Your sense of smell doesn’t get enough respect. I knew a person once who had no sense of smell, the poor guy. He couldn’t enjoy so many subtle things. The food was worse, the flora was worse. You don’t get to bond with your car mates when driving past a stinky field and everyone starts screaming “Oh… my… God.” and “Dude!” and “Why the hell aren’t you driving 100 mph, man?!” Nope, with no sense of smell, those little things are lost, and that’s a little sad. Sure, having no sight would obviously have a much more serious impact on your existence. Scent is an overall smaller effect, but still quite unfortunate. I know most people take their sense of smell for granted, but you should know, food and life enjoy a little seasoning. Try making bread sometime without salt; like smell, you’ll know it very clearly when it’s missing.
Magic is not a hobby where you use your nose much. I’d say of all the five senses, your sense of smell is the one you could most do without the regarding success at the game. Indeed, I’ve often wished I couldn’t smell anything at tournaments, as detailed below. Still, like most all-consuming lifestyle choices, there are places to use the entirety of your senses, including smell.
“[He] rubs the lotion on his skin or else [he] gets the hose again.”
Don’t be afraid of the lotion or the hose! Either one will help retain that man-stink that is such a hallmark of the Magic tournament scene.
That’s the easy line anyway. It seems any player who has the capacity to write a report also has the capacity to look down on peoples’ poor hygiene skills. And that’s fine; it’s your description of what happened. You get to call the shots on “critical” info. Indeed, scent memories can be quite vivid. When putting pen to paper, “stank” may indeed push its way to the forefront. Still, I think it’s a cheap shot. Yes, one must call attention to the fact that some players at these events, as a whole, can be a bit displeasing to the olfactory senses, but Magic does promote that behavior. Here’s a system that not only encourages competitions, but also conventions, all-nighters, and just generally spending time with one’s fellow gamer. Of course your party is going to stink to high heaven come tourney time; the group was up for 10 hours straight, playtesting! You know that for a lot of these players, the testing and the tournament are the prominent social events to look forward to. Is it any wonder that things like showers and changes of clothes get left by the wayside, when people are just having fun playing games together? Sure it would be nice after a long, hot play test session that everyone would just strip down and jump in the shower together. The name of the game notwithstanding, this is not a caliente fantasy world. One is responsible for one’s own projection of scent. I know the time between waking up and hitting the tourney/Con/whatever is tight, so sometimes things like showers get sacrificed (and breakfast, but that’s tomorrow). You can skimp on this if you want to, but at the very least, bring some deodorant and/or body spray and apply liberally on the way over. Most of those chemicals don’t smell amazing either, but trust me, after who knows how many hours, you’ll smell worse.
Now that’s not to say you’re the only ones responsible here. TO’s, what’s the deal with no circulation at your events? I’ve been to tourneys that were held in concrete warehouses with two entrances that always stayed closed. No fans, no open air; I don’t care if you’re holding The Shampoo and Pie-Baking exhibition, people are going to smell horrid after 14 hours in any tiny enclosed space with no moving air. I was once at a stink-a-thon when I saw some middle age guy and his son enter the building. I kid you not, after one step, the dad immediately blanched and the kid started crying, and they hightailed it the Christ out of there. Guess which two people will not be learning how to play Magic anytime soon? Let’s not even talk about the smokers who puff five inches away from the porthole egress. Nothing like secondhand smoke and 10 hour sweat to really make you wish you were born without nasal passages. You endure because its part of the deal, but c’mon guys… if you’re running an all day event, invest in a couple of industrial fans. Your players and your potential attendees will thank you.
Up with Parallax Wave, down with Wave o’ Stench. I guess it’s not such a cheap shot after all.
Are there any good smells at Magic events? Oh yes, my friends! I remember my first Sealed Deck tourney. I was so excited! Would I get a Shivan Dragon? Would I get a Deathlace, so I could counter those darn Terrors? No, no I got a Hurr Jackal, but I also got something else. A whiff of one hauntingly appealing scent. I think you know what I’m talking about.
That smell when you crack a pack is like some kind of 11th level of Heaven. Heaven only goes up to nine? That’s how good a fresh pack smells! Even after my exceptionally jaded self has played so many Sealed tourneys that it would take actual poisoned cards to raise my interest level, I know I can still rely on a hint of aromatic paradise from the product. Magic is a fun game and all, but I think I know the real reason why it’s so popular. Some people like pre-releases because you get to play with new cards. I like ‘em because you get a Starter and 3 (!) boosters to open. Sweet.
Finally, here are five excellent smells in no particular order:
*Tea Tree Oil
*Good Brewing Coffee
*A Bitterly Cold December Night (very briefly)
See you tomorrow.