I have written before about my love for the card game Magic.  I started playing the game in 1994, and have played the game off and on since then.  I still sometimes buy new cards, though I never have taken the time to learn and utilize all the new rules and abilities.

Luckily, I know several people who still enjoy the game, so I can usually scare up a game on a regular basis if I want to.  I know many more people who used to play back in the day but at one point or another sold their cards.  Although this can bring a sizable return in some cases, I always insisted I would never sell my cards because I still enjoyed playing, and one day I hoped to be able to introduce my kids to the game.

Well, that day has come.  I tried to introduce Linus to the game a couple different times in the last two years, but he just wasn’t quite ready.  Magic only works if a player is interested enough to start reading cards on their own and learning about the different abilities.   Linus has now reached that point.  We’ve been playing regularly for two weeks now; when he gets home from school he goes right to the cards and starts reading and sorting them.  Every day he sees a new card or combination that unlocks a little door in his mind, and he has to tell me all about what this card could do with that card, etc.

This is a wonderful development for many reasons, among them the fact that he’s reading constantly and thinking critically, we are having fun together, I get to play Magic, etc.  Of course, there are downfalls as well, such as the fact that we may be spending too much time playing Magic.  And, Lily wants so desperately to be involved in what we are doing but isn’t able to yet.  I give her stacks of cards and have her sort them by color, which she enjoys and which needs to be done, but that won’t last forever.

In a larger sense though, it’s an exciting time to be a parent when your oldest starts to get to that point where you can interact with them in a more complex way, and you can watch them start to put the pieces together and figure things out on their own.  Of course kids and people are always doing that to some extent or another, so it’s all relative.  But when you get to a point where you can do things with your kids that you would normally enjoy doing with your friends, and you don’t have to slow it down too much, that adds a new and fun dimension to being a parent.  It’s hard for Lily, because she’s not able to keep up, and so we have to be mindful to make time to include her as well, but her time will come, and probably at an earlier age than it did for Linus; she seems to pick things up pretty fast, probably a benefit of having an older sibling who is willing and able to show her the ropes.

Finally,  although I have always been a staunch opponent of selling Magic cards, I have to admit that was because I assumed I never had any cards that were worth the trouble of selling.  But then I learned that the Mishra’s Workshop I own (and never play with) regularly sells for $200 or so on eBay.  Let’s just say I’ve changed my opinion on the selling of certain Magic cards.

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10 Responses to Magic

  1. kelly says:

    I bartered mine away for recreational fun I can’t even remember now. Haven’t played in years, but playing with Linus sounds like a lot of fun. Before you know it you guys will be getting drunk, hopping in the car with your new cache of firearms, and heading for the strip club with the rifle range in it. Parenting is starting to sound more fun each time I read your blog. I’ll be seeing your wife tonight, and her crazy friends, will be missing you.

  2. Charley says:

    This is the most compelling case for having kids that I have read. If I hadn’t left my cards at an FOP’s house a decade ago, I might be tempted.

  3. paul says:

    Great story. That’s probably one of the little reasons that having kids can be so rewarding. I remember when my father used to play checkers with me. We’d play a game every morning before I went to school. He never let me win, and so it meant something when I finally was good enough to begin winning.

    I have a brother in law that’s a Magic-head. He plays, but also buys and sells cards on ebay, usually making good money. I’ve never understood why you’d pay so much for a card in a card game, just to play the game. Why not just xerox someone elses deck, or make your own? I once suggested this to him, and he looked at me like I was crazy.

  4. pipelineblog says:

    Paul, you are crazy. It’s hard to explain unless you play, but virtually no one I know who plays just makes up cards. Part of the fun of the game is dealing with the limitations of your arsenal. Plus, the cards themselves are pretty cool. I say that with full knowledge that I am a gaming geek, though I want it to be known here and now and forevermore that I have never played D&D.

  5. “I am a gaming geek” and “I want it to be known that…I have never played D&D” can’t possibly go together — are you some kind of D&D biggot? Are you harboring some dark discriminatory views about your internal archetype of a D&D player?

  6. Jim says:

    Great stuff; I am anxious to reach this point with my kids, though I wonder if it will be Scrabble instead of Magic. As long as it doesn’t involve Chutes, Ladders, or King Kandy, it’s an improvement.

    What will you do when he starts asking to purchase his own cards? Expensive habit, as you know….

  7. pipelineblog says:

    We bought 3 packs today! But with his own money, we do need to have a conversation about that coming up. I think today might have been his first proactive thought about how to use his money jar.

  8. Marsha says:

    Talk to Ian about selling cards on Ebay. He made a mint, and he sold cards that he would not use in play.

    I am afraid of putting Oscar onto such things. We are amazingly geeky the way it is, but hopefully hockey will save him from total geekdom.

  9. pipelineblog says:

    Hockey could be his salvation, but he needs to get some hockey hair if that’s going to work.

  10. chris says:

    My cards are getting ready to get E-bayed. I haven’t played in years. Both boys played a little with me but only Simon was really interested but he is interested in any game. Cribbage is our game of choice however. Watching my boys w/Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards made it clear that they loved having them and were ambivalent (at best) about playing the game itself.

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