HNC Home Page
News Business Arts & Life Sports Opinion Calendar Archive About Us
A CHAT WITH STAN: New USU President Stan Albrecht talks of faculty salaries, football stadiums and a boyhood dream. Click for exclusive interview by Megan Roe. / Photo by Josh Russell
Today's word on

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Those were the days:

"The way I had it is all gone now. The bars are
gone, the drinkers, gone. There remain the smartest, healthiest newspeople in the history of the business. And they are so boring that they kill the business right in front of you."

--Jimmy Breslin, newspaper columnist, 1996 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jim Doyle)


Magic: the Gathering is growing around the world

By Seth Quillen

January 19, 2005 | Jason Porter has a collection of more than 35,000 Magic: the Gathering cards that he proudly claims is the biggest collection in Logan and one of the biggest in the state.

He got into the Magic business about two and a half years ago, Porter approached the previous owner of Cache Game and Hobby and said, "Your business is not doing to well and this is what you need to do. The owner said 'you're hired.'"

"I wanted to create a fun place for people to play and when people play they will make purchases when they come, we also started to give away free cards ever day," said Porter.

After working there for about a year, he bought the store with some partners who are also big into Magic and other historical war games.

Porter has been playing magic for nine of the 12 years it has been out.

"I love magic it is one I my favorite games to play and having tournaments here keeps the interest in the store," said Porter.

Porter is only on of millions of players around the world who have become addicted to the ever changing and improving card game.

Since its creation 12 years ago, Magic: the Gathering has become the most played game in the world, by far surpassing the popularity of similar games like Dungeons and Dragons and Pokemon. Magic is played by more than 7 million people in 70 countries, blowing away any other card game in history. With seven million players and billions of cards sold, the Magic: The Gathering game continues to be the most widely played trading card game in the world.

Porter is the only DCI sanctioned host, which means he officially license to host qualifying matches for the Pro tournaments, in Cache Valley. He holds tournaments at Cache Game and Hobby every Friday night to a crowd that has been growing every week since he was sanctioned last fall.

Carson Smith, 15 is in the 10th grade at Logan High School, he has been playing for more than five years, he plays in tournaments whenever he gets the chance.

"I love it because of the fantasy it's really entertaining how people make up creatures and magic," said Smith. "It's really fun and it's a good way to take up time."

"Tournaments get pretty serious when people lose, they go nuts and slam their hands and heads on the table," said Porter. "And in the national pro level there is a lot of big money involved."

As of Nov. 1, 2004, Wizards of the Coast, creators of Magic: the Gathering has given away a grand total $21,635,034 at tournaments throughout the world since the game first came on the scene in 1993.
Magic: the Gathering continues to be the gold standard of trading card games, its most expensive card, the coveted Beta Black Lotus card is worth $22,000 alone.

"Magic represents one of the best game franchises ever created, constantly evolving and always offering something new to challenge and entertain players," Joe Hauck, vice president of Wizards-owned trading card games said in a recent press release. "It's very gratifying to see the Magic community growing, with players at every level experiencing Magic -- both tabletop and online."

Created by award-winning game designer Richard Garfield and published by Wizards of the Coast, the Magic: The Gathering trading card game made its debut in August 1993. Available in nine languages, Wizards of the Coast has created more than 6,000 different Magic cards since 1993. Today there are several billion cards in circulation.

The ways of play according the Magic website ( combines the dynamics of a card game with the excitement of trading and collecting, the Magic TCG offers fun for every level of player. Magic players try to reduce their opponent's score from 20 to 0, casting from their deck creatures, spells, artifacts and other cards of varying power-levels and abilities in a series of attack and defense moves. Featuring some of the game world's most revered fantasy art, Magic cards can also be highly collectible, offering another dimension for fans of this popular trading card game.

While most play the Magic TCG casually, Magic players have the opportunity to aspire to the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour, which awards more than $3 million to players each season. In addition, the $350,000 Magic: The Gathering Junior Super Series tournaments offer scholarships for players under the age of 16.

There are more than 100,000 sanctioned Magic: The Gathering tournaments held every year. And, with Magic Online, the online version of the TCG, launched in 2002, players can now meet and compete at any hour of the day, with opponents next door or across the world, via the Internet.

Talking about around the world, the game has now spread so strongly across Utah that it will host the first pro tour ever in the state in 2005.

"This is a really exciting time for fans of Magic in Utah," said Porter. "There are lots of big events coming up and business has been steadily increasing over the past couple months."

Even though Porter favorite game Warhammer 4K, he says it's better that Magic because it has deeper strategy and more tactics, he says he will never quite playing Magic it's simply an amazing game concept.

Porter pauses, thinks and sums up Magic: the Gathering by stealing the tagline from the game of Othello, "Like few things in this world, Magic 'Takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master' that's why it's so great."


Copyright 1997-2004 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
Best viewed 800 x 600.