|Things I've Learned
[12/21/2004] [Kuma the Painted]
Amtgard is a great game. Iíve loved it and been excited about it since day one, and have continued this through three and a half years. Iíll be honest here; it occupies a good chunk of my spare time. When Iím not at the field, Iím making weapons, practicing, doing the occasional roleplay, or provoking the l33t3st e-ninja throughout the twelve kingdoms to flame me in this siteís forums. Itís been good wholesome fun. However, Iíve had to watch myself. I never wanted to become one of the heavy-duty flurbs who live for this game to the point of wearing garb every other day and throwing about "thee" and "thou" while ordering a Big Mac. Itís just a game, after all, and something Iíve taken steps to avoid taking ultra-seriously. Despite my efforts, though, Iíve learned a few things, some of which can actually be applied to the world outside of the foam.
One of the most prevalent things Iíve learned was from the newbies when I was starting a shire on my college campus. By taking them through everything step by step, point by point, I discovered that by teaching to these folks, I was becoming better. This showed the most through my fighting. By showing a left-handed girl how to take down a righty, I began to learn how to defend myself from this style and see more and more openings on a right-handed fighter. It got to the point where if I wanted to kill someone in a hurry, Iíd fight as a southpaw. It showed in other ways as well Ė my knowledge of the rules expanded, the weapons I made were better, and I just enjoyed myself on the field more.
Iíve learned that what seems simple is often deceptive. Is there a rule, no matter how straight-forward, thatís not been questioned? Is there a fight that doesnít have infinite possibilities from its beginning to the end, no matter how clear cut the end result often seems from the start? Even the classes, which were apparently built upon standard stereotypes, have variations beyond counting. With a change of garb and a selection of abilities, wizards have become musketeers, assassins have become pirates, and barbarians have become the sohei, oriental warrior-monks.
Another thing I have noticed is how things can go stagnant. If you have a group that just stays the same, no matter how much they love the game the group will begin to fall apart within a few months. A steady stream of newbies, people moving from other areas, and events is necessary to keep the majority of our vetsí blood up. When stagnancy goes unchecked, rot sets in. This is one reason why the Electric Samurai is, I believe, an important part of Amtgard today. It encourages an exchange of ideas of different people from different parts of the Amt-world whose only necessary similarity is that they play the same game. The majority of what Iíve learned about Amtgard has come from this site for that very reason.
The two most important things Iíve learned, however, are as follows. 1) If you ever begin to take anything too seriously, just sit back, breathe, and remember why you got into it in the first place. 2) There is no problem too large or too small that can not be fixed through proper application of both hookers and donuts.
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