Magic: The Gathering gathers WCU students together

Jesse Nixon battles it out. Photo by Max Maier

Every student needs a hobby to keep themselves entertained outside of homework. Many students at WCU play the trading card game, Magic: The Gathering.

The graphic card game keeps pumping out new cards and content to keep its fans coming back for more.

What is Magic: The Gathering exactly? It started in 1993 from the mind of Richard Garfield, who went on to create many different card games. Magic requires its players, or as the game refers to them, Planeswalkers, to use cards of creatures and various other spells to defeat their opponents.

The main component of Magic is to use lands and other cards to create enough mana to summon your creature. The game requires deep strategic thinking and versatility. You can form a deck of 60 cards that can play slow and steady, controlling your opponent until you orchestrate your own victory, or you can build a quick deck that ends your opponent on turn.

In Magic, you wield the might of dragons, demons, angels, sorcerers, and many other beings and items to take down your opponent by reducing their life points or when their deck runs out of cards. I myself was drawn into playing the game by these aspects almost three years ago.

Magic: The Gathering consistently releases new cards and decks every few months, so its players are often rewarded with new things. However, what compels students at WCU to play?

“I play Magic: The Gathering because it is a fun game that enables me to meet and interact with new people,” said Pat Balance, a sophomore. “It involves a vast amount of strategy and skill. It improves the cognitive process of other activities if applied correctly. Overall, Magic: The Gathering is not only fun and enjoyable but it allows people to use strategy.”

Jesse Nixon, a junior, has been playing Magic for about a year. He plays it for the mental escape.

“I started magic about a year ago over Christmas break,” Nixon said. “The reason I play it is for an escape from reality. Much like chess, it engages my brain for a strategic victory along with providing an active social environment for gatherings and trades.”

James West, a senior, is relatively new to Magic, having begun playing in late 2011.

“Although I used to play Yu-Gi-Oh, there were not many people who played it and many of my friends kept telling me to play Magic,” said West. “I had one of my friends introduce it to me and received a free deck the Nexus hobby shop and just started to play it and loved it.”