By: Stephen Sedgwick-Williams
The Student Commons was filled with an epic battle between mythical gods, heroes and monsters from Greek myths- or at least between the cards they were printed on.
To celebrate the newest expansions to the hit trading card game Magic: the Gathering, the New Technology Store held two events: a pre-release tournament on Sept. 21, where players got access to the new cards early and which tends to draw a larger crowd, and a release tournament a week later.
“It’s good to see this many players come out. I think we have 114 who came out today,” said Nathaniel Parant, a volunteer at the tournament training to be a judge. “It’s pretty packed, but everyone for the most part is very respectful and everyone respects one another’s space and everyone works together quite well to just enjoy themselves.”
These numbers are normal for the New Technology Store tournaments, which seem to have drawn in a dedicated community.
“Generally speaking, our tournament turnouts have been in and around a hundred people or more for the last year and a half, two years, which has been pretty solid,” said Christophe Kahle, a New Technology Store employee and tournament organizer. “Even on the release day tournaments which are traditionally smaller, we’re still hitting between 30 and 40 people which is still a decent-sized turnout.”
But not everyone is just interested in the cards or winning: Some people are pulled to Algonquin for the welcoming environment present in the community.
“We usually get a friendly crew here,” said Genevieve Goneau, a judge for the tournament. “You rarely see incidents of people behaving in a manner you find a bit rude or unsportsman-like.”
The people in attendance seem to make a bigger impact than anything else for some of the players that have chosen to come to the tournaments. The crowd has drawn in players from outside the college.
“I find the atmosphere at Algonquin to be one of the more enjoyable ones,” said Julie Mallette, a player in the tournament. “I’ve tried a lot of the pre-releases around and I would find players to be very serious. They wanted to win, it wasn’t about fun and I’ve always played for fun more than for winning.”
“We’re a very diverse college and we want our students to feel comfortable,” said Jason Rupert, a New Technology Store employee and tournament organizer. “We’ve had parents and their kids coming in, young women and their boyfriends coming in and we have people from all walks of life.”
“What I really like about Algonquin is their ability to react to things,” said Andrea Bruce, an animation for television graduate from Algonquin. “You come to them and say, ‘This is an issue,’ and they will resolve it. It’s what they want to do.”
“That’s one of the things that we really embody at the college, especially the college’s image and what the college is about,” Kahle said. “Being able to offer that assistance and have such a friendly and welcoming atmosphere is something that we strive for.”
“There’s no one single venue that has a monopoly on all this. Our catch is we’re here for everybody. Not everybody can say that,” said Rupert. “That’s what we’ve got so we’re going to run with it.”