This weekend will hold GP: Columbus at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Â GPs (short for Grand Prix) are large Magic: The Gathering tournaments open to the public which often have days of play in excess of 10 hours. Â These events span two days and require dozens of judges to run, additionally, these are days largely consisting of walking and standing. Â I’ve done six or seven such things before and while I’d call them neither awesome nor horrible I wouldn’t consider them “fun” in the traditional sense as I could achieve more joy through most otherÂ endeavors. Â GPs help me keep contact with other judges, sharpen my skills, interact with players at a different scale, and let me see how other organizers run events and this learning easily justifies the time.
A few weeks ago, introductory notes started going out about who the judges were and in reading them I found two patterns. Â New judges said things like “I look forward to having fun” and experienced judges focused on things like “I like knitting”. Â Another common thread was new judges seemed to hope the event would break a size record, some of the more experienced ones simply hoped it broke the 1400 person barrier for the judge compensation to increase.