I played Magic: the Gathering in high school pretty extensively. I didn’t have much disposable income but what I did have went into procuring more MtG cards. I in to the hobby enough to participate in local tournaments and wager money on the game before I quit. My quitting story isn’t all that unique, I have an addictive personality and played Standard. That meant that I was constantly having to keep my deck(s) up to date whenever new sets came out. This wasn’t so bad when I was competing with other teenagers, there were a couple of kids who had large allowances but I could deal with that. No, it was when adults with jobs got involved in the local hobby scene that I left. These guys had jobs they had a lot more money coming to them than I ever did and they were happy to spend that money, frivolously, to get whatever cards they needed. I could still deal with that it just meant I had to be smarter about deck construction. What drove me away was these grown men taking advantage of naive teenagers and small children. How so? Selling cards and decks to them for much more than they were worth as well as showing up to tournaments where the oldest participant was maybe, 13, and then trouncing everyone one to win a box of boosters, when they could easily buy that box. I sold all my cards and went on with my life; happier and with more money in my wallet.
Fast forward 13 years and I now find myself playing the game again. It was a slow process of hanging out in a forum and IRC room with people who played, finding out one of my friends here used to play (and kept many of his cards), and the release of Magic 2012 for Xbox Live Arcade. I first picked up the XBLA game (that is a single purchase and comes with all the decks/cards you (or anyone) will be able to play with, you can unlock various cards for the various decks by playing with them. This is a nice way to play MtG without having to worry about purchasing cards or constructing decks. I’ve been playing about two or three games a week against the computer and am having fun.
I also went into a hobby store looking to pick up a couple of starter decks to teach D how to play the game. I some how lucked out and managed to enter a hobby store when someone working there actual cared that I was a potential customer and he sat down and answered a number of questions about MtG and then handed me two free 30 card decks to play with. D and I have played a couple of times with these and I’m hopeful that she’ll get into it enough that we can sit down with some real decks (pre-constructeds, probably) and play.
One of the first things I noticed is that they’ve simplified the game by removing interrupts and other card types, everything is either an instant or a sorcery, as well as reformating the phases in a turn. The game doesn’t play that differently but it is easier to explain.
So, just a heads up you might be seeing some MtG related posts in the future.
PS – If you have MtG:2012 on XBLA look me up and we’ll play! I’m xnosophorosx