Illustration by: Mark Rosewater, Wizards of the Coast
Gamer Girl: Learning MTG at 30!
By: Denise Zubizarreta
If the title alone doesn’t give you the chills I don’t know what will! I have no shame in admitting that for decades I stayed away from games like MTG and DND for the obvious reasons. I always thought I was too cool to play a game that to me, only had merit because of its fantastic artwork. I know what you’re thinking… “how dare this woman speak ill of the card games that have shaped my childhood and ‘gamer’ life.” Before you get your Star Wars panties in a bunch let me explain why at 30 I decided to throw caution to the wind and build my MTG “empire” (empire is very loosely defined in this context. LoL).
Over the years, I have managed to steer clear of MTG, especially after my devastating WOW addiction. I didn’t want to engulf myself again in a game that would cost me more time, money and sanity than what was readily available to me. After finally feeling like I had fought the bug, I managed to find myself in quite the precarious situation. I found myself in a card store! Now, you’re probably wondering how I managed to be in the temple of the deck God’s but that story isn’t really relevant. Let’s just say, I must be the first woman to get into playing MTG because of a hot guy, a couple cocktails and the promise of endless copulation!
After walking through a store that smelled like the High School boys locker room (don’t ask why I was in there), I grabbed a cold beverage, some chips and awaited the mental breakdown that I knew was imminent. A few moments later I learned the basics of MTG and why most card stores use their female restrooms as storage units! Being that when I learn something new I tend to become overly enamored by its glory, I immediately unlocked my phone to Google “MTG for Dummies”. It became painfully obvious to me that the game I once thought of as moronic was way more complex than I could have imagined.
Weeks later, after reading over the directions to MTG on WikiHow about 100 times I sat back down at the card store to show off the lack of skills the internet had given me. With a few key people looking over my shoulder I was finally able to defeat my first opponent, he was 13. I built a deck, I played more and I even invited people over to have mini tournaments in my dining room. I was officially addicted but still, no better of a player than I was at the beginning.
I was about to give up hope on my new found addiction when a friend explained to me what a draft was. Wait, you mean there’s more? This isn’t the only way? You mean, I might be good at this instead? I couldn’t help myself, I was drawn to the card combat like a moth to a flame. Four players, to the death, winner takes all the glory…oh, and the packs! BRING IT! I demolished them all, the old guys, the young kids and even the one other random girl at the store who remained nameless (mainly, because no one knew her name). I felt this surge of accomplishment wash over me and I thought to myself, this is something I could really sink my teeth into. This will be my new passion. See you later BOGO sales at PayLess, I’ve got money to burn somewhere else.
As quickly as I built my deck and my esteem rose it fell just as gloriously. Work and life got in the way of my new found relationship. I couldn’t keep up with all the tournaments, draft days and pre-releases. The Magic I once found in Magic had escaped me. I was again a lost bird confused and alone. New cards came and old cards went. My deck became an expensive paperweight and my “knowledge” was now the iPhone 3 to MTG’s iPhone 6s Plus. Friends came and gone, defeating my green/white deck to the brink of its own spontaneous combustion.
Why did I decide to play MTG at 30? I’m too old for this! My brain just can’t handle this kind of gameplay anymore! NO! I decided to play MTG at 30 because MTG is amazing! I decided play MTG at 30 because I’ll never be too old to throw a bag of Doritos over a table and scream “scoop” in someone’s face as I know I just made top 8! What’s the moral of the story? I’m not sure, but go to a card store and you might find out the beginning of yours.