Comicon, Javitz Center, Part 3
So in November, a group of us were playing poker in the lobby of our building. Along came this 16-year old who asked to join us. He was playing very aggressively, and beat out all of us. Later that evening, he claimed that playing Magic was the reason why, since all the "battles" he was involved in forced him to read the state of the opponent with speed. Of course we had no idea what this game was, and what it entailed. It's beyond trading pogs or baseball games. There are a complex set of rules with characters, and you go to these underground places (think Rounders), and play real people with real cards a game similar to the card game "war." So this kid went upstairs to retrieve his duffle bag of card characters, protected in vinyl, organized neatly in a binder. As he gave us a demo and explained the cost of each card, I could make the connection of him playing poker to Magic. Some cards are word $150, and can range into the thousands. When I asked him about the honor system of purchasing some cards online, like Ebay, he said he never bought any counterfeit cards. Some cards, like the older edition which prove to be more valuable, can look Photoshopped, since they don't have a special seal or watermark on it. Interesting... maybe this community believes in integrity, which is what he mentioned several times throughout the night. These cards are made out of paper, but I think the value of the card is determined by the illustrator and character.
Anyway, I saw this game again at Comicon, and other copycats, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft are following suit.