PROTRADER: Fire Wil Wheaton, and the Rest of PAX 2015

By: Travis Allen

The Shame of Seattle

Seriously. Did you watch the Saturday night PAX preview show? Juvenile actor turned soulless coalescence of toothless and vapid internet culture Wil Wheaton was joined by Ashly Burch—voice actor for a Borderlands 2 throwaway NPC, pedo-magnet, and 2012’s instance of companion cube Tiny Tina—to ham-fistedly bumble through skin-crawlingly awkward and forced dialogue that never missed an opportunity to remind the crowd that hey, we’re nerds just like you, we read Reddit and also know what memes are.

Within seconds, Wil had made an out-of-place and inappropriate “tap the police” joke, immediately followed by a slow, obvious explanation of the joke, attempting to wring any semblance of humor out of the flat reception. Within two minutes, we were treated twice to Wil regurgitating the tired cultural expression “that’s a thing,” met with near complete silence from an audience collectively wishing an aneurysm would free them from this violation of the Geneva Conventions.

For the entire rest of the hour-long presentation, every single time an Eldrazi appeared on screen, or someone said Eldrazi, or someone made the mistake of talking to him, Wil made a point of explaining how much of a fan he was of the Eldrazi and how much he hated allies, a fact that nobody cared about whatsoever before he said it once, much less the fifth or sixth time.

While every second he was on stage I was forced to weigh the excitement of new spoilers with the torture that was his continued presence, there were two moments that stood as shining beacons of his worthlessness, and I’m unsure which was more excruciating. The first was when he mistakenly said “buying” instead of “earning” in reference to acquiring coins in Magic Duels. He made a point to correct himself, and in the process referred to the clenching butthole of the legal department. And then the butthole of corporate. And then the collective buttholes of all of Seattle. It was a machine gun comedy of errors, and at any point in time he could have recovered by simply moving beyond his childish and immature butthole-oriented diatribe. Instead, he chose to make everyone in the room squirm at what they knew would result in a dressing down by whichever highest-ranking Wizards employee happened to be standing nearby the next time he walked off stage.

Or perhaps it was when he slipped “not all Eldrazi” into his inane “look at me, you’ve seen me on the internet before” drivel, quickly and casually normalizing the structure of “not all men,” a misogynistic hashtag that sought to marginalize the domestic abuse and violence suffered by women, which was shared through #YesAllWomen. Using this hashtag structure in such an offhanded way, aside from being yet another attempt to remind you that HEY I READ THINGS ON THE INTERNET JUST LIKE YOU SO YOU SHOULD CONSIDER ME RELATABLE, reveals how flippantly he regards vile, toxic attitudes.

Wil Wheaton, and to a lesser extent Ashly Burch, managed to make every single person in that room uncomfortable with his insistence that we like him simply because he browses the front page of Reddit every morning from the computer he bought with money earned while poorly performing as an ironically liked character from a science fiction show more than twenty years old. That Wizards continues to use him in its media campaigns is an insult to Magic fans everywhere. Such blatant pandering, and with such a poor tool, comes across painfully clearly as nothing more than a blunt, flailing attempt by marketing to connect with a demographic they’re having trouble understanding, even as that demographic continues to shower them with money. Do you think anyone in the top four of the World Championships, set to take place less than a day later, enjoyed his presence on that stage? Wizards, please stop using fleshy homunculuses stuffed with lame internet culture to sell us a product we’re already eager to buy. Treat us as people rather than a subreddit.

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30 thoughts on “PROTRADER: Fire Wil Wheaton, and the Rest of PAX 2015”

  1. I started reading this, and stopped when I realized I was reading a trolling hate post from some kind of kids forum.

    So I stopped. Is it worth reading the rest of the article, or is he only going to rant about that actor? I’m not paying for hate messages that belong on a forum.

    1. For some reason, the top part is pure adolescent vitriol, then if you pay for pro-trader, he doesn’t mention it ever again (and talks about the cards).

    2. I have to agree with Travis though. Despite the lexicon he uses, the fact that Wheaton was made host for the PAX preview shows just how little Wizards regards Magic players and fans from a public relations perspective.

  2. What was all that garbage at the top of this article? We get it, you hate Wil Wheaton. But everything you wrote made YOU sound like a pretentious ass. Just look at the verbiage you use in the first full sentence…

    “Wil Wheaton, juvenile actor turned soulless coalescence of toothless and vapid internet culture, was joined by Ashly Burch, voice actor of Borderlands 2 throwaway NPC, pedo-magnet, and 2012’s instance of companion cube Tiny Tina, to ham-fistedly bumble through skin-crawlingly awkward and forced dialog that never missed an opportunity to remind the crowd that hey, we’re nerds just like you, we read Reddit and also know what memes are.”

    You think that’s good journalism? Think again.

    1. It’s not about journalism, it’s about MTG Finance. Corbin does journalism. Travis does good ‘money’ calls (to be fair, so does Corbin).

      1. What does a personal attack on Wheaton have to do with MTG Finance?

        Wil didn’t do a good job at the preview show, not close, nobody is arguing that, but the personal attacks are ridiculous.

  3. Leaving aside the insane tirade against Wil Wheaton because that’s been adequately covered in other comments:

    “That means that if you open a promo Prairie Stream in a limited event, you may use it. If it’s a Flooded Strand, tough cookies.” – Not so. If you open these in Limited, you’re fine to play them. Wizards have explicitly stated this – I believe MaRo mentioned it during the preview show (although I could be wrong on that point),

    It’s a shame you decided to preface what is otherwise a very solid article with a giant steaming turd, but hey, it’s your article, do what the hell you want I guess.

    1. I am wrong about MaRo – he left the stage before the promo type things were spoiled. However, he has since made mention of it on his Tumblr.

  4. Well… All I have to say about Wil Wheaton is that every time I read his name I say it in Stewie’s whisper voice… Dude is a joke, I thought we all knew that.

    As for the meat of the article, I think the key point for speculators is: “don’t forget that they’re going to dramatically suppress the value of every single non-promo card in BFZ.” So we really need to be careful about speculating on non-foil, non-promo cards in this set. Prices are going to just keep on crashing for a very long time.

    And what about Animist’s Awakening???

    “Nissa’s Pilgrimage only gets basics. That’s…it. Huh. Alright. If there’s a landfall-matters seed that we haven’t found yet, it’s a little deeper than I’ve looked so far. If we expand our search to any card with the word “land” on it, we find Magmatic Insight and Molten Vortex I guess. Hrmph. Perhaps you’ll find something spicier than I will.”

    Ya… Animist’s Awakening. How the hell did you miss that one? Its all I’ve been talking about for a week on the forums and its already doubled up in the past few days. I alerted people to buy in under $1. Guess you were busy with Wil Wheaton (Whhhil Whhheaton… Dammit Stewie, shut-up!)

    1. Awakening isn’t necessarily a bad idea. I was looking for cards that specifically interacted with land types though, not landfall in general. Thanks for pointing the card out though.

    2. I have to wonder though, why is Animist’s Awakening a good spec? I mean apart from hype because it has the word ‘land’ written on it somewhere. From all I can see it’s a terrible card on its own – if you are very lucky you get to play two lands for 5 mana, and they don’t even come into play untapped unless you meet another condition. Unless there is some kind of great combo I don’t know about I don’t see how this card could ever be useful.

  5. I finally couldn’t continue reading and decided to jump down to the comments to tell you .. then I noticed I wasn’t alone.

    You have provided a bunch of great information for myself and other members time and again. This wasn’t one of those times lol. Take a breath my friend. Wil is full of himself- ok- but you went on to write a repetitive teenage rant sprinkled with the info I actually came here for. I became a paid member MOSTLY to bypass
    -This content is only available to protraders-
    But if the direction is turning towards ridiculous rants I’m going to be losing interest quickly.

    Still love you man …but resist the urge to use your 30 year old job to present your 13 year old angst.

  6. Wow, you sure miss a lot when you ignore the tone.

    Wil was playing up the rather goofy part of an enthusiastic but clearly not overly bright eldrazi supporter, one who is trying to rile up the audience with what is assumed to be a contradictory view. This was never meant to be a serious, look at me, this is what I think, it was a goofy character bit . His statements and arguments were never serious or meant to actually gain sympathy “cmon guys, all they want is to be let out to eat”, and should have been pretty clearly seen as what they are.

    The use of #notalleldrazi is better seen as a *mocking* #notallmen, through it’s use by a buffoonish caricature of a character the audience is not meant to relate to , something you see pretty commonly in just about any form of media.

  7. Doesn’t Animist’s Awakening bring the tango lands into play untapped with spell mastery? Avoids some of the need to run basics.

  8. Jesus christ, is this the kind of article I’ll expect to see going forward? I don’t pay to see that kind of bullshit. Please refrain from ranting and raving, this isn’t the place for it.

  9. I’m glad I’m not alone. This was too much.

    Isn’t there an editor who can at least realize it’s stupid if every article starts with the same thing? Both articles today start with the news the PAX presentation was bad.
    This can never pass by an editor I assume.

  10. All the hate against Wil Wheaton at the beginning was really too much. Writing that the show was not the best is one thing, but attacking Wheaton in such a way is

    a) in my opinion totaly unnecessary
    b) at the wrong place, this should be about MtG finance ….

    Regarding the rest of the article, I think BFZ will likely have a similar problem as KTK did. Most of the value will be in the lands … From a limited players perspective it will be even worse, since the chance of opening something of value will most likely be much lower than during KTK. All the hype about the full art lands will generate a surplus of BFZ cards, so no one trading with cards can be that happy about it unless one cracks a lot of packs ….

  11. While I am used to commenters on this and other “MTG Finance” sites stroking the egos of the writers, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I am not alone in my displeasure that such a poorly-written rant could be allowed to pass. Frankly though, I’m not surprised. The editorial standards for the majority of MTG writing on the web is subpar at best and downright awful in most cases. This site is no different, and it’s this poor standard of journalism that keeps me from subscribing to any sort of content hidden behind a paywall.

    My feelings toward paying for “valuable pro MTG financial information” aside, I am disappointed to continuously see that MTG-oriented sites generally refuse to improve their editorial standards. Writers of all stripes, professional or not, should always be striving to improve the quality of their work. Instead, what we find here is an entitled soapbox rant with no purpose other than to validate one’s own ego. Remember that tearing someone else down doesn’t build you up.

    Travis, I respect that you did not enjoy Wil Wheaton’s work at PAX (I didn’t see it, so I have no opinion on the matter), but I would suggest that you spend more time carefully articulating your thoughts than spewing forth an emotional and incoherent flame of a post. This is exactly the kind of thing “draft” buttons were made for. Take some time to calm down before you publish something you may later regret or make you look foolish.

  12. I am not paying for useless, immature diatribe like this. Next time I see this kind of crap, i’m cancelling my protrader subscription.

  13. I thought maybe Travis was going over the top with the Wil Wheaton hate, then I watched the PAX panel.

    Fuck Wil Wheaton. I guess if you’re some depressed cellar dweller you’d find offense. But be true to yourself, look inside and not to some heavily medicated former teen star for strength.

  14. I just think it’s funny that haters are hating on the hater for hating. I don’t mind if people switch it up every now and then. I enjoy all the articles, and the personalities of the authors. Tell us about your childhood memories, your hate of presenters, your thoughts on MaRo. So what if people disagree. isn’t ALWAYS strictly finance, it’s about everything, and I prefer it that way. I always give people props for putting themselves out there, no matter how much others think it inappropriate. So props for not editing it after all these negative responses.

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