Boise Highlights

“…And The Land Itself Went Mad”

“...And the land itself went mad.” While these words mean nothing to the average person, and this art seems provocative and taboo, I, like many other Magic: The Gathering players see a shaman; dispensing power over the land. And I read text that describes driving the land off the plane of sanity. This card is one of my favorite representations of a fantasy world, where impossibilities are unknown, and you can interpret it’s characters as egregious and offensive, or descriptive and emotive. Others may not judge it at face value at all.

Photo Credit: Phil Foglio

“...And the land itself went mad.” While these words mean nothing to the average person, and this art seems provocative and taboo, I, like many other Magic: The Gathering players see a shaman; dispensing power over the land. And I read text that describes driving the land off the plane of sanity. This card is one of my favorite representations of a fantasy world, where impossibilities are unknown, and you can interpret it’s characters as egregious and offensive, or descriptive and emotive. Others may not judge it at face value at all.

Parker Winnn, Reporter

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The first board game in recorded human history is generally agreed upon to be a game called Senet, or “The Game of Passing”, first found in an ancient Egyptian tomb with pieces dating back to 3200 BC. While the original rules of the game aren’t extremely clear, researchers have pieced together an approximation of how the game would be played, and have discovered that the game probably had a very substantial religious meaning, after all, it has been discovered solely in the tombs of royalty.

Chess is another old board game of strategy and historical significance. Originating from Northern India in the 6th century, Chess is another game that became popular among royalty, specifically in Europe and the aforementioned Northern Indian Kingdoms. It’s likely that most of the world knows chess, its synonymous with strategy, and for older souls, board games as a whole.

These two are extremely important to how board games have evolved; Senet provides a look into a reality we will never be able to live again. The game of Chess provides a basis for all sorts of strategic modern games.That of Risk, Stratego and my personal favorite, a game called Magic: The Gathering.

While chess relies on basic sets of moves and a 64 spaced board, games like risk has dozen of pieces, with no specificity on how they should strictly operate. Sure they have rules, but you can move them how you like, not one way or the other. In a game like Dungeons & Dragons, it’s up to your imagination to see the world however you wish, albeit based on the designers original vision for the universe

Magic: The Gathering, or ‘Magic’ as we’ll call it here, takes the imaginative ways of fantasy to a whole new level. While there’s a complex world that promotes investing in, it’s not strictly necessary to play the game effectively. Magic is, at its core, a card game. One where everyone has a deck of cards, and players of the game weigh the effectiveness of those cards to fit them into a 60 card deck(or up to 100 or so cards if the player is into Elder Dragons). Magic is the absolute peak of imaginative fantasy. It has deep, interesting lore, but it chooses not to shout it at you. It’s optional, and awesome, but not necessary.

In a direct comparison to Chess, Settlers of Catan, or another card game like Pokémon, Magic is complicated. With a huge variety of ways to play, a complex catalog of optional lore to delve in, and over twenty-thousand unique, individually printed cards. Can you count to twenty-thousand? Even if you can (which you can’t, let’s be honest), that’s a demonstrably large number. The options presented here are the key to the success of board games. Magic allows personal expression through the interaction of players through their game. 

Games have evolved, they’ve grown up, the market for them is immense. With the edition of unique, fantasy games, the nerds of the world can continue to pour over character sheets, and art catalogs, discovering character’s and worlds to distract from a somewhat unexciting, and sometimes grim reality.  

 

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“…And The Land Itself Went Mad”