case, itís time for e-Samurai Character Calisthenics. Itís time to get our inner e-ninja in shape. Itís time to ask ourselves what really matters in Amtgard.
Amtgard didnít get where it is today by sitting around being lazy. It took the hard work of hundreds of people to make this game the fun foam-bat sport it is today. You can help, too. And while you may feel like your efforts arenít worth much when compared to the deeds of giants, youíre wrong. Think back to the last feast you worked on, or the last event you attended... sure, there were Autocrats, Regents and Kings running around doing their thing, but it was always the little guy who made you smile. You smiled when someone offered to serve at a feast, or when someone stayed late to clean up, or when someone unexpectedly showed up with their truck to haul tents. You donít have to move mountains to move hearts. Amtgard works when everyone does their part.
This isnít about how many years youíve been in Amtgard. Some people have been in less than six months and are deeply dedicated, while others have been in since 1983 and play out of inertia. No, dedication is about having the willingness to do whatís necessary to make the game better without thought of reward. Dedication is helping without being asked. Too many people say they donít help out because theyíre not in office or theyíre not asked. Being king doesnít make you any more hard-working, and folks only ask for help when work isn't being done.
Be excellent to each other.
Amtgard is a tight society defined by awards, and that creates a fertile breeding ground for distrust, hurt feelings and misunderstanding. Honorable behavior is essential in this situation. Honor yourself by not asking for titles. Honor others by remembering theirs. Tell your king when someone does something worthy of recognition. And always, always try to put yourself in someone elseís shoes. A little understanding goes a long way.
This can be hard. Amtgard is sometimes another word for ďcynicismĒ, but it doesnít have to be that way. Optimistic and good attitudes shine so much brighter when they break through the shell of a curmudgeon.
So smile! And never, ever, ever cheat.
When you strip away the titles, the BLBOD, the elections and the white belts, Amtgard is about spending our weekends hitting each other with foam bats. And thatís exactly the way it should be. If youíre not having fun, then youíre not making Amtgard better.
Thatís why itís so important to make sure everyone else is having a good time. Think twice before yelling at someone for making a mistake, and always try to be a good sport. This doesnít just mean losing with dignity; this means winning with grace. You might be able to stab the crap out of the single-sword guy with your spear, but that doesnít mean you should... instead, go grab a sword of your own and go toe-to-toe with him. Apply that philosophy to everything you do in Amtgard and youíll have fun every time you play.
Sure, you might lose. So what? Iíve got around 300+ weeks of Amtgard under my belt. Thatís almost 3000 opportunities to lose Ė not counting ditch battles and tournaments. (I lost, Shanti!) Even if I were a bad-ass, I couldnít win all of those -- and neither could you. You can try to have fun and lose several hundred times in your Amtgard life, or you can yell and complain and maybe only lose... several hundred times in your Amtgard life. Remember that the next time things donít go your way in a battlegame.
Thereís nothing more fun than having fun with friends... well, thatís not entirely true. It's always more fun to play with Aramithris quotes.
But, a big but, you guys be willing to put your butt where your mouth is. I am wearing a double hat here.
Other than that, thereís nothing more fun than having fun with friends. Friendship makes our community stronger, and fun makes our friendships stronger. Thatís the foundation that all of our hard work, dedication, and honor is built on. Thatís why itís so important for a land to do more things together than just the weekly battlegames. You can do fighter practices, feasts, Arts & Sciences gatherings, parties, barbecues, campouts, and any number of special events. The mere act of attending these helps your land. By the same logic, the mere act of refusing to attend hurts your land. When we have fun together, we make the game more fun for other people.
Thereís many opportunities to develop friendships in Amtgard, ranging from households to companies to belts. Build on them. By the same token, donít let yourself be defined by your labels. People change. You can wear yourself out shouting at the storm, or you can enjoy the rain.
By now, your inner e-Samurai is probably panting and puffing, what with all the character exercises heís going through, but thatís okay. He might be confused, but thatís okay, too. The important thing is that he cares, and heís trying to make a difference. All he needs to do is wake up every day and ask himself a simple question, and have the conviction to give himself a little answer:
Is Amtgard better because of me?
Yes, it is.
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