After twenty years, the trading card industry continues to boom.
In 2015, the industry raked in over $1 billion. Over 25% of that came from Magic: The Gathering alone.
Magic: The Gathering, sold by its Oregon makers, Wizards of the Coast, is described by them as a fantasy trading card game. The creator is mathematician and veteran Dungeons and Dragons player, Richard Garfield.
Like Dungeons & Dragons, the famed role-playing game, Magic is a challenging game that calls for intricate strategy and shrewd plays. However, that strategy is worked out within the dark context of fantasy. Many cards portray fantastic creatures. Skeletons, blood and images of death are common.
The cards are also linked to one of five kinds of magic: red, blue, green, white or black. The players, representing sorcerers, use the cards to defeat their opponent.
Jordan Brown is a member of Fanshawe’s Magic Club. He has been playing trading card games for over 10 years and says it is Magic’s unique strategy that drew him into the game.
“There are so many complex layers to the game. It takes a long time to learn and even longer to master. Even after a couple years I feel like an amateur at tournaments. It really is unlike any game I have ever played.”
The game also has a strong local community here in London. Heroes Comics in London runs weekly Magic tournaments on Fridays that regularly draw 20 to 30 people.