For the past year and a half or so, we've hosted YuGiOh tournaments at Dr. No's every Friday night. I think we've missed one Friday night in all that time--Christmas Eve of 2004, for those of you who were going to write and ask me which Friday and why--and we've maintained a great turnout for all that time. The lowest number of players I remember us having was twenty-two; the highest was sixty-six. We average thirty-six or so every Friday night, and I look forward to the tournament nights... and not just because we make extra money from all the tourney entries.
Now bear in mind that I'm not a YuGiOh player; in fact, I'm not really a games player at all. I don't like computer games; I burned out on videogames about the time the Atari 2600 jumped the shark; I never got into role-playing games; I like some of the collectible miniatures, but I never enjoyed the games; and I'm not a card game player. I enjoy some board games, but they're the older classic family board games; I think that comes from Mom, who loved playing Monopoly and Yahtzee and Boggle and Scrabble.
So why do I enjoy tournament night? There's an energy, a vitality to the tournament crowd that really enthuses me. The players seem to genuinely enjoy coming in--and the younger players in particular are excited about the evening. Seeing a couple of kids running to the front door of the store because they can't wait to come in and sign up for the tournament... there's something about that excitement that's contagious. The older players also have a good time; we have some parent-and-child teams who show up, and I've come to regard many of them as friends.
I know the YuGiOh wave has already crested, and YuGiOh low tide is eventually coming--but I hope that by the time it gets here, there's something else that generates this level of excitement. It recharges my batteries to a degree, reminding even a jaded old comic book guy of what it was like to be so excited about a comic or a game that the time it would take to merely walk to the front door of the store seemed too long.