Lesser known fact about me: I adore card games. From Cards Against Humanity to Magic: The Gathering, I love using little cardboard rectangles (often worth a lot of money) to win in contests of skill and wit.
And, it’s that aspect of luck that makes me like it more than, say, a game of chess. Adaptation and prediction baked right into play. I can’t count cards in the traditional sense, but, in Hearthstone or Magic, you can think through the probability of drawing certain cards at certain times. Deck building, which is fun by itself, is a test of comparing and altering probability. Usually with hard limitations.
For instance, you can only have 2 of the same card in Hearthstone (in a 30-card deck), 4 in Magic (60-card deck), and 3 in Yu-Gi-Oh (40-card deck).
It makes for a great puzzle that I can think about, talk about, and work with for hours and hours and hours. That same ultra-focus, world-falls-away feeling that I get when I am deep into editing a manuscript… I can evoke that piecing together a 60-card deck.
And, beyond that, there are also other reasons card games are near and dear to me. Back when I was younger, when I was in middle school, I had a group of friends—about eight of us—and we would all play Magic: The Gathering at every break, every moment we could.
When I made new friends, in high school, and even beyond, I would often start by teaching them how to play Magic.
Because, once you play a game with someone, that friendship is cemented.
I don’t know what it is about card games, Magic: The Gathering especially, but, it makes people from all walks of life, all ages, all careers, treat each other nicely (most of the time). We all like playing cards: that’s all it takes.
And, though, I am—most of the time—busy being an author, a writer, and just generally a time-pressed person, I always find myself drawn back, no matter how long it’s been since my last game.
Card games are a part of me. They always will be.
You might call it an addiction. But I just think it’s a place, an idea, a hobby, where my physical appearance never came into the equation. Where all that mattered was I got the game, I could talk about the game, and I played with good sportsmanship.
At least in the world of card games, people tend to treat people as people.
And that will always be a place I want to visit whenever I can.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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