I am very strange, at least I feel that way. I used to play a lot of the game Magic The Gathering. I collected these cards, used them to play the game, playing the game with a good bit of interest. It gets hard though, playing the game with live cards because they wear out, and when you are looking at cards that are sometimes very expensive individually, or in sets, as I’ll talk about shortly, there comes a tipping point where you can no longer play the game because putting any more stress on the cards would destroy their worth. Friends move. Sometimes it can be hard to lose touch with them, but when you are essentially playing a game —imagine shuffling a deck of baseball cards with a few vintage Pete Rose cards in there fifteen times a weekend for two years. It’s going to get beat up and lose value.
I got in around the days of the game’s 4th edition. Now on their twentieth, that collection kept in baseball card notebook cases for years in the bottom of my closet sold for a pretty penny. I let them all go to a collector looking for a complete set of some early dual land cards. A friend’s son helped me do it. I love that kid (now a wonderful, married young man compared to 4th edition days) wish I saw him more often. I let them all go. Well, nearly. I have a couple of decks somewhere in storage. The point is, I can’t play with regular cards. I can’t shuffle them. I was starting to get iffy on getting them out anyway because my favorite cards (I’m looking cards like you, Hypnotic Specter) were just getting too old to use. So, I let them all go at once.
There were a couple of attempts at a Magic card game on the computer. I tried them all. Now we have Magic The Gathering Arena, a new PC based version of the game and I think it’s completely brilliant. I’d still like to see more classic cards show up, but now there is a place where gamers can show up, play the game, devise decks, and go at it in mini-tournament games. Cards never fall apart, though there’s no way I can see to trade or sell them back, the trade-off of being able to a) find a game just about any time, and b) use your favorites over and over without fear of degradation is fantastic. I just pray they keep this one up. It is delightful.
As I continue recovering from GBS I still do not have the hand strength to shuffle a deck of cards. With Arena, I can play again, as I’ve never played before, and I can do it all with my stylus.
If you played it before, invest, at least a little, and get into this one. It is highly worth it. The graphics are good, the way card effects stack and appear, showing you the order in which they will resolve is brilliant.