How did you first get involved with Magic?
Tom Lapille: I inherited a love of games from my dad. As early as I can remember his extended family gatherings included card games like gin and euchre as well as tons of random board games. I don't know if it was genetics or osmosis, but I was quickly hooked too. I went through phases of liking tons of different games, including classics like Scrabble and Othello, some newer board games, and later various video games.
I was right at the end of my first chess phase when a friend in seventh grade introduced me to Magic, a game that happened to neatly address all of the issues that I had with chess at the time. Chess's onboard complexity combined with perfect information made me feel obligated to calculate a lot, and that wasn't very fun. I was also frustrated when I started working to improve my play and discovered five hundred years of opening theory that I would have to learn if I wanted to be a serious player. (I've always been about as Spikey as they come.) Magic was a breath of fresh air in that the onboard complexity was greatly reduced and the game updated itself regularly so that it was always fresh, and therefore I was happy to jump ship.
My first question, of course, was "Where do I find Magic books?" which earned me strange looks by my Magic-playing friends. I eventually stumbled onto the new-defunct website The Dojo which was the best source on the internet for Magic strategy in 1997. I went to a store and built a crude mono-red attack deck out of their five-cent common box. I was the only person in my school who knew what a mana curve was, so I started holding my own almost immediately. The combination of that and the fact that Magic was totally awesome in general made me want to keep playing.
I've been through phases of playing lots of other games between then and now, but the Magic phase never stopped and has been going for 11 years and counting. That's over half of my life to this point, which completely blows my mind.
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