When I first arrived at high school, I was nearly immediately introduced to a relatively new game called Magic: the Gathering. This little game of wizards dueling with magic, all through the use of cards, latched on to my brain (and my wallet) as soon as I saw it and I knew I needed to have all of the everything I could for this game possible. For the next few weeks, I would spend every single cent I had on getting more cards. I would constantly ask for rides to the comic book shop that had these cards just so I could spend all my money on them and completely ignore the plethora of comic books filling the walls of this small space. I was hooked.
And it only took me a few weeks before I realized I was dangerously addicted to this game before I decided I had to cut off all ties completely cold turkey before I spent another week unable to clean my laundry due to a lack of funds (as a reminder, I spent my high school at a boarding school, so laundry was my responsibility).
I didn’t touch the game again. Although I would spend years carting these cards around with me from place to place as I moved, I never played again past the realization of my addiction. At some point, apparently, I left the cards at my parents house, and didn’t see them for over a decade, until they found them while cleaning out their house and made to sure I took them home with me on my next visit. Upon seeing them again, and now having kids who love to play games, I regained an interest in playing, an interest that would take me nearly two years before I would finally follow through. Something which I didn’t do until two weeks ago.
And immediately after playing, I again started spending money on new cards.
Okay, so, I’ll admit there was definitely some of that same manic addiction energy behind the purchase of cards, but, in my defense, my cards are old and starting to acquire some value and since my kids were interested in the game, I decided I should pick up some cards for them to play with instead of using my possibly valuable ones.
That being said, I do keep looking at options for picking up more and more cards, even though I have enough new cards for seven decks, meaning seven players, in a house of only five possible players.
Because the truth of the matter with regards to this game is that although the game itself is fun, it somehow grabs a hold of you and convinces you that you need to spend more and more money on it. It has some sort of consumerism charm placed on those who play the game so that they must buy every card they can. I’m not even a collector by any real use of the term, but I still find myself wanting more and more cards so I can have more and more options to play with.
This is a dangerous game, folks. Only start if you know how to tell yourself no. Something I’m still working on for myself.