Gaming Divergence

So my current dilemma is this: Many of my gaming friends seem to be focusing more on playing poker, whereas I’m more interested in playing Magic, especially doing booster drafts. Both activities require a critical mass of 6 or more people, which means our gaming groups – which overlap considerably between these two – are fragmenting.

Moreover, we’re starting to have unrelated scheduling conflicts: Subrata and I tend to put aside Wednesdays for board gaming and/or comic books, Subrata plays in a constructed-deck Magic group on Mondays, one fellow is busy Tuesday and Thursdays, another has given up Magic entirely, other people are just plain busy at random intervals… which makes it difficult (and therefore frustrating) to organize a game, even with several days’ (or a week’s) notice.

I’m not desperate enough to play Magic to consider Magic Online, especially since MO only supports Windows, and I think my basic aversion to paying for (and even using) Windows will dissuade me from going that route. (Though if they ever came out with a Mac client I would sign up in a minute. No, really.) But I am thinking of investigating the organized draft events at local stores such as Superstars or Game Kastle. I’m a little reluctant since I’m always kind of nervous to jumping into a brand-new social environment like that, and I have no idea what it would be like. Worrying that I’d be a fish among sharks also has something to do with it, but more viscerally I wonder if the people who would attend would be “not my kind of people” for whatever reason (not geeky enough, too geeky about Magic, a lot younger than me, or whatever).

I enjoy poker, but I don’t want to play it to the exclusion of Magic. Whereas I’d consider playing Magic to the exclusion of poker. Of course, board gaming is the most consistently-available gaming venue among my friends, but I’ve been gradually getting burned out on board games.

What to do, what to do?

2 thoughts on “Gaming Divergence”

  1. I’m with you, in that I would much rather play Magic than poker, except as a once-in-a-while kind of thing.

    I tend to enjoy constructed deck Magic more (since that’s where I started, and I like the challenge of constructing decks around all the cards I have, sometimes especially the “useless” ones) than I think you do. Drafts are fun, but they’re much more about the card-evaluation rather than the deck-synergy aspects. Sealed-deck can be fun as well.

    Maybe we can hit one of the organized drafts together at some point?

  2. I enjoy constructed in principle, but feel like I either (1) lack the cards I need to make decks I consider sufficiently interesting, or (2) am not able to make sufficiently competitive decks. I could probably overcome both of these problems with sufficient effort, but so far I haven’t been terribly motivated to do so. I suspect in general I would be more interested in block constructed or Standard/Type 2 formats. (My recent efforts at constructed decks have been in the Standard format.)

    The thing I like less about constructed is the speed at which the games move. A game that ends on turn 3 doesn’t seem like a fun game, to me, regardless of who wins.

    The thing I enjoy about Limited is the opportunity to discover unexpected synergies, and the relatively level playing field everyone works in. I like draft better than sealed deck because of the opportunity to assemble your card pool (e.g., acquire multiples of a card or target cards which work well with what you’ve got so far). It doesn’t always work out, of course, but I think it’s more interesting than sealed.

    I’d certainly be up for hitting one of the local drafts sometime!

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