I started playing Magic when I was 10.
I went to my first tournament when I was 12.
I remember, very clearly, the moment I learned about personal space.
Pro Tour Champion Mike Pustilnik was showing off some custom art tokens he had (Wizards was not printing tokens for mass consumption back then) and he passed them around. As I remember the story, it was okay that I was looking at them (this was 14 or 15 years ago, so I might be wrong).
But then I went to take one out of the sleeve and look at the back. Mike, protective of these custom works, asked me what I was doing.
He had every right to do so- they were his and I was a child. I remember him snapping, but not in a mean way - just a quick reaction.
That moment taught me a lot.
At the Grand Prix: Atlantic City this weekend, I was involved in a game of Commander (the second game detailed in my last post). At some point, a Little Kid came up and started in a Golden Ratio spiral, closer and closer until he was right on top of us. At some point, a Fork was cast, and the kid picked it up to read the card that was older than him.
We were silent.
Then someone cast Bribery, and started looking through the target's deck. The kid then picked up the other half and started making suggestions.
We were dumbfounded. I lost it and started laughing to myself.
Eventually the spell was resolved, the kid walked away, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
If I could go back, I would have said something to the kid. Magic is an awesome game and there is so much discovery. Commander is full of cards that people have never seen. Heck, I've been playing this game for almost 20 years and there are still cards I need to triple check.
This kid could not have been more than 13. Even if he learned the game at 5, that's 14 years of cards that is older than his experience. We were flustered, but we could have done more to help teach this kid how to respect people and still love Magic.
We didn't hurt him, but we didn't help him either.