Wizards acknowledges women M:TG players by renaming player archetypes


There are three basic “types” of Magic: The Gathering players, according to Wizards: the “Timmy” (the power gamer), the “Johnny” (the creative player) and the “Spike” (the competitive tournament player).

(There are also two other, less concrete types — the “Melvin” (the lover of interesting and creative solutions) and the “Vorthos” (the person for whom flavour and creative consistency are most important), but Timmy, Johnny and Spike are the main three.)

For years now — 20 years in fact — Wizards have used these archetypes to guide the development of the game and place players into groups to which they feel cards are best suited. There’s a bit of a problem though: those are all men’s names, and women play M:TG these days. A lot, in fact.

“When I designed the player psychographics almost twenty years ago, the game was predominantly male (something around 95%) so I gave them male names without a lot of thought,” writes Wizards big boss Mark Rosewater on his blog overnight.

“It’s been brought to my attention that it’s a little off-putting having all the psychological descriptors be male. If I had it to do all over again, I’d choose unisex names like Chris or Jamie, but it’s been twenty years so the names are pretty entrenched. So I’ve decided to create female versions to list along with the male versions to convey that these psychographic profiles apply to everyone.”

According to Rosewater, the new names are:

  • Timmy/Tammy
  • Johnny/Jenny
  • Spike
  • Melvin/Mel
  • Vorthos

Excellent work.

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