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Subject: Our First Game of Magic: The Gathering rss

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Corey Butler
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Marshall
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My wife is generally more observant than me, so while I was browsing through a stack of old D&D supplements, she spotted a new card game by the cash register at our local game shop. This was the Wizard's Den in Bangor Maine. I was in my fourth year of graduate school at the University of Maine, up the road in Orono. It was the summer of 1993.

"I don't know..." I hesitated. I didn't think much of card games at the time. Simple minded games of chance. I preferred real games like chess and Axis and Allies. And Dungeons and Dragons, of course. AD&D, mind you. I never did upgrade to 2nd edition rules. I played AD&D sporadically until 3rd edition came out. I got the first print run of the 3rd edition Players Handbook at GenCon that year and was hooked.

But back to our story. I stared disdainfully at the small brown boxes. "Come on, let's try it," Barb was insisting. Well, she often turns out to be right about these kinds of things. We bought a couple of decks and went home to read the rules. I'm pretty sure Barb read the rules while I made dinner. It's a collectible game. What, like baseball cards? Yeah sort of. That's interesting. We shuffled the decks and sat down to play.

That's right, we shuffled them like poker cards. No one had thought about card sleeves yet, and if they had been at the store I certainly wouldn't have bought them. Plastic sleeves for playing cards? What are you kidding me?

It was a fun little game. There was nothing like it. It was way better than that other new game we had recently tried, The Great Khan Game. We must have played a couple dozen times over the next few weeks. There was a rule at the time that the loser had to give a card to the winner, so our decks changed slightly as we alternated winning and losing. That's the way they used to play marbles, or so I'm told. Nice idea, but not really possible after the game evolved and the cards became more valuable.

After a while the novelty wore off and the play became repetitive. There weren't any expansions or supplement packs around, and even if they were I probably wouldn't have wanted to buy them. I certainly wasn't going to shell out for another full box. Pay more for a game I've already bought? What are you kidding me?

Well, fall semester started and I got busy teaching and trying to finish my dissertation. The curious little game was forgotten and pushed into a closet somewhere. I honestly don't know what happened to our cards. I think I eventually sold them for a couple of bucks to this guy, Izzo who was the only other person I knew who played the game.

Magic: The Gathering slipped into memory. Until several years later, when I noticed the game again and saw that it was becoming really popular. By that time I wasn't so interested anymore. An exciting new game called The Settlers of Catan had caught my attention.

Still, I wish I hadn't gotten rid of those cards. The only one I remember now was a card with a cool jade statue on it. I did play Magic again many years later, but I never got into it. I guess I missed my window.

If I ever see Izzo again, I might ask him for that jade statue card. It would make a nice bookmark.
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rico
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This guy?

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Corey Butler
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That's the guy!
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Bill Cook
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>> There was a rule at the time that the loser had to give a card to the winner, so our decks changed slightly as we alternated winning and losing.

I remember that. When did that stop?
 
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jumbit
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EMBison wrote:
>> There was a rule at the time that the loser had to give a card to the winner, so our decks changed slightly as we alternated winning and losing.

I remember that. When did that stop?


Playing a game for a material reward was considered gambling, so they got in trouble for that. Moreover there was no rule about if you turned up a land. Do you deal another card, or keep the land? It didn't say and that led to a lot of arguments among us.

Quote:
That's right, we shuffled them like poker cards. No one had thought about card sleeves yet, and if they had been at the store I certainly wouldn't have bought them. Plastic sleeves for playing cards? What are you kidding me?


Why wouldn't you riffle shuffle them? They're cards, that's what you do with them. It's not like they were worth anything. IIRC card sleeves didn't even exist back then. They only appeared because single MTG cards began to be worth fifty and even one hundred dollars (Dr. Evil pinky).
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