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On Going Pro At Magic - The Gathering 108

VonGuard writes "It's been 12 years since Magic: the Gathering was released, by WotC, and the game is now six million players strong. The East Bay Express has a long-form piece narrating the trials and tribulations of a man who's trying to turn pro at this addictive trading card game . Richard Garfield is always demanding the mind athletes be treated with the same respect as physical athletes. As you can see in the story, however, we're not quite there yet."
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On Going Pro At Magic - The Gathering

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  • I can't believe (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @06:59PM (#8184333) Homepage Journal
    people still play this game. It was a fad that every geek got into when I was in middle school, so oh about 9 to 10 years ago. Then it died. Alliances was the last expansion I remember, and it came out just as I stopped playing.

    I've met people who still play, and I see them at the local game store. But I just don't understand them anymore. In the early days it was cool because CCGs were a new thing. And Magic was the first big one. Nowadays though, it is no longer a game of skill or strategy. It is a game of money. Whoever has the most money can buy the best deck that wins instantly. I see it happen all the time at the store.

    I'm not going to rant and rave about all the stupidities and problems with CCGs, but let me just say this. Save your money and buy a game where skill determines victory as opposed to luck or money. I highly suggest German Board Games like Puerto Rico and El Grande. Also any of the non-collectible card games from Looney Labs like Nanofictionary, Chrononauts or Fluxx are excellent.

    Seriously, who the fuck still plays magic!?!?! It's incomprehensible.
  • Expensive sport (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jmpoast ( 736629 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @07:08PM (#8184428)
    I played magic when I was younger. The reason I stopped? The endless expantions. Not only did they keep adding more and more cards to the game (not all bad but games took forever as people tried to figure out what each card did after it was played) but you have to keep upgrading your decks with new packs. And you can't just buy the cards you want. You have to keep buying packs until you happen to be lucky enough to get them. It got very expensive very fast as your pile of worthless cards kept growing and every once in a while you added something good.

    The only games I could still bring myself to play are the 1 pack tournaments. Everyone gets one brand new pack of cards, and thats all you have to play with. This forced you to think on the fly and develop strategy as you drew cards because you couldn't set up the deck beforehand. Quite a fun way to play (allthough you still had to buy a new pack every time you wanted to play it)
  • by daVinci1980 ( 73174 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @08:06PM (#8185017) Homepage
    Mind athletes?? The last time I checked, an Athlete is someone who required good physical attributes in order to be sucessful. The term "Mind Athlete" makes no sense whatsoever.

    You might want to consider your own references [] before calling a definition incorrect:

    3. One fitted for, or skilled in, intellectual contests; as, athletes of debate.
  • by metroid composite ( 710698 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @08:06PM (#8185020) Homepage Journal
    Consider Bridge, which was on display at the Olympics recently. Consider Chess, which is in similarly high regard. Consider competitions like Math Counts [] which are clear academic games. Alternatively Reach for the Top [] for a more trivia-based pursuit. Or, the program I've gotten heavily suckered into, which is a battle of creative problem solving the Future Problem Solving Program [] or its rival Odyssey of the Mind []. ALL of these are taught to gifted children in many schools.

    Magic the Gathering, on the other hand, is deplored by some fundamentalist christians for the pictures it uses, known perhaps more for its business side than its academic side, and continually changing the dynamic of the game.

    Don't get me wrong, it's already harder for an intellectual athlete to get funding to go to international meets for the more traditional academic competitions, and a local basketball trophy will usually be more proudly displayed than an international medal even for the better accepted intelectual athletics. I just think MtG is likely to generate even less respect.

  • Fair enough (Score:3, Interesting)

    by obeythefist ( 719316 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2004 @11:05PM (#8186490) Journal
    It's amazing they're still selling Magic cards. Each new release contains more powerful cards (obviously, to ensure people want to buy new boosters).

    I'm surprised they haven't gotten to the point that there's a 1 colourless rare artifact with T:Defeat target opponent.

    That's what stopped me playing the game really. Although every now and then I'll play multiplayer with a group of friends. Some of the guys use proxies, I didn't like that to start with but proxies are definately better than having everyone sink bucketloads of money into new cards all the time. And multiplayer games are a lot more relaxing than sweaty duels with nerds who consider winning more important than life itself!

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's