Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Barron Vangor Toth: 1973-2008

.:I'm Two Months Late...:.

... but I'll get on my soapbox and say it anyways.

Outside of Magic: The Gathering, the other CCG I played the most was WWE RAW Deal. Since I'm a huge wrestling fan, I think it makes all the sense in the world why I loved it. Barron was one of the two creators of the game, and unlike most other creators, they interact with the players a lot.

I was the second (official) Philippine Manager, and while I mainly dealt with Zhev, I always had an air of respect for Barron.

There were lots of bad decisions made towards the end of Raw Deal, but I always felt that lashing out at Barron by sheer virtue of his being there was tasteless, when he's doing that to promote the game and reach out to the fanbase at the same time. M:tG isn't so lucky to have Richard Garfield visit our forums, or run Yahoogroups to keep us up to speed himself (w-ell, especially since he's not designing anymore, but still...).

Barron was always nice to me in any correspondences we ever had. I liked the way he was thinking, and despite my initial resistance to a "Type II" format, I understood why it was necessary, as it was getting harder and harder to bring in new players to the game as the card pool kept increasing. I had an immense amount of respect and admiration for him and the ever-quiet (until now) Mike Foley, and during the height of Raw Deal, I'd have given my left arm and nut just to be able to work for these guys (And I'm left-handed!). Of course, that never happened, and I never even met Barron, since I'm half a planet away.

Having said that, I really stopped checking up on WWE Raw Deal since the game's "death". I wanted to help out if I could, but I realized I was so out of tune with the game, I'd be more of a hindrance than anything else. I wholeheartedly apologize for showing up only now to thank Barron for everything he's done for this community, a community I still proudly belong to.

I'm shocked to learn of Barron's passing. He was a great man, and his passing moves me far more than Eddie Guerero's, Chris Benoit's or (in the hopefully distant future...) possibly and hypothetically even Undertaker's...

You will be missed, Barron. In my book, this is THE wrestling-"related" passing that has and probably will affect me the most for the rest of my life. You gave us a card game I loved to pieces, and you were a wonderful human being in turn.

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