Games are supposed to be fun, to increase the bonds between people. But there are exceptions to that rule, the vipers lurking in the grass of geeky entertainment. There is a special class of game out there which seem innocent enough, but playing them quickly shows their true intent. These are the games which try the souls of men, put you to the test and, if not approached cautiously, lay waste to love and friendship.
7. Magic the Gathering
The grand-daddy of all collectible card games, Magic the Gathering starts off innocently enough. You buy a few pre-made decks and play a few games with friends. Maybe you start playing regularly over lunch, or to break up the usual board game night. It’s fun, unpredictable and quick.
And then, someone gets good at it; someone starts to take it seriously.
They start buying booster packs, constructing better and better decks. They buy cards online to fulfill this combo or that combo. Perhaps they even reach back into the game’s horrendous back catalog of banned cards to construct decks that no one has any hope of winning against. They use a multitude of computer programs to run the probabilities on their combos and optimize their mana pool.
What used to be a friend is now a monster. You have to start consulting the rulebook, the real one that’s hundreds of pages long, to figure out whether he can actually do that or whether that card is even legal anymore. You have to confront this jerk who was once your friend, because the game isn’t fun anymore. Either that, or you have to join him in an arms race that will suck up both time and money, and probably not be very fun.
And the worst part is, this is exactly what the designers of Magic want to happen. This is their business model, selling as many cards as possible to as many people in the eternal quest to dominate the competition. Their business model is based around people being jerks. Continue reading “Top seven games that destroy friendships”