Monday, March 19, 2012

Magic: The Gathering

Hi, I'm T.J. I've been adopted as the 4th blogger for Mormon Geeks, and, in my judgment, the least qualified to be called "geek" in comparison to my 3 cohorts. Also, I've dubbed us "The Four Planeswalkers of Geekdom." Let me reintroduce you to all of us.

By the way, I'm a pretty big fan of playing Magic: The Gathering. And that is what this post will be about.

I've heard many criticisms by people of faith (irregardless of what denomination that is) referring to things like Harry Potter and Twilight as "of the devil." From what I understand, if it's not canonized, we should NOT be reading/watching it. What a boring life these people must lead. And how much you wanna bet their lives aren't that great anyway.

This post is actually about something else: Magic: The Gathering. When my older brother started playing this game with his friend, my mom got worried, thinking that it was dark magic and they were joining some Wiccan cult. (I kid you not.) She got even more worried when I expressed interest in learning how to play. Less than a year later my brother and I both fell away (from Magic, not from our faith). Thankfully, about 10 years later, this same brother rehooked me to the joy of Magic.

Magic isn't about worshiping the devil. It isn't about incantations or rituals. It's about taking a bunch of cards and finding a way to beat an opponent. You have to use strategy and creativity while being patient in order to win. Not only that, but Magic is a really social game.

Okay, to be honest, most of the Magic I play is against a computer in the comfort of my living room (at 3 in the morning when my 2-year-old has decided it's time to watch Cars 2). But I enjoy it best when I'm playing against somebody else, even if I'm losing. And believe me when I say that I am a very poor sport. I hate losing. But somehow, when I'm losing at Magic, some of the time I just enjoy being "killed" in the game.

So, besides building social skills, Magic also teaches strategy. Magic describes itself as a game that has over 10,000 pieces you can choose from (if you have the money, sadly enough.) But at the same time, there are various strategies for various types of gameplay. You can build a deck of 100 cards that cannot have duplicates. You can open a new booster pack and play. You can open a few and build a deck for a sealed tournament. Or you can just build a traditional 60-card deck. Each of these forms of gameplay require different thought processes. You can't use the same ideas from one game to the next. You also need to react to your opponents' various decks differently.

It teaches patience (which I still lack, but it's given me some, which is more than I had). But there is patience in waiting for your turn. Patience in playing the right cards at the right time. Patience in losing (something I'm still working on, duh.) If I recall properly, patience is a heavenly virtue we could all use a little more of.

Magic induces creativity in a player's need to look for combinations between two distinct cards. One creature may seem useless by itself, but with an enchantment or sorcery it could be so powerful that your opponent cringes in response.

So, in the end: Magic: The Gathering is not of the devil. It is not a cult nor is it an occult. It does not teach anyone to worship the Planeswalker Urza or anything along those lines. It is a game. Plain and simple. Okay, not really simple, but it is still just a game.

By the way, all my blog posts on the other blogs I write for end the same way. I see no reason to break my signature now.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.


  1. Hooray for Magic! Do you play online?

    1. Only play online through Duels of the Planeswalkers. I do have a MOL account, but not many cards.

  2. Yeah my mother thinks its of the devil amd the funny thing is, is that she plays poker! Not for money of course only for the fun of it. I still struggle with her judgment but I will not question it or argue. How can I explain to her that its not evil? Also, pro tours, do you think there bad to go to considering that the finals are on Sunday?