With so many vices in this world, I never would have thought that the one to get me would be made of cardboard. Yes, that’s right, I am a recovering Magic: The Gathering player.
The habit started off simple enough: The pictures were pretty. And it didn’t take me long to have a nice little collection of these pretty cards. This was back in 2001, I was in high school, and all the other geeky kids were playing it. And a geeky girl playing? Why that was like an aphrodisiac that called forth every geeky male within a hundred mile radius.
Life went on, times changed, and the habit was dropped… for a while. It wasn’t until about four years later, while I was in Minnesota, away from my other friends with only my fiance that the habit once again reared its ugly head. We ran across a small gaming shop that held a Magic draft every Monday and Friday night. I had never played a draft tournament before. The concept intrigued me.
A Magic draft is where each player starts with only three packs of cards. Everyone sits in a circle and opens their first pack, picks one card, and then passes the rest to the right. After that pack is completed, the process repeats itself, but this time passing to the left. The last pack goes back to the right again. When you are done with this process you are left with 45 hand picked cards and hopefully you have the makings of a great deck. You then get a few minutes, I think it was 20 minutes, to construct a 40 card deck using only the 45 cards you just picked and some land cards.
This style of play was intoxicating. It eliminated the complaint that the best players were always the ones that spent oodles of money on their decks. Now everyone had the same shot. The playing field was level.
Each one of these drafts cost $15 per person… my husband and I both played. There were often two drafts each night, and they were held twice a week. By the time we realized just how real this problem was, we were spending the equivalent of a small mortgage payment each month on pieces of cardboard.
That’s when it had to stop. It was tough, and occasionally we lapsed, but after a long rough bout with cardboard crack addiction, I’m proud to say we have kicked the habit. Now we only play “non-customizable” games. Games with a one time investment and we can play forever. Gone are the days of buying cards that are great now but next month will be made useless by the latest release.
My name is Victoria Bourne-Nisson and I am a recovering cardboard crack addict.
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