I started by going to our local hobby store buying comic books every week. Every now and then I’d pick up some baseball cards or Marvel Masterpieces that initially sparked my interest in collectibles. Who remembers hobby stores that actually carried sporting cards? Our store owner recognized my interest in collectibles and pointed out a collectible card game that he said was fun to play. A few demo’s later and I was hooked introducing me to Magic the Gathering in 1996. Allowances every week went to purchasing starter decks and boosters. I spent all my free time at the hobby shop playing with new decks and free time at home spending hours sorting my cards. Scrye and Duelist magazines started piling up in the bedroom and soon I was competing locally in tournaments. I was a decent player and had my fair share of tournament victories in those first few years. Fast forward 17 years down the road and who knew magic would still be here in 2013 and the biggest and baddest TCG of them all. Too many games have come and gone during that time to name or count.
I am also older now and have a family of my own, more responsibilities and work five days a week. My passion for gaming has not declined over the years but my ability to actively compete and enjoy a TCG has diminished drastically. The players are younger and have more time that can be devoted to these games which has slowly caused me to transition into accepting the truth that I must be a casual gamer.
The past few years I tried to stay active in my chosen TCG, which game it is doesn’t really matter. Any one of them just require too much time away from home, the choice of game is irrelevant. I have begun selling old collectible cards from these games I’ve played and converting them into games that make more sense and frankly are more enjoyable for myself, my wife, and closest friends. The days of countless hours wasted sorting through cards are over (unless the kids want to play those games). I have amassed quite the collection of board games this past year and play them with friends when we are able.
That was my haul this year at GenCon. Once I finally accepted that my old gaming days were over, I found a way to be able to continue to enjoy my passion and embraced the new path games are laying for the future. Board games have changed since my Monopoly and Sorry games as a child just like video games have changed from Nintendo to XboxOne. There are thousands upon thousands of games out there like these pictured above giving us gamers near infinite choices on how we want to enjoy our passion.
The newest revolution in collectible card games is happening now. The transition to the digital platform has begun. Magic the Gathering started this years ago with Magic Online, but this year has been a remarkable year for card games. Kickstarter has revolutionized the gaming industry making games that people could only envision a reality. SolForge is in open beta, a free to play collectible card game. HexTCG is soon to be in alpha testing, another free to play collectible card game. Hearthstone is in closed beta, a World of Warcraft digital card game. There are others popping up as well. I’m currently playing SolForge and Clash of Champions and my old love for competitive cards has resurfaced.
The time saved by having a digital TCG is the game changer for me. Collections are managed by the computer eliminating the hours wasted sorting through cards. The space required is gone. I must have fifteen 5k boxes of cards just sitting in boxes in a closet taking up half the space. The time spent going through those boxes to find the cards for your deck are gone. All of this is now available at the click of a button giving back the time I need to play the type of games I truly enjoy the most! So the selling of old continues to pay for the new age. We see this every day and I am happy that the time has come for gaming. I am taking the digital change in stride and looking forward to 17 more years of gaming. We live in an incredible technological world where anything is possible.
When I opened my first pack of Magic the Gathering, I had no idea where it would lead. I have been lead down an incredible adventure, meeting wonderful people along the way and traveled to cities I didn’t think I’d ever see. I have started this gaming blog and begun creating gaming videos. None of which I ever imagined that I would be doing. If you are hesitant to follow your passion, please take a moment to reconsider.
Until next time, get your games in!