It might seem like I play a lot of video games, and who knows, maybe I do. But I have lots of other interests too. I'm always looking for new things to try. So, the other day when my boss was passing out booster packs of Magic: The Gathering (MTG) cards for a little interoffice league, I decided to check it out. And despite having never played the game before, I was at least somewhat familiar with the game. Maybe not the rules and game play, but the general overview.

Magic is a tradable card game (TCG) where you build your collection of cards by trading with your friends, assembling decks of cards, and battling against an opponent and their deck. You cast powerful spells and summon monstrous creatures aiming to knock your opponent down from 20 life to zero. The game is constantly changing as new cards are released throughout the year. As you get new cards, whether from these new sets or through trading with your friends, you can continuously update your decks and discover a whole new game!

I knew the game was old, but wow...did it really come out in 1993? They say it's the first trading card game, and whether that is true or not, it definitely has one of the largest followings with an estimated 12 million players. Not too shabby. You can find MTG at nearly every trade show and industry event. You could even make the argument Magic: The Gathering was the inspiration for other popular (video) games like Hearthstone and I'd go as far as saying...League of Legends. There seems to be a lot of similarities.

I never really realized the influence this game has on the video game industry. There are a ton of gamers and industry professionals that play the game. In fact, about a week after I was introduced to the game, I saw an article posted at Game Informer about video game designer cards being added to the game. You can read the article here if you're interested. As a big fan of Minecraft, of course I'm most interested in Notch's Aggressive Mining card.

So, I was still working on building my deck and familiarizing myself with the rules of the game when I discovered...

You can play the game in a number of ways-from your console to your dining room table to your desktop PC, Magic: The Gathering is waiting for you.

Say what?

I can play Magic: The Gathering on PC or Xbox 360?


I'm no expert of the game (I barely qualify as a rookie) but I will say the digital version of the game is a near perfect emulation of the card game. It's not as much fun as playing across the table from a real person, but it is a great utility to train you up and increase your proficiency with the mechanics of the game.

Given the game has been out for more than a decade, I'm kind of surprised I started playing this at all, but now that I am, I can see how and why so many people think it is as addictive as it is.

Do you play Magic: The Gathering or anything like it? And do you play the actual card game or a digital version of the card game (or both)? If you're at all interested in the game you can find everything you'll ever need to know about it right here.

Ah, well...the weekend is here. May all your games be good.