Saturday, February 21, 2015

Everyone Loves Magic!

I mean, come on, who doesn't love magic?  Okay, I'm actually talking about the card game,  Magic: The Gathering, and I'm guessing there's plenty of people who don't love it.  A few years ago I was one of them.  I disdained the cards in my local game store... even while I couldn't help but be curious about the fantasy art and the evocative card names.

To make a long story short, I am now a huge fan of Magic. I enjoy cracking packs, collecting cards, building decks, playing games... and I also love the lore.

It might surprise you to learn that Magic has a flavor department that works to incorporate an overall mythology within the card game.  Although gameplay ultimately trumps lore, the story still has a substantial impact on the cards.  For example, the Theros block of cards involved what was called a "top-down" design where the set designers knew that they wanted to incorporate the feel of an archetypal "hero's journey" through a world similar to that of the Greek myths.  An inverse example would be the more recent Tarkir block, where the mechanical set design promoted the idea of a time travel tale.

I won't pretend that the Magic storyline is a work of great literary art.  Still, there is much about it that sparks interest, and you'll see the occasional blog entry talking about some aspect of Magic lore that catches my eye.

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