While some are called by the siren of beer and wine, others are roused by the sound of dice on tables, fever pitched battles of luck and skill, and Friday Night Magic. Many might have played Warhammer or Magic the Gathering in high school, but few know that even into college people are still playing. Every Friday night, Magic the Gathering players around the country, and here in Corvallis, gather together in local game shops to play with and against each other in an event known as Friday Night Magic. Two local destinations for Magic cards, comics of all types, games, and more are Matt’s Card Cavalcade and Pegasus Games.
While the general population of people playing tabletop games versus computer games has steadily declined, a dedicated fan base has helped keep the spirit of imagination alive. In an era of drool-inducing persistent digital interaction, tabletop gaming represents one of the few social interactions left that hasn’t been translated to the web. People still have to physically move to another location and physically interact with each other. This kind of interaction has been all but reduced to exchanges of commerce everywhere else. Social interaction with the intent of “play” with strangers is all but unheard of everywhere but in tabletop and live action role play gaming.
An alternative to bar hopping is to stop by your local game store and engage in social behavior without lubricants. To be fair, many of the players are under the influence of something, at minimum large amounts of caffeine, so even if 4:20 is your time or Jim Bean is your best friend, chances are when you draw your deck or throw the dice you’ll be transported back to that magical time before the worries of everyday mundane life were ever present. You might even find some friends whose names you will remember in the morning. So pull out that old box of Magic cards, or go down and buy a deck-building set, and come out to play! A society that can’t laugh and play together can’t hope to build a future together.
By William Tatum