Magic: The Gathering Players Debate Effectiveness Of Magic 30 Inclusivity Grant
Magic: The Gathering is soon to celebrate its 30th anniversary, and Wizards of the Coast is putting on an event in Las Vegas, Magic 30. To ensure more people from underrepresented backgrounds are able to attend, the company has introduced the New Perspective Grant Program which will give ten applicants a three-day VIP pass to the event as well as $2,000 for travel, accommodation, and expenses while at the event. This has proved controversial within the Magic community.
The main grievance stems from the fact people have to write an application that will be "evaluated on quality and originality," turning the process into a competition between marginalised people. There is also no mention on the webpage who will be evaluating the applications, leading to more public scrutiny.
Twitter user kilnfiendpotter wrote they're "getting Hunger Games vibes," from the program. Jontelle Leyson-Smith, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at WotC responded to the thread, stating "I'm intentionally starting small with a better experience and more grant money for recipients. Flights, hotels and food are expensive. Also, this allows for us to see what does and doesn't work, and to scale up with time."
Kristen Gregory, head writer at Card Kingdom and member of the Commander Advisory Group, quote-tweeted the original thread to add, "While the move is positive, it's also problematic. I'd love to go to Magic 30. I'm disabled, LGBT, working class, and could never afford to go. But there's no way in hell I'm applying through this scheme to go up against POC for -ten- places."
One player responded to Leyson-Smith, "Piloting a program like this at a manageable scale and getting it right is absolutely the correct thing to do."
Magic 30 is being held in Las Vegas, an expensive part of the country, and weekend passes start at $160 for adults and $60 for kids, making it an expensive one to attend. The New Perspective Grant Program will help some, but players wish WotC would have made the event cheaper overall, so more fans could attend.
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