Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

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Should we change the name to drop the word "union"?

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Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  Reindeercards on Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:31 pm

Are we committed to "Mtg Player's Union" being the official name?

The word "union" is considered to be a negative term by somewhere between a third to half of the people in the US. Think of it as being similar to a priest belonging to an organization with the word "whorehouse" in its title. Even if its not a whorehouse in the sense of The Bunny Ranch, a priest would having difficulties joining and passionately defending the organization.

I understand this isn't a problem for most areas of the world but, in the US, unions have a history of ties to organized crime, pressuring people to join the union against their will, using union money against the best interests of union members, etc. And probably most importantly, having a really, really crappy and adversarial relationship to the company. Since that's not the kind of thing our organization would want, picking a word other than "union" would more accurately reflect to US players what we stand for.

We've already seen extensive feedback on US Magic sites of an instinctive negative reaction to the organization based on the name. I'd hoped it would die down after we started to show what we were actually all about but unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be happening. I'm afraid the name will turn out to be an unnecessary long-term liability.

I'd suggest using the name "Mtg Player's Organization". Its a nice neutral term and the initials MPO aren't overused according to Google. "Mtg Player's Association" wouldn't be bad either but the initials are more widely used.


edit: added a poll


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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  mercenarybdu on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:45 am

Reindeercards wrote:Are we committed to "Mtg Player's Union" being the official name?

The word "union" is considered to be a negative term by somewhere between a third to half of the people in the US. Think of it as being similar to a priest belonging to an organization with the word "whorehouse" in its title. Even if its not a whorehouse in the sense of The Bunny Ranch, a priest would having difficulties joining and passionately defending the organization.

I understand this isn't a problem for most areas of the world but, in the US, unions have a history of ties to organized crime, pressuring people to join the union against their will, using union money against the best interests of union members, etc. And probably most importantly, having a really, really crappy and adversarial relationship to the company. Since that's not the kind of thing our organization would want, picking a word other than "union" would more accurately reflect to US players what we stand for.

We've already seen extensive feedback on US Magic sites of an instinctive negative reaction to the organization based on the name. I'd hoped it would die down after we started to show what we were actually all about but unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be happening. I'm afraid the name will turn out to be an unnecessary long-term liability.

I'd suggest using the name "Mtg Player's Organization". Its a nice neutral term and the initials MPO aren't overused according to Google. "Mtg Player's Association" wouldn't be bad either but the initials are more widely used.

Ya, the name is here to stay unless Levy decides to change it otherwise in his own manner.

In fact I like it left that way anyway to keep it nice, raw, and real. If it were one of the other names that you have referenced then it wouldn't make much of an impact than "Union" to tell the world "we mean more than something!"
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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  ZMaples on Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:34 am

I am a member of a workers union in the US and I don't find anything negative about it. As far as I'm concerned having a union job means, good benefits, nice pay scale, and I can't get fired unless I steal or assault.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  Reindeercards on Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:45 am

mercenarybdu wrote:
In fact I like it left that way anyway to keep it nice, raw, and real. If it were one of the other names that you have referenced then it wouldn't make much of an impact than "Union" to tell the world "we mean more than something!"

I'm not sure I understand what point you are making. Are you saying there is an advantage to having 30-50% of US players misunderstand our purpose and goals and thus be hostile to us based on that misunderstanding?

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  Reindeercards on Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:47 am

ZMaples wrote:I am a member of a workers union in the US and I don't find anything negative about it. As far as I'm concerned having a union job means, good benefits, nice pay scale, and I can't get fired unless I steal or assault.

I understand that completely. But I think you are aware that your positive feeling toward the word "union" isn't universally shared. If Levy had originally chosen to call us the "Mtg Players Association", there wouldn't be any urging to change the name to "Union" to take advantage of the warm fuzzy feelings the word evokes.

I don't personally find anything inherently negative about it. I think having bad feelings toward a whole class of organizations, such as unions, due to the abusive behavior which comes to light from time to time from some of them is a little weird. You might as well turn into an anarchist whenever a government anywhere does something wrong.

Whether the word "union" should or shouldn't generate positive or negative feelings isn't at issue. As I understand it, our goal here isn't to promote the concept of unions or to debate whether unions are overall good or bad. In fact, I'd much prefer to avoid those conversations: you might as well discuss whose religion is right and whose is wrong.

What is at issue is whether using the word "union" will hamper efforts to reach out to players who haven't already joined us. Maybe it seems dumb for people to not join us in making the Magic tournament scene a better place because they're hung up on the word "union". But its happening whether its dumb or not.

I think its equally dumb to be hung up on keeping the word "union" even if it hurts the organization we're trying to build. Heck, we could call it the "Mtg Players Guild" and most people wouldn't get hung up on "guild" even though it means the same thing as "union".

If Levy has already spent money using the name "Union" and can't afford to change the name, I understand. But if there no good reasons to keep that particular name, this is the time to consider change.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  gleemax on Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:14 am

don't forget that buisness don't like the word "union" either. Hasbro executives that here of the players "union" most likely cringe and assume the worst. Almost every company that doesn't have a union, is anti union. When I started working for General Dollar, we had to watch a 50 minute training video about how bad unions were. Even though we knew it was crap, they showed it just to justify firing anyone who so much as spoke about a petition for adding another coke machine to the break room. My point is that using the word "union" not only gives some players the wrong impression, but not using it will make our dealing with hasbro much easier. Do you think investors are going to like seeing that WotC changed anything based on the "Unions" ideas? Most likely this is one of the reasons why WotC can't offically recognize us.

That being said, the downside to the name change is that we already have established it and many people are familar with it. If we are going to change it needs to be real soon and it needs to be something very similar like "Magic Players United". I think the work united is what we really wanted to mean anyway.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  mercenarybdu on Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:17 am

Reindeercards wrote:
mercenarybdu wrote:
In fact I like it left that way anyway to keep it nice, raw, and real. If it were one of the other names that you have referenced then it wouldn't make much of an impact than "Union" to tell the world "we mean more than something!"

I'm not sure I understand what point you are making. Are you saying there is an advantage to having 30-50% of US players misunderstand our purpose and goals and thus be hostile to us based on that misunderstanding?

The world aint a pretty place and I've studied it.
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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  fatguy_poolshark on Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:06 pm

I have to agree one of th biggest issues ive had at posting our case at salvation is the word union in our name. We aren't petitioners ETC and the us populace has bad ideas on unions...

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  gleemax on Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:23 pm

mercenarybdu wrote:
The world aint a pretty place and I've studied it.

Hmm, someone is very Sedge like today.

Anyway, while it seems from the polls that people are slightly preferring to change the name, I offer this concession. Why don't we just go by the acronym? MPU? There’s not much out there that uses these three letters. It allows us to keep the name branding we’ve already established and it keep the word “union” in reserved to be used when we want to. Also MPU will look better on a logo then the whole things spell out.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  MagicRage on Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:36 am

I personally think the Players Union is a final name...

...but I also understand the logic behind replacing the word "Union" in the name because it has clearly caused misconceptions amongst some players and is the source of bias amongst some as well (and potentially Hasbro).

My personal favorite alternate name is MTG Players Association.
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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  kcolloran on Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:06 am

While I'm a supporter of unions, I don't have any problem with a name change. What I do want is to make sure that the name change reflects what this group is for. I want to make sure the name conveys this is a group for organizing and protecting players interests, not just a place for players to hang out. If you can think of a better word for that than "union" I'm all ears. But I doubt you'll find one.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  BurnBait on Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:28 am

I think we should complete what we first sought to do. This argument over semantics is doing nothing more than detracting from the message the MtGPU seeks to further, whether it has to do with pro tours, or casual formats. Would you seriously join a union based on its merits, when that union spent more time deciding what to call their various boards and chairs than they did protecting the interests of their members? Do people actually care what you call yourselves, when the message is so blatantly displayed? How could you possibly think that something like the word 'Union' would seriously derail people? Just sayin.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  Reindeercards on Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:05 am

BurnBait wrote: How could you possibly think that something like the word 'Union' would seriously derail people?

Because I read what they're saying.


Unions are terrible in most cases

-from a store owner who has the largest FNM in his state. His store hosts PTQs and his opinion is respected. He's qualified for PT Hollywood on rating.


I wholeheartedly agree. While Unions may have been necessary a hundred years ago, today they only lie and intimidate in order to maintain their power/existence. At least, that's my experience with them. On a similar note: Unions are basically socialism in the workplace. Socialism doesn't work outside of the workplace. Why should it suddenly work in the workplace?

As for a Pro-Tour Player Union for Magic, it's just silly.

-response from another respected store owner who hosts PTQs

While I wouldn't necessarily agree that they "only lie and intimidate", I do agree that by far and large, unions are simply not needed...

I could probably think of a couple of better adjectives to describe the people involved (completely bum-fuck crazy comes to mind) "silly" is probably as good a term as any. I think that the people driving the movement are in dire need of a serious reality check.

-PTA

I wonder how long it will take before people remember how useless unions are now.

-another PTA


Please indulge me and explain to me how useless unions are as I seem to still be one of the people under the impression they work...

Also for the record. A MTG players union is ridiculous.

-yet another PTA


These discussions are taking place in forums and game stores across the US. People here who don't like unions tend to REALLY dislike unions and are vocal about it. And when they're vocal about it, there's inevitably a group of people cheering the union-bashing.

One of the reasons union membership has dropped so drastically in the US in recent decades is that there's an anti-union environment out there created by a very vocal minority.

I don't see any advantages in deliberately embroiling ourselves in that issue and in doing so create a permanent very vocal "anti-Mtg Players Union" minority of players in the US.


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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  BurnBait on Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:00 am

There's basic anti-union sentiment. Fine. However, any person in a position to affect the outcome of this decision isn't one to take the name of such an important facet of the current game at face value. Someone like MaRo couldn't, for instance. If he were to get his facts incorrect, he'd get publically sandblasted. Anyone who could be so easily swayed by such an ambiguous name about an organization that's so blatantly NOT a union isn't someone I'd consider to be capable of enough rational thought for it to truly matter whether they backed us, or for it to be a detriment if they didn't. I'm not, of course saying that any of the persons confessing qualms over this issue are incapable of rational thought, for I know that they wouldn't let their opinions be so easily twisted if they were here in the first place, but rather that the faceless masses you quote seem to be rather flawed in their recognition of the styled "completely bum-fuck crazy" people's beliefs and ideals. Not people I'd consider for the fair and unbiased award, 2008.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  Reindeercards on Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:20 am

BurnBait wrote:There's basic anti-union sentiment. Fine. However, any person in a position to affect the outcome of this decision isn't one to take the name of such an important facet of the current game at face value. Someone like MaRo couldn't, for instance.

No, WotC officials won't make decisions based on the name. Their decisions will however be affected by how many players we represent.

If players don't join us due to the name, something which is demonstrably happening now, it weakens our position when dealing with WotC.

rather that the faceless masses you quote

I can give you the names and phone numbers of the two storeowners I quoted so you can talk to them yourself if that'd make you feel any better.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  kcolloran on Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:56 pm

I've got it. Since unions are clearly the work of the devil and are only favored by dirty communist hippies we should go the entirely other direction and call ourselves "The MtG Players Corporation." Rolling Eyes

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  Reindeercards on Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:19 pm

kcolloran wrote:I've got it. Since unions are clearly the work of the devil and are only favored by dirty communist hippies we should go the entirely other direction and call ourselves "The MtG Players Corporation." Rolling Eyes

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/CORPORATION

1 a: a group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild

I think the Magic Online Trading League already has that angle covered. Laughing

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  kcolloran on Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:51 pm

They might have the angle covered, but the name is open. And since the goal is to clearly send the message that we're a good American group that's all about money the name suits us to a tee. Wink

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  gleemax on Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:30 pm

kcolloran wrote:They might have the angle covered, but the name is open. And since the goal is to clearly send the message that we're a good American group that's all about money the name suits us to a tee. Wink

Hmmm, we want to be a well liked American group? Lets become " The Church of MtG Players of Latter Day MaRo. Rolling Eyes

Also, since only 4 people voted for the name to stay, and we've seemed to hear from all of them? Lets hear more from the majority that wants it changed.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  mercenarybdu on Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:10 am

gleemax wrote:
kcolloran wrote:They might have the angle covered, but the name is open. And since the goal is to clearly send the message that we're a good American group that's all about money the name suits us to a tee. Wink

Hmmm, we want to be a well liked American group? Lets become " The Church of MtG Players of Latter Day MaRo. Rolling Eyes

Also, since only 4 people voted for the name to stay, and we've seemed to hear from all of them? Lets hear more from the majority that wants it changed.

Actually this is an international group.

Although it is classified as an American idea isn't all that American as we have attributes scribbled in here and there that make it so international.
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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  gleemax on Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:15 am

mercenarybdu wrote:
gleemax wrote:
kcolloran wrote:They might have the angle covered, but the name is open. And since the goal is to clearly send the message that we're a good American group that's all about money the name suits us to a tee. Wink

Hmmm, we want to be a well liked American group? Lets become " The Church of MtG Players of Latter Day MaRo. Rolling Eyes

Also, since only 4 people voted for the name to stay, and we've seemed to hear from all of them? Lets hear more from the majority that wants it changed.

Actually this is an international group.

Although it is classified as an American idea isn't all that American as we have attributes scribbled in here and there that make it so international.

Sir I think your sarcasm detector is broken. You might want to get that fixed before continuing to use the Internet.
Shocked

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  kcolloran on Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:07 pm

I'm actually not opposed to changing the name. And I haven't voted in the poll I don't think. I was mainly objecting to the voicing the opinions of people who know nothing about what unions. I don't really think it's up for debate that their our people who have knee-jerk adverse reactions to the word "union". And while I think they're wrong to do so, it's not worth the time to try to change their minds, at least vis-a-vis this group.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  occisor on Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:12 pm

Also, since only 4 people voted for the name to stay, and we've seemed to hear from all of them? Lets hear more from the majority that wants it changed.

My reason for wnating the name changed is a matter of representation. The name at present suggests that the majority of players are to be represented by the union. In fact it is only a small proportion of players and is predominantly concerned with the issues affecting this player group (mainly pro and aspiring players).

The union represents PTQ players (also referred to as Pro Tour Aspirants, PTAs) and pro players (20+ pro points), not the casual players, i.e. the people that are hunting for Pro Points and that are most affected by the changes described above.

Surely a Union should be named to reflect the people it represents? As an Eternal format player, these changes without a doubt have an impact on my section of the community - but since (rightly) the union is focused on how things effect the Pro tour and related organised play I don't expect it to consider how the sort of changes going on at them moment will affect my niche of the community - therefoe it shouldn't suggest it represents the eternal community.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  gleemax on Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:23 am

occisor wrote:
Also, since only 4 people voted for the name to stay, and we've seemed to hear from all of them? Lets hear more from the majority that wants it changed.

My reason for wnating the name changed is a matter of representation. The name at present suggests that the majority of players are to be represented by the union. In fact it is only a small proportion of players and is predominantly concerned with the issues affecting this player group (mainly pro and aspiring players).

The union represents PTQ players (also referred to as Pro Tour Aspirants, PTAs) and pro players (20+ pro points), not the casual players, i.e. the people that are hunting for Pro Points and that are most affected by the changes described above.

Surely a Union should be named to reflect the people it represents? As an Eternal format player, these changes without a doubt have an impact on my section of the community - but since (rightly) the union is focused on how things effect the Pro tour and related organised play I don't expect it to consider how the sort of changes going on at them moment will affect my niche of the community - therefoe it shouldn't suggest it represents the eternal community.


Ah now that's interesting and why i asked for more voters for a name change to speak. So it's not so much the "union" part you don't like. it's the "MtG Players" part. So maybe something like "Pro Player Association" would be better for you. See this is the kind of feedback we need in order to compare what we've got with what we might want to change it too. I'll let the others argue about your comments, but I really think this is the kind of coversations we need in order to set a name in place (or keep what we've got) and move along.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

Post  kcolloran on Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:34 am

In that case it should be perhaps "The Tournament Players Association". The group is mostly for pros and pro-aspirants, but can and should represent other tournament players as well.

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Re: Are we committed to "Mtg Players Union" being the official name?

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