“In the age of antiquity, the humans of the region that would one day become the largest polis on Theros were ruled by the tyrant Agnomakhos, an immortal archon. Unchecked for generations, his power grew as he carved out a mighty empire. Kynaios and Tiro, joined by their love for one another and for freedom, rose to challenge him. The people rallied to their cause, and Agnomakhos was defeated. The polis of Meletis was founded on the ruins of Agnomakhos’s empire as a beacon of freedom and enlightenment, and its people chose Kynaios and Tiro to be its guardians.”
-Excerpt from Wizards website
With all the talk of how Magic is a game breaking barriers, this is a huge step for making Magic a more modern and inclusive game. We’re working on breaking diversity barriers, but there is still more to work on. We’ve also had Ashiok and Alesha, breaking barriers connected to gender identification. We’re moving forward, bit by bit.
I think this is one of the amazing things about Magic: the Gathering. They make conscious effort to include characters that are outside of the norm. Many other games make no effort to do this, having a non-diverse cast of characters.
This is important because there are people that do not have anyone to identify with. There is no one like them. If that is the way it is, less people will be drawn in because they feel different. They feel like they can’t identify with the characters in the game.
Even though the Magic player base is mainly constituted of heterosexual white males, that is not the ideal composition of the Magic player base. I believe that the ideal player base is one that resembles or I daresay is identical to the composition of the global or national population. That is what we should strive for.
I feel like I could write an entire post on the introduction to this post, and maybe I will, but let’s talk about the core topic of the article, which is one of the new Commanders spoiled in Commander 2016, Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis.
I was not only excited by their effect, I was also excited by the story behind them and what it meant for the Magic community.
Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis portrays a interracial, homosexual couple. Their flavor text being: “Look what we fought for. Look what we built together.” These two were originally portrayed in Theros block as the Guardians of Meletis.
Their flavor text was: “The histories speak of two feuding rulers whose deaths were celebrated and whose monuments symbolized the end of their wars. In truth they were peaceful lovers, their story lost to the ages.” This solidifies the idea that they are indeed a homosexual couple, the first one portrayed in Magic: the Gathering.
So what does this mean for the future of Magic? Sure, homosexuals will feel more welcome and included, which is obviously a boon, but what other resonating effects will this have? You must remember that Commander 2016 is a mass market product, in bookstores and toy stores all over. This means children walking down the toy aisle with stop and see this. They will ask their parents about it, sparking discussion and creating more acceptance of homosexuals.
If this is the media that our children see, if homosexuals get more media exposure, we will morph into a much more accepting and inclusive community, starting with our youth. It will not only help us a Magic: the Gathering community grow more diverse, it will also help the world grow more accepting and inclusive, step by step, leap by leap, product by product.
Kudos Wizards! You have done a exemplary job doing your part in making the world and the Magic community a better place.