I believe that people should express their individuality and be who they are. People worry all too much these days about how they appear to everyone else. They wonder if they will be accepted by the general population. Even those that find a niche to be in are under pressure to conform to a set of rules. A prominent example of this to me has been the Magic the Gathering card game community.
Magic is a game with over 10,000 different card choices to choose from to build and customize your deck. Of course, there are cards that are superior to others, but such knowledge of the game comes with experience. Where the problem arises is with a way of playing called “netdecking” Netdecking is the act of going online and playing a deck that has won a major tournament. People start to think that these are the only possible good decks and begin to detract from creating their own deck. Even worse is that they will deny any possible chance of someone’s original idea being any good, especially if that deck uses a lot of cards that have not appeared in a netdeck before.
I stand on the side of what is referred to as “rogue” decking, that is creating your own deck. I believe in the original intent of the creation of the game, for people to use their own mind and create a winning strategy through their own hard work. I have personally worked on perfecting my deck into something highly competitive for at least three years, yet since I haven’t had the chance to take it to a major event it is largely not respected by the online community that I play against. The netdeckers do not respect individuality or creativity, only winning and that removes much of what makes Magic such a unique game and reduces it down to an almost rock-paper-scissors scenario. Magic is a way that I like to show my passion and personality but there is no personal joy in playing the game when it is reduced into the worry of unquestioned winning.
A person’s individuality is repressed far more in everyday life as well. Peer pressure to conform in school is highly prevalent. You’re only “cool” if you wear clothes from the popular stores, yet how original and new is it to wear the same fashion as every other teen in America? This isn’t to say that every person should create their own clothing, but one shouldn’t have to purchase from an overpriced store simply to be accepted. The guy who doesn’t dedicate his life to sports is seen as “unmanly.” I do not believe that being a man or a woman depends on repetition of stereotypical mannerisms, but more on creating your own personality, feelings, taste and values.
Many youths feel a need to emulate the actions of the rich and famous. They purchase their products, dress like them, and obsess over their lives. Few celebrities actually live lives worth following. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but what is there to flatter when that person is most likely a half-drunk, money blind, egotistical low-life?
I value my individuality in life and do not care what the masses think. I show my originality in everything thing I do, whether it is standing up for what I believe in, or playing a strategy card game. Your own personality is the one thing that should not be tainted by the feelings and actions of others, for should you lose who you are in life, than you have lost everything that matters.
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