The Gamers’ Game

What is it about a collectible trading card game (or TCG) series that attracts a player’s attention?  From what may seem only to be “silly” drawings on tiny rectangle-shaped pieces of paper to anyone else, can mean the whole world to a TCG player.  Some might exclaim that we are a little bit compulsive in our hobby.  Or even that we have far too much free on our hands.  Others would judge that we simply do not have much of a social life, and are only attempting to balance the difference by occupying it with trading card games.  I highly deviate from what others might verbalize.  As a proud TCG player I say with certainty that this irrational thinking is very much miscalculated.  To us they are not only a hobby that we can play for enjoyment in our spare time.  Trading card games are also something we can incorporate into our social life, allowing us to connect and relate with other players from all across the globe.  Players come together with the similar goals of having fun and becoming a professional gamer.

Why does a player first want to play a collectible trading card game series in the first place?  The correct answer to this question is that there is no incorrect answer.  Some people first play because the cards have what could only be described as a dazzling-detailed artwork that steals their eye’s affection.  Others play because due to a popular animated television and/or video game(s) series they adore which features characters and cards from the real time trading card game.  Others play simply due to the cash value of some of the ones harder to come by, eventually mostly becoming sellers, traders, and collectors.

I believe that each and every player has their own personal story of why they first decided to pick up their deck of cards, insinuate the rules of the game, and then challenge others in the hopes of perfecting their strategies.  We all at some moment would have been considered to be a “newbie”, “rookie”, or any other term for a beginner to the game.  We were only able to advance ourselves due to the lessons we obtain from our losses and victories through dueling.  Conversing with fellow TCG players about stories of how we each began playing a certain trading card game are some of my favor kind to hear.

For as long as I could remember I have always played some sort of collectible trading card game.  My hobby first began while I was younger after watching episodes from two hit animated television series Pokémon and Digimon.  I was instantly drawn to how amazing all the characters looked and all of the stunning special abilities they possessed.  Whenever my friends and I would get together we were always discussing which characters were the best.  We even tried to battle one another in the trading card games.  Later on when the hit television series Yu-Gi-Oh first aired over here in the United States I was also immersed into to it.  It first appealed to me because it seemed to be about kids, just likes I was, who were playing a trading card games with the fate of the entire world in the balance.  Like Pokémon and Digimon I also admired the characters as well as the story line.  After a while my friends and I began playing the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game together, following the same format as for the Pegasus Tournament.  I was fortunate because their parents were gamers who happened to also admire Yu-Gi-Oh.  With their help I was able to quickly build my own collection of cards and better compete against my friends.

After some time had passed, before I knew it I was a freshman attending my first year of high school.  All through out middle school and the summer break before then I had continued dueling off and on against my friends.  As the Yu-Gi-Oh animated series advance into the Battle City Saga, the entire playing format of the game also shifted as well.  No longer were the duelists able to Special Summon Fusion and Ritual Monsters, or Normal Summon Monsters level 5 or higher without one or more tributes and/or fulfilling its Summoning Conditions.  This newer format seemed to model for the one that we play by today.  Along with this shift my friend’s parents learned how to run the new playing style and taught us its new rules.  I was now following by all of the model rules at the time; properly conducting Normal Summon (including Tribute Summon), Flip Summon, Special Summon (including Fusion Summon and Ritual Summon), and Set.  I had also learned the rules for activating Trap, Spell, Quick-Play Spell, and Field Spell Cards.  The Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game had become so much more enjoyable.

Within the second week of high school I had found a large group of students who also played Yu-Gi-Oh.  Each day before classes in the morning and during lunch break, we would sit together dueling, trading, socializing, and most of all having a great time.  Although many other students around us would sometimes try to taunt us with bizarre names and ironic questions, we did not let them affect our hobby.  This was because to us the cards meant so much more than just a game.  The meaning was something that only a TCG player could ever understand.  The cards had such a sentimental value us, and so we put so much passion into the game.  We always keep in mind the goals of become a professional player and enjoying the game.

Even now, some time after, my love for the game has continually been nurtured.  The Yugioh game-play has ever expanded from the use of Sychro Monsters, and now to the latest XYZ Monsters.  These new monsters are sure to further rejuvenate the game and even promote all-new deck styles and themes.  They will also help to strengthen current and older deck formats that were not able keep up with the pace of the advanced play.  Overall XZY Monsters are going to attract a whole spectrum of gamers and bring new challenge to the professionals at tournament winning ranks.  This is why I am so proud to be a gamer.  No matter what others may conjure: it is our hobby to that we adore.

Dominique Clark

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