Social Shaming Clarification

Update (May 14, 10:15 PDT): There have been some questions about the link between this article and a current issue in the Magic: The Gathering community, of which I am a part; I am a contractor — not an employee — for Wizards of the Coast. This article was published within days of a tournament event where someone tweeted about a prior conviction of another player during the event, so the connection is completely understandable.

Here is the situation, and you can take me at my word or not.

I have been seriously thinking about this piece since the release of Jon Ronson’s article in the New York Times Magazine, and it has been in various stages of completion ever since. As any writer can tell you, at any given time you have about fifteen ideas/drafts floating around all jumbled up, looking for finality. On Medium alone I currently have seven different pieces in various forms of completion — ranging from the positive acronyms of the internet (“FWIW”, etc.), to creating a functional definition of art.

The weekend’s events at Grand Prix Atlantic City were not the inspiration to write the piece, nor is it intending to call out anyone in any way. It was, however, the inspiration to finally edit and publish the piece — rather than some other lengthy things I’ve been working on (and a new film review I owe Jon Corpora on Rounders). As I had already been thinking about the subject greatly, the topicality was overwhelming my brain, and the best way to stop it from swirling around is to get it out there. So I finished the piece.

I specifically try to keep my personal writing distinguished from my Magic writing; my writing is not an endorsement of any views Wizards of the Coast, nor Hasbro, nor anyone working for either company has. I try to write about broader issues that are not endemic to a single subculture. However, in doing so, I invariably hit on issues that do relate particularly to a given subculture, specifically because they are broadly applicable.

I have already talked with a particular party near the center of the events, and I apologized to him if people (including he) take this article as an indictment against him or his actions specifically. I think this article is much broader than any particular instance, as these issues happens quite frequently (as highlighted by the “Daggy Dad” issue that I found after about a minute of searching).

However, if some feel that is not the case, that was an oversight on my part, and I owe an apology not just to the party near the center of the event but to any readers who took my words to passive-aggressively malign a person in our community. That was very specifically not my intent (especially given the subject matter of the article).

So for anyone who feels that way, or who takes the article to mean I feel a particular way about any particular person — that could not be further from the truth. I am sorry. Perhaps holding the article or consulting with the person first would have been a better course of action.

We are all imperfect, just trying to be better.

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