I have to admit something. I was never into Magic: The Gathering as a child. It became a huge deal around me though, friends would trade cards during recess at school, games were played on the concrete as we waited for our classrooms to open, councilors at summer camp would frequently play the game while we played outside. It was fairly easy to see that the game was a huge deal around me, but I never became a part of it.
Pointing the finger would be too harsh, sure I grew up in a family that discouraged me from playing games a lot and encouraged me to stick to homework, but there was never any threats to take away what I had. My parents played a clever game of convincing me to not desire playing these sort of CCG games. There were opportunities to play it and spend my hard-earned cash on it, but they were somehow able to make me think it would be a horrible idea. Its something I’ve always regretted about my childhood. CCG games always looked so much fun, but I continuously shied away from them. Even pick-up games with friends wouldn’t work for me since I was so unfamiliar with what was happening.
As time waned on, Magic’s influence died around my circles. There was probably a point, especially in high school, when I could have gotten into it, but there would have been no one to play with. Its time had passed and I was left without any real memories of the game that everyone remembered so fondly and that I looked on distantly.
Enter 2009′s Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers. I was nearly done with college and had free-time like no other, not to mention considerably more disposable income. Small game purchases were becoming quite commonplace for me and I took a chance on the game. Before I knew what hit me I was learning the rules and builds and a great deal of cards like a champ, all against a computer opponent. During the duller moments of my winter break it became a big go-to game. All of the lost opportunities of discovering the game as a kid became filled and I loved it. It felt like I was retaking a part of childhood that I had missed out on greatly as a gamer.
With tomorrow’s 2013 edition I’m very excited to keep playing. Rumblings about Magic have begun to crop up in my office and its only a matter of time that I take my virtual knowledge of the game back out into the real world. I just couldn’t be more excited for that. I’m sure Wizards of the Coast had no idea just how influential their virtual incarnation would become, but for me it was truly an achievement in reclaiming something that should have been mine from the start.
Gaming just continues to fascinate me in new ways all the time.