Magic & Writing & Me

Posted by @ 8:01 am on August 8th, 2012

I started playing Magic in the fall of 1994, when I arrived at college, and when the game was only a year old. My then girlfriend got me into it, in a reverse of a common geek stereotype. (I knew several female Magic players in college.) I quit playing four years later, right before graduation, selling off all of my cards (including a Timetwister!), but I’ve continued to vicariously follow the game since. I rarely play, but I did draft some of Ravnica Block (so awesome), and just last week I played in a M13 draft while visiting friends in Philadelphia. I lost in the first round, 0–2—I’m a terrible player, very out of practice—although later I did win a thee-person game of Commander, over dinner at a diner, where I played this deck. (In the M13 draft, I went Blue-Green, and had a decent deck, but very few ways to interact with my opponents’ creatures, and was done in by a Vampire Nighthawk—such a sick card! Although, in my defense, in the second game, I was forced to mull to 5, then never got a third land—and I think I still could have actually won, had my play been tighter….)

Back to vicariousness. I read Mark Rosewater’s “Making Magic” column every Monday (or Sunday night), and watch every video that Luis Scott-Vargas posts online. (He’s hands down my favorite player of all time, and I can’t wait until he gets elected into the Pro Tour Hall of Fame next year. Speaking of which: congratulations to Pat Chapin for making it in this year!) What can I say? Magic is fun and insanely complex; I like games and I like obsessive analysis. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s fantasy-based, one of my lifelong loves. And I’ve learned a tremendous amount about design and aesthetics by talking and reading about the game. (Rosewater’s weekly column is responsible for at least half of that.)

I joke sometimes that I’d like to write a regular column about the game, despite not really ever playing (“the non-player’s perspective”). I’ve already written a few Magic-related articles, focusing on ways the game intersects with writing:

I also sometimes toy with the idea of editing an anthology of Magic-based writing. Perhaps a collection of links to such pieces, since most of them are probably already online? For example, Blake’s post “Magic the Gathering: Fear, Crumble, Lifetap.” (If you know of more, please let me know!)

P.S. I led with Kird Ape because it’s my favorite card ever. I’m a Spike, and my first competitive deck was Red-Green.

P.P.S. Sometimes I dream about organizing a small-press Magic tournament. Perhaps at AWP Boston? (Want in?)

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