Trading card gamers develop skills

A dragon appears on a battlefield. Suddenly, a giant flaming demon attacks the dragon. But wait — a spell kills the demon before it can hurt the dragon. Now, a pack of wolves joins the dragon, but it’s all over anyway. A giant light-creating monster appears and destroys the wolves and the dragon.

Scenarios like these can take place during a trading card game, or TCG. These games, such as Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic: The Gathering, or Magic, and the Pokemon trading card game, consist of collectible cards that players can use to form decks and battle against other players’ decks. Players of these games develop talents in areas such as strategy and calculation, which are oftentimes necessary to win a match.

Freshman Michael Paradiso, an avid Yu-Gi-Oh player who owns around 3,000 cards, says that these skills are vital to the trading card game.

“You have to have strategy on what to use,” he said.

Sophomore Nathanael Stewart, who plays Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic: The Gathering and Vanguard, another TCG, says that several factors go into a successful match of a trading card game.

“In certain games, like Yu-Gi-Oh, where a lot of the game is OTK [One Turn Kill]-based, at least in the meta [game trends] right now, it depends on your opening hand and what you can search for,” Stewart said.

Different TCGs also take different skills to play. Sophomore Ricke Weir, a Magic: The Gathering player, says that Magic is more involved than other TCGs.

“It has more skills than Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon combined,” he said.

Besides the development of strategic skills, players of TCGs say there are other reasons to play the games.

“If you have really nothing better to do, then you will eventually find yourself playing something like Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh,” Weir said.

Stewart believes that playing TCGs has helped him with social interactions.

“It’s certainly helped me develop social abilities,” he said. “You learn to talk to the other player, because when you first play, you don’t say anything to them, you just kind of awkwardly look at your hand, and then look back at the field, and then ask how many life points you have, and then look back at your hand and then back at the field. But the longer you do it, you talk to those people.”

Paradiso enjoys the challenges presented by Yu-Gi-Oh.

“It challenges me and my intellect on what I’m supposed to use,” he said.

Apparently, that dragon/demon/wolf/light monster fight helps develop strategy.