Many of us today who play the game Magic all have our own reasons for doing so and we all find some enjoyment in it to continue playing it. Some of us like the competition, the tense gut wrenching feeling that you only get when your about to blow the final match of a big tourney out of the water with some stunning play or technique. Some of us play because we love the sort of community feeling that we get when comunicating with fellow players. Some play because of the love of all things mystical and fantasy, whether it be be dragons and unicorns, or fireballs and lightning bolts.
But the bottom line is that we all enjoy it for some reason. What I want to try and peer into with this article-maybe even get a string going on it-is not why people love the game, but why they don't. Some of us hate what Wizards of the Coast has done to it with poor card development. Others get away because they are driven to the brink of madness by the constant meddling and fumbling of the DCI.
But what about the people who just go away one day and aren't there anymore? I've noticed a disturbing amount of people just dissappearing from the game lately. They don't really have reasons, they just don't seem to care anymore. It's like they've gotten into a depressive state with gaming. They go about their lives going to work or school, they go home and then nothing. Nothing much changes with them, they just don't play anymore.
Now granted there are people who just grow out of it and want to move onto other things and there are people who leave CCG's behind for move involving RPG games like AD&D and Rifts. But I don't believe they're all like that, heck I know they aren't. One friend of mine here started playing right when Legacy came out, he bought crap loads of cards and has an awesome T2 collection. He even went back in time a bit to get Visions and Mirage cards, but then one day he just dissapeared. I only heard today that he's decided to keep his decks and few other good cards for sideboards and such, but he's selling the rest of his collection. He says he still likes the game, but you can tell when talking to him that the fire has gone out of his eyes, so to speak. Basically he's lost interest in the thought process, his creative flare is gone.
I've seen him play in tourney's around here, he's done all the big T2 deck styles and a few of the extended ones. But after he did all those his brain just seemed to fall out. His decks became things that were all rares (even the land) and they rarely ever did anything in games. Granted I think he started out wrong from the beginning and rather that make his own stuff went straight to the DCI killer decks. But you would think after over a year playing that some kind of ideas would have come to him. So my question is:
What about Magic has lost its magic?
Its a simple question, but when you really try to think about it there is no one golden correct answer. Some of us blame card quality, some of us blame the speed at which sets come out at. But are we right? No, but then we aren't wrong either.
I remember a time when every pack a person bought had something special about it, where the play would juice everything he could out of every card until those cards were retired or evolved into even bigger ideas. Now I find that most players don't even look at their commons and sometimes uncommons, unless they're after foils. Of course, if you've bought a lot of a set or gotten all the non-rares you need, then it's natural to do so. But there are people who have never gotten a card from a set before and just toss away the non-rare stuff like it's styrofoam-filler.
I don't really have an answer to this either so I'll leave it up for discussion. Interest just seems to have gone away.