Angelica Okimoto – TCG’s and Relationships

Hi there, it’s Angelica Okimoto (A.K.A. Matt’s wife). I was asked by Matt to write an article on what it’s like to be a spouse of a card player. I hope this article isn’t too boring; but I just wanted to give a background on what the spouses go through.

Matt and I started playing the game once it came out. I remember when he found out the game was going to have a TCG, and he was counting down the days to when it came out. Playing WOW TCG with him, I knew how he would be once this game came out. LOTS of play testing and spending weekends going to tournaments. I asked myself, “What would be different this time around?”. This time around was completely different. When playing WOW, I started playing the game after it was out for a while, so I never got to experience what everything entitles from the beginning. When final fantasy came out, I remember going to Henry’s card shop and there were 4 of us playing in this small space. It has amazed me to see from those 4 people to what it is now. Matt worked so hard to make the community grow; and all I could do was say, “You know I’ll support you with everything you decide to do, and I’m here if you need anything”.

From there, Matt told me about MetaPotion. I thought it was a cool idea, but I had no clue how much work it was going to be. I remember sitting next to him while he was creating the website since that’s that only way I could spend time with him at that moment. Seeing him spend hours of his time (and taking away from our family time) to create the website, get shops to participate in tournaments, and then finally having the tournaments, all that hard work paid off and it was cool that I was there to experience it all.

What I don’t think some people see is how much time the spouses give up to support the players. I know it’s a sacrifice; but I feel like giving up all that time (and I can include Diggle in this) is worth it to see how happy it makes the player. To the spouses out there (if you ever read this); I know it’s hard, I know it sucks, but in the end it’s worth it because it’s what they enjoy. One of the reasons why I got into the game was because I know how Matt is and I knew that would be a way to spend time with him. I can truly say that this has been such an amazing experience. I know I’m not amazing at the game, but it’s so much fun just to go and hang out with the community AND be able to spend time with your spouse.

Last year, Matt and I talked a lot about traveling. We wanted to travel as much as we could for as many Crystal Cups as possible. BUUUUT Matt talked me into getting a puppy. With that, came training the puppy and growing our little family; which meant one of us would have to make the sacrifice of not traveling as much. I know how much Matt enjoys this game, and how important going to the Crystal Cups was; so I was willing to give up traveling with him to take care of Diggle. It was all worth it to see him when he came home and hear about all the fun stories he had to share. Yeah it sucks not being able to travel; but we made it work. May I just suggest to everyone who doesn’t travel with their spouse; make them feel a part of it. When you travel, call them and send them pictures. That’s what made me feel included when I couldn’t be there. It sucked not being physically there to support Matt when playing; but luckily I was able to watch some of the streams which helped.

After going to so many Crystal Cups, Matt was starting to prepare for Nationals. I already knew that I wouldn’t see him the month leading up to it. Luckily I was able to help him play test a lot during the week (if he wasn’t on OCTGN/UNTAP). It was literally every weekend going to tournaments and play testing until 3-4 in the morning, then getting up and play testing more. Seeing how happy he was made all the sacrificing of my time with him worth it.

I guess with all that being said my advice to the players is: Make your spouse feel important and a part of the journey (even if they don’t understand the game). This community is amazing, so even if they don’t play the game, the community will still make them feel welcomed.

My advice to the spouses (if you read this): I know it SUCKS sacrificing all that time so they can go play a card game, but we are their biggest supporters and they know that. Having us behind them will make them go far ☺. If you don’t play the game, still come and hang out!

- Angelica Okimoto

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