Geek Brief: Trading Card Games

Perhaps one day you were in Building 5 and happened to see two people sitting across from each other playing a game of cards, but not your standard deck of 52. These cards had vivid portraits and tiny text detailing what the card can do. Even more strangely,after the game was done, the two players took out binders filled with these cards and started trading them.

What you just saw was not a card game, but a trading card game.

So what is a trading card game? A trading card game, or TCG, also known as a collectable card game, or CCG, involves two or more players with pre-constructed decks filled with monsters and spells playing to a clear objective, such as reducing a player’s “life” down to zero.

Two of the most popular TCG’s, “Magic: the Gathering”, or MTG and “Yu-Gi-Oh!” have millions of players to their name and host tournaments at local, national, and even international levels. Most of the national and international tournaments are played for large cash prizes, where only the most competent of players can compete to win big. Available to most other players are local tournaments that occur at comic-book and card shops, where you can earn packs of cards which help build up your collection.

These types of games are also great creative outlets as they allow you to create and customize your own deck and pit it against other people. This type of versatility is a characteristic of TCG’s and can be accredited to the design of the game in general, as well as the amount of time and effort that some people put into crafting the ultimate deck.

Although it may not seem so at first, TCG’s are also investments, with certain cards fetching $1000 price tags and more. One of the best examples of how ludicrous the prices of certain cards can get is the infamous MTG card “Alpha Black Lotus,” which has around a $30,000 price tag attached to it. While most cards don’t get that high in price, building an entire 60 card deck of $50-100 cards can get a bit high in price.

While I’ve mostly talked about the competitiveness and price of TCG’s, almost all of them are fun and accessible, and you don’t have to buy the latest and greatest cards in order to have fun. Even in cases where you are in a competitive environment like a comic-book shop tournament, most veterans of the game will help you out in learning the game better as well as help make your deck better.

The next time you see someone playing one of these card games, make sure to ask if you can watch and you’ll see just how fun trading card games can be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *