Well met Planeswalkers. Our plane has seem to encountered an ice age, so i hope you all have been practicing those red spells. We are gonna need all the fireballs we can conjure. Actually reminds me of this time i got this fantastic hot sauce i got from this goblin on Lorwyn. In fact i’m not sure if it was even hot sauce. Anyway, it tasted fantastic on pizza. Side effects may include being called “Flameblast Dragon” for a while.
I sometimes wonder if our ancestors saw the kind of world we lived in if they would call it magical. We carry around “Magic” devices that can instantly communicate with other people. Our doctors heal and treat almost miraculously. We can look up and predict the weather weeks in advance. We exchange our currency invisibly sometimes even. With the creation of the internet we have endless storage and immeasurable amounts of knowledge and information. Our games have also moved majority wise, online. It is much easier for us to keep our library of games online. We even go as far as to create online economies and currencies.
In 2002 Wizards of the Coast introduced Magic the Gathering online (MTGO for short). An online version of the physical card game. Players could turn on their computers, log into their MTGO accounts at any time they saw fit and play any format they chose. MTGO even allowed you to open digital booster packs (foils included). This also created a massive online economy much like in real life. Players could buy, sell and trade their cards for in game prices. Picture this, You wake up at 6 in the morning and find out you get a snow day. You grab a cup of coffee, make whatever breakfast you desire, log onto MTGO and draft as many times as you want. You don’t have to leave your living room. You don’t even have to put on pants.
As you can see the appeal for online play is very strong. So strong in fact that in 2007, 5 years after MTGO launched, Worth Wollpert ( a former MTG player turned Wizard’s employee and director of the Magic Digital Studio) revealed that MTGO is “somewhere between 30% to 50% of the total Magic business.” That’s an impressive number. The internet has been a driving force behind Magic’s success. It is something we shouldn’t forget.
With the popularity of online games being so easily accessible to us, we forget how precious games actually are. Games are incredibly important to us as species. With our everyday lives we are faced with a lot of ups and downs. We find success and failure at our jobs, with our families and with our goals. Gaming gives us another chance to achieve something. To help curb the anxiety of maybe not succeeding in one certain part of our lives. Games are not just entertainment, but stem from a desire to achieve goals and reach self-fulfillment. An excellent example of this is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. Showing we as a species have certain criteria that need to be met for other parts of of our lives to feel fulfilled.
I game often both online and offline. After work i find gaming a good way to escape the failures or to enhance the successes of the day. My wife always is baffled why after a stressful day i come home, play a game and start getting loud at the TV. She would ask ” Wouldn’t you rather relax then keep getting upset at a game?”. I still haven’t figure out how to make her understand i AM relaxing when i’m speaking like a sailor at my games. All i know is i need to game. I need that challenge like a mild caffeine addiction. Games have and always will be incredibly necessary for us a species.
I prefer my paper magic cards over my online ones. I always will. I come from a generation where the internet didn’t even exist for a while. Weird to say that. As much as i find pleasure playing video games, there is nothing like sitting down at a table across from someone and pitting your mind against theirs. Not through a computer monitor. Pitting mind against mind, the sweat beading on your opponents face, the laughter from amazing plays and the disappointment from misplays are emotions you don’t get from online play. Holding your freshly sleeved deck in your hands. One you’ve crafted with your own hands and put each card in delicately making sure it deserves a slot. Your trade binder, sorted and kept safe within your backpack. Books and pens and paper and dice. Stacks of board games and all the pieces. i can’t imagine a day when we don’t have this anymore. It actually frightens me.
Kapow exists, as do many other stores because of people who love gaming. They love everything i just described with such a passion they have made careers out of it. I am surrounded by people who help light that fire in others. The world needs a little more deckboxes and fewer xboxes.
Thanks for reading the Menagerie this week. Here is this weeks schedule:
Monday-Modern, 6pm $8 entry
Tuesday -Standard Showdown, 8$ entry and Showdown boosters, 6 pm
Thursday- Casual Commander, FREE and FUN!
Friday-FNM, Modern, Commander and Draft $18. 6 pm. Modern and Commander are FREE events
Saturday- Casual Commander #2, 1 pm, FREE and MORE FUN