Tag: Magic: The Gathering

Gathering for a Quarter Century

 

Sunday marks a very important anniversary for me and the world: the 25th anniversary of the release of Magic: The Gathering. 

If somehow you don’t know, Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game. Rather than a set box, like Monopoly or Uno, which have a fixed deck of game cards, Magic: The Gathering cards come in randomized packs, like baseball cards, and then players build a deck of cards to play with. Different players can and usually do have different decks.

Magic actually originated the concept of a trading card game, but if you’ve ever seen kids with Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, it’s the same concept. I like to tell people that Magic is like Yu-Gi-Oh! for adults, but really, people of any age can play. (Basically, if someone can read and do basic math, they can play Magic.)

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Brandon Sanderson is one of the most successful fantasy authors alive. He’s known for designing complex and engaging fantasy worlds and crafting elegant and interesting schemes of magic. This is not about that kind of magic. This weekend I attended Odyssey Con in Madison WI with Ricochet members Randy Weivoda and Matt Balzer. Mr. Sanderson […]

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On Magic and Markets

 

Image.ashxMagic: the Gathering is a collectible card game created by Wizards of the Coast some 22 years ago. The nature of the game involves two or more players engaging in a battle of wits and strategy: picture chess but with players choosing from hundreds of different chessmen, each with different abilities. It involves aspects of resource management, strategy, bluffing, and cunning. The game is “collectible” in nature, in that the cards come in booster packs with varying rarities, with the more powerful cards tend to be rarer and thus more expensive.

MtG’s real-world economy resembles that every other commodity market. Supply and demand meet at the market-clearing price, and scarce commodities that are in demand tend to cost more. Sometimes, a great deal more. The people who run the company have done a good job of managing the supply side, keeping prices reasonable — i.e., within the reach of players of average means — even in the face of exploding demand. They carefully track the amount of product being sold, and release about four expansion sets (typically containing more than 150 new cards) each year, in multiple languages, worldwide.

There are multiple avenues by which players can engage in the game, and demand for cards generally comes in the form of people looking for single cards to use in their games, as well as those who are merely collectors or speculators. MtG’s most popular and most-played format is called “standard” which involves cards that were printed in the past two years (older cards rotate out and are only legal in older formats). Most of the cards that fuel the singles market for these formats ultimately find their way from draft tables to internet and brick-and-mortar retailers, but another source of cards comes from MtG’s online presence: Magic: the Gathering Online, or MtG Online

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It’s a special time of year!  Not only is it the Holiday season, but the biggest Magic: The Gathering event of the year (in Colorado) is happening this weekend: Grand Prix Denver. Yes, Magically inclined Ricochetti, it’s time to join your socially awkward and hygienically challenged brethren in the pursuit of nerd glory.  And money. […]

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Fellow duelists, in case you missed it, in this week’s flagship podcast, Rob Long besmirched Magic players, lumping us in with the author of this crime against God.   You can find it by going to the transcript page for the episode* and using Ctrl + F to search for the word “magic.” I threatened […]

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