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Evolution of a Game
[09/28/2007] [Kurse]

Amtgard is ever evolving. Where once the game flourished, it now withers and clings to life as the winds of change whip at the desiccated soil. And where there was naught but dust, now springs forth verdant blooms born of seeds carried on the bluster of storms past. And through this constant redistribution of talent and wisdom we build success upon the ruins of our failures.

And though it is clear that the originators of our game lacked the foresight to see just how well Amtgard would take root in the years after their involvement, they managed through imagination, a sense of purpose, and sheer determination to create a relatively stable foundation that still exists today. It is this foundation, the core principles of the game that we must meld to the realities of our modern age so that Amtgard can continue its run well into the future.

Amtgard has always been about allowing individualism within the construct of a familial society; about friendly competition in all of its aspects; about education and entertainment; and about second chances. And though these ideas might seem trite and outdated in some respects, they are still what I believe Amtgard should be.

But as a realist, I understand the truth of our age and the conflicts posed by demanding higher standards in a world where excellence, hard work, and humility have taken a backseat to mediocrity, complacency, and arrogance. We cannot mandate excellence, morality, consideration, or sacrifice, but we can most certainly reward it. Not only should we honor those that meet these significant, and far too often overlooked, traits, we as a society should pledge to emulate them, raising the value of the whole of Amtgard.

Our game is filled with people who embody the characteristics I’ve listed above and it should be these people whom we rally behind. By this, I don’t mean that we should raise altars to the celebrities of our game or the internet voices that shift with the tide, but that we should embrace and draw inspiration from those among us whose true talent and integrity shines through in their every action.

If we are to grow as a game, a society, we must nurture the positives in our membership so that those looking in from the outside see an organization that deserves their time and energy rather than their scorn. We must praise the artisans that sew our garb and craft our equipment, the first thing outsiders see. We must support the fighters who represent our club with humility and skill, imbuing us with their excitement. We must vote for the politicians that reach out to passersby to sell them the wonder of our game and who fight to bring us all closer together. And we must thank those that sacrifice their time and effort in the service of Amtgard’s least glamorous necessities, the people in the trenches at all hours.

It is through the deeds and positive character of these people that we impress upon ourselves, and the rest of the watching world, that we are worthy of continued existence. Without such direction, our evolutionary line would run amok. No longer able to seed the field with lush greenery it would fill it with weeds that would choke the life from all we’ve worked to accomplish. It has happened before and could easily happen again. This time, however, we might not be able to coax the phoenix to arise from its ashes. Let us learn from the past and not repeat its mistakes.

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