Beyond the Deck

Critical Essays on Magic: The Gathering and Its Influence


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SKU: 9781476683164 Categories: , , , Tag:
Imprint or Series:Studies in Gaming

About the Book

Since its debut in 1993, Magic: The Gathering has grown to be an influential collectible card game, allowing its community of loyal fans to duel each other while enjoying its lore and compelling narratives. This collection of essays focuses on Magic from a variety of disciplinary approaches. Authors explore the innovative game design of Magic, the ludic differences between analog and digital play, how players interact with the MTG market and one another, professional play versus casual play and the many ways Magic has impacted gaming.

About the Author(s)

Shelly Jones is a professor of English at the State University of New York at Delhi and an editor for Analog Game Studies. Their research examines analog, digital, and role-playing games through the lens of intersectional feminism and disability studies.

Series editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell teaches American studies, anthropology, and writing at Pace University in New York.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Shelly Jones

Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 309
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8316-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4906-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Studies in Gaming

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Shelly Jones 1

Magic: Design and Performance
Interview with Mark Rosewater
Aaron Trammell 9
Waiting for Player
Michael Nixon 21

Economies and Esports
Understanding the Magic: The Gathering Card Market: An Ethnographic Approach Toward a Market Strategy
Eugenio Luciano and Alexander di Re 43
Spoiling the Future Metagame: The Promotional Logic and Reception of Card Previews in Magic: The Gathering
Jan Švelch 66
“Cracking” Players as Packs: Finding Speculative Value in Magic: The Gathering Through Play on Magic Arena and Twitch
Justin S. Schumaker 91
Wasn’t in the Cards: The ­Proto-Esport of Professional Magic
Matt Knutson 112

The Communities of Magic: Ethnography and Education
“Who wouldn’t want to summon dragons and trolls?” Constructing Communities at Friday Night Magic
Rachel Guldin and Brandon C. Harris 147
Gathering Understanding: Subcultures, Hierarchies, and Norms
Calvin Liu 168
Student Creation of Magic: The Gathering Cards as ­Cross-Disciplinary Pedagogy of Writing and Mathematics
Wendi Sierra and Kris Green 181

Reinterpreting Magic: Narratives Beyond the Deck
Pacifism as Epic Recomposition in Magic: The Gathering
Roger Travis 217
Gay Play: The Queer Possibilities of Magic: The Gathering
Aaron Aquilina 233
The Call of Eldrazi: The Lovecraftian in Magic: The Gathering
Valentino Paccosi 251
From Magic to Gwent: Magic’s Impact on the Gaming Industry
Jiwon Ohm 273

Shelly Jones 289
About the Contributors 293
Index 297