When I originally wrote this the title of this entry it had a question mark at the end. I think that represented a vague hope of some future in this enterprise. Reality would inform me that the question mark was delivering a falsehood. This weekend has been a very sad one for me as I see it as the all-but-certain end of an era.
Keen readers of this blog will know that I have been part of the Raw Deal CCG scene for many years and even after I stopped being actively involved in the management of the game I was still part of the community and I was still the owner of the community website. In the autumn Comic Images announced that the game would ending and after some weeks we decided that we would have one final event - One Last Match. That event happened this weekend in Newcastle. It was a great event. About thirty people arrived and played in a sealed deck tournament. I did rather well for a change. We ate some food, drank some beer, dished out some silly awards and then drank some more. And the next day some of them left and some of them played another CCG that might be a worthy successor to Raw Deal. I went down to that game and I said goodbye to everyone, but when I left I realised this really was goodbye.
When I think about a number of these people, today will probably be the last time I ever see them. A slack handful of us may bump into each other at conventions for other things, or look each other up if we are in town on business. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook we might never really lose touch but this is the last time we will see each other as a group. These are people I have known for years now and I have met up with them on a regular basis during that time. I've seen young lads grow into accomplished men. I've seen people pair up as couples, others get engaged and married. We've had children, we've travelled around the world and we've done great things together. But most of all we have grown up.
There's no room in my life anymore for collectible card games. I no longer have the time, the money or the independence to be able to pursue them on any sort of level. I've definitely had my fill of being a leader of a community and organising things on a massive scale. I don't want to carve a niche for myself by working as a volunteer for another company - hey, I'm making one of my own! My lifestyle has changed and I have different priorities now.
But it still doesn't make it any easier to know that barring a scant handful of lucky coincidences, thats it for all those people. God that sucks hard. No, not an easy weekend at all.