MagicFest Copenhagen 2019

This weekend in Copenhagen, we have 1 new judges to Welcome to the fold!

John Barkestedt

  • Name: John Barkestedt
  • Pronouns He/him/his
  • Level: Level 1
  • Location: Location Hidden
  • Region: Europe – North
  • Approximate date/month/year you started playing Magic: 2011, then 2015, then 2017…
  • L1 Certification Date: September 13, 2018
  • Favorite thing (e.g., card, deck, group of people) about Magic: There are many opportunities for excellence in how we act towards one another that are proviced by the community building networks of LGSes and casual play groups, or provided by tournament structure. They’re mostly missed, or worse, ignored. My favourite thing about Magic, is when I see someone or some group seize these opportunities, and create a fair and inclusive environment for all players.
  • Occupation: Production manager for a graphics design bureau.
  • Random fact about yourself: If I’m sad, I’m easy to cheer up with a good excel spreadsheet, or a well-designed schedule. This works even during stressful events.
  • Why did you become a judge?: I’ve always been an organiser, and I’ve organised events and play groups for different games. I’ve organised larps and worked conventions. I’m the person in the group project that makes mini-deadlines and makes sure everyone has a task assigned. Becoming a judge was just a natural step in wanting to organise more Magic, both at the local store and with my LGBT-focused gaming club.
  • What excites you most about this event?: To get to see more of the inner workings of a really large event, and to visit Denmark for the first time. I’m also hoping to test for L2 either at the MagicFest or later this year – and either way the experience will be super useful.
  • What worries you most about this event?: If I’m worried about anything, it’s that I’ll get overwhelmed because of noise levels or stress or misunderstandings, and stop being able to process my instructions. Or that there’s something super important that I’ve missed because nobody thought to tell me, or I didn’t know to ask. But it’s the small kinds of worries that just gives your brain something to do, I’m not anxious or actively worrying. I trust my fellow judges enough to know that they won’t let me mess up too bad if I just try my best.
  • What are you hoping to learn at this event?: How to work a larger event, and I’m hoping to get more insight into how they’re run. Also I imagine that the sheer volume of judge calls and rounds will give me a lot of experience very quickly and help some things become routine that aren’t all the way there yet.
  • Who are your mentors?: I ask so many different people so many different things, especially regarding L2-things that right now, I can’t point to a particular person as a mentor but instead I view the entire community as my collective mentor. But when I studied for L1, it was Silver Almerlöv who basically gave me a masterclass on judging, and whenever I need a moral compass, I go to her first.
  • What challenges have you faced or are you facing to become a better judge?: I’m much quicker with learning rules than learning meta, which means that I have a harder time with calls where we factor in strategic information during an investigation, especially in formats I rarely play. I’ll get the rules and interactions right for the questions, but maybe miss an angle where a player is trying to get an advantage while I’m investigating, or just need to double-check a card that someone familiar with the meta would know by heart.
  • How have you worked to overcome those challenges?: Now I would perhaps have liked to answer ‘by playing all of the formats and grinding all of the tournaments’… but no. Instead, I’ve just learned to ask players one more time for the name of the card, and double-check with someone if I’m insecure if something matters. Sometimes I step away and double-check something unnecessary, but I don’t see that as a problem, it just makes it less embarrassing for me to take a step back when I actually need it.
  • What is the best part about your local Magic community?: Honestly basically that both the club and the LGS operate on a firmly inclusive and feminist moral framework. This wasn’t always the case, but nowadays a lot of effort is put into making the environment welcoming, in a way that’s historically been rare at gaming clubs.
  • What is your favorite Magic memory?: One of the memorable things I’ve had happen at an LGS was when I was discussing my terrible control deck with a player, and mentioned that I built it for my boyfriend and was just testing it out. There was a significant pause, before the player suddenly looks relieved. He stands up a little straighter and smiles, saying: “Oh! My boyfriend isn’t that interested in Magic unfortunately.“ Sometimes this memory makes me angry, because I think of how many places in the community this conversation would have led to problems with other players, but mostly I’m just happy that more and more players can be themselves openly and honestly and be welcomed in the community now.