Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Magic the Gathering: My lifelong addiction

This is Magic. This is how you fall in love with the game.

I just realized something.

I have been addicted to playing card games for the last 12 years.

Oh. My. God.
It all started way back when I was 13.

On the school bus home this kid was showing off his collection of cards. Back then I just got my first super famicom <
the original nintendo for those who don't know> and I thought I was one of the cool cats. But Magic: The gathering or just MTG for short changed my entire outlook on life.

I was never into card games back then. But the coolness of the art <back then it was way cool>, glorious idea of rare, uncommon and common cards, and the wonder of cracking boosters never knowing what you could get, was something that I had never experienced before in my life that it changed my lifestyle aggressively.

You could say that Magic changed my life.

I began pursuing the idea of saving up money by denying myself food to buy boosters. I got a part-time job during school holidays so I could buy boosters. I began to do really really well < try insanely well> in school exams just so I could extort my dad for more pocket money to buy... well... more boosters.

I would spend hours staring and sorting out my collection of cards, thinking of new combos to pull off and days and days playtesting new deck ideas and cards strategies with my neighbours, my friends, my family. I spent overnights with my friends place and not sleep but play the whole day and night of MAGIC that damned game GATHERING.

It was fun. I still blame Richard Garfield.

The idea behind magic was simple. You are this great wizard fighting against other great wizards wielding allegiance to the 5 colors red,blue,green,white and black, each with their own attributes and weaknesses.

You use up magic spells that you have gathered from your library of spells: enchantments, lands, creatures, sorceries, instants, artifacts and plainswalkers. Each of these had their powers that would help you win: if you knew how to tap their energies.

I was an addict.

I was a casual player, as they would term it. But then I got introduced to fun tournaments and competitive playing and was soon even more into it. I became a trader of cards, a competitor in tournaments and a one time SOB. Back then since local tournaments were for big money <they are even more big now, like USD40,000 big.> most people had to be SOB's so they could outplay their tournaments. I kinda lost my heart and became one of them.

But one day after going overseas to study I went to London for their Grand Prix. I was astounded at the quality of play, how people treated each other and how people would rather work on the best play rather than the technical KO to win.

You could say I was humbled by what I saw. I promised myself this: if I ever came back to Malaysia, one day I would open my own Magic shop and show proper play to all the local players and bring back real Magic.

The fun, beautiful game that I know.

Hey mom, look at me now! ^____^ I own Mindslavers!

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