Inside the world of collectible card games

If you’ve ever encountered a group of people playing one of the many collectible card games out there like Magic The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, the Pokemon Trading Card Game, or the like, then you probably experienced a combination of confusion and intrigue. Learning a new game can be a very involved endeavor, especially collectible card games (which can be quite complex). Luckily, many of these games have communities that are ready, willing and able to help get new players set up.

Like any community, the card game communities each have different respective parts to them. Some players are extremely competitive and will expect all players to know tournament rules, what certain cards do and advanced play for that particular game. Other players are more casual and simply looking to enjoy a fun hobby with some friends.

Luckily in most cases, new players are likely to encounter the latter first.

“At first, the game looks daunting. It seems difficult to understand all the rules and lore, but fortunately, the other players are more than willing to help,” said first-year Dean Carrier, who just recently started learning Magic The Gathering in Games Club.

“The attitude towards new players is very positive. They’re quite happy to see more people try (Magic the Gathering) and will usually give them tips and helpful hints,” said Jack Strobel, Games Club member and local tournament player.

The great thing about collectible card games is that there is such a variety of game-play styles, so most anyone can find something about a particular game that they like. Some people just enjoy collecting cards of a certain type; others focus on building the strongest deck possible. A few only use the cards with the most absurd powers. One of the more experienced Magic The Gathering players in Games club, Jonathan Prebe, has some insight.

“I feel that the (Magic the Gathering) community is one of the best communities out there in terms of reception of new players, skill levels and play styles. When I was a new player, I was welcomed openly to Games Club. As another example, I started playing at my home town game store over winter break, and I just walked in and wanted to play that night. I was welcomed into the group and other players gave me their prize packs as a thank you for coming. In no other community have I had that experience. Now just like with any community, you’ll have your bad eggs, cheaters, sore loser, and just generally angry or rude people. But the beauty of [Magic the Gathering] is you don’t have to stick with those people. There’s 20 million of us out there. And there’s definitely more welcoming people than there are bad eggs. To me, it’s a community like no other.”

If you want to give Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, or another collectible card game a try, stop by Games Club Friday and Saturday nights at 8PM in Glatfelter room 104. Even if you bring a game nobody knows, you’re always going to find someone willing to give it a try. Game on!


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