The Weekend Gamer
Thoughts on gaming culture, living among non-gamers, and growing up in the nintendo generation

The Weekend Wrapup (Feb. 15th-17th)


Hey guys–

My apologies for being a day late and a dollar short.  My weekend was an incredibly busy one.  I know this blog usually stays in the realm of electronic gaming, but permit me to deviate for just a moment.

I lead a small group of 10th grade boys for my church’s senior high ministry.  As it happens, four of them are into CCG’s of some kind, and two of them are highly involved in Magic: the Gathering.  It just also so happens that I used to be an avid MtG player back when it launched in 1993.  I hadn’t played it in nearly ten or twelve years, but I thought it might be a fun thing to suggest that we put on a sealed deck tournament at church, with free pop and pizza to be provided by the youth group. 

My idea was for it to be a small, intimate gathering with just the four or five of us, but one of my guys in particular was sold on the idea of inviting as many people as possible.  I said that if he wanted to go for it, I was all in.  I’m a horrible promotional person, and did hardly anything except for a few personal invites. 

I put up the money to buy two boxes of booster packs (I was afraid to buy any more for fear of getting stuck with hundreds of dollars of cards that I couldn’t afford), set up a break even entrance fee for the event, and crossed my fingers. 

I’m happy to say that in the end, I should have bought more cards!  Unfortunately we had so many people that I had to turn some folks away, and that’s even after I gave up my spot to play in the tournament.  The night was a big hit and I got to meet a lot of cool kids, trade gamertags (have to say hello to my new buddy Cruz if he catches this blog ) and hang out with the guys that I’m mentoring. 

We’re now talking about making it a monthly occurrence, and next time, I’ll be buying three or four boxes and hoping we can kick the number up to 18 or 24 entrants. 

On Saturday I spent a lot of time playing Culdcept, and Zoe, Colin and I were able to get a game together.  They hadn’t played much so they were using the starter decks, and I attempted to play with a deck of all neutral cards, which would have been the most handicapped deck ever except for one card–Mothman, who gets an unreal boost that increases with each neutral creature in play.  Long story short, I would have lost except for that one card, and they just kept landing on it.  I got the win, but it was pretty cheap.  I can’t wait till they both play more and then I can break out my real deck.

The only thing that could keep me from Culdcept this weekend was Lost Odyssey, a game that I like more and more as I play it.  I am even more convinced that the text based story reveals are some of the best parts of the game, with audio interplay that is absolutely engaging and dare I say it, cathartic in its execution. 

This opinion has put me at odds with many more mainstream gamers I think.  I love the 1upyours podcast, but I am increasingly irked  by a few of their regulars for constantly underestimating how gameplay can interlink with well done cut scenes and text based narrative.  I care about these characters, and while game writing has a ton of catching up to do comparatively with film, literature and television, Lost Odyssey’s emotional range is quite complex and rich. 

It is absolutely making me feel things for the characters I’m playing, and the balance between narrative and gameplay is more than appropriate.  I heard one regulars on the podcast talk about how game writing is on the level of dime store books and I have to wonder if we’re even playing the same game, or if he just dismisses cut scenes and the text based stories of Lost Odyssey out of hand.  He’s much the poorer for it, I can assure you.

That was about it for my weekend.  How about you? What did you end up playing?



4 Responses to “The Weekend Wrapup (Feb. 15th-17th)”

  1. played ALOT of culdcept this weekend. I’m now on my second dream trial after whooping the water lady at the bottom of the ocean/lake. Starting to really favor 2 colors over everything else and according to zoe i’ve landed some realy humdingers by chance thanks to the end of game card rewards. Still trying to get a knack for the wide range of spell cards and their crazy abilites that blow up, steal, etc your cards. I LOVE THIS GAME! i really need to get through it so ic an pop in lost odyssey which i havent even started yet. O and did i mention in 2 weeks i’m atending a 6 day conference where I’m interviewing for my next job!!!! ahhh

  2. Hey there!

    I think it’s great that you did well with the Magic Tournament, and being able to maybe do it again for the kids is a plus in my book. I’m a video gamer myself, but I also play Magic, and we just got done playing with the second release from the Lorwyn set, ” Morningtide ” ( not sure why they only had two sets for this block ) but I think getting the kids from your church involved is just a great idea on so many levels, and it was great to run across someone’s post other than my own concerning Magic.

    Here’s to another tournament at your church in the future.


  3. Kiras is going to WIPE the FLOOR with me when next we play. I kicked him around for a bit this weekend, but I fear for when next we three meet. I FEAR it.

    I got the earth stage, and fire stage done, and I was 8 spaces from wining the Water stage when I landed on the one space that that morbid little fuzzball rat had pumped up to over 2k. It’s a little disheartening to put in 3 hours and have it go down the tubes like that. Ah well.

    I don’t know when next I’ll be able to play, unfortunately. My roommate and I have acquired a boarder, for the next two weeks at least, maybe months, and things are a little chaotic just now (ie, getting to my couch is somewhat tricky ;-)) Soon, though! I hope soon!

    Awesome about your sealed deck tourney, WG. Really, really, cool!

  4. Sounds like you had a blast at the tourney. I started playing MTG about the same time you did and have accumulated a large sum of cards. I stopped about 5 years ago but fortunately/unfortunately never got rid of my cards. I do miss it but with a lack of friends to play them with, I have never gotten back into it. It just seems like too much of a financial/time investment especially with house maintenance and video game time.

    But anyway I did much DMC4 and Rock Band last weekend. I should be wrapping up DMC4 this weekend. We’ll see how it goes.

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