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with Christine Gerhardt  



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Parents - Getting Kids Involved! 

The First in a Series of Articles for Parents of Young Players

Pojo.com is an excellent site for many types of players.  One of its focuses is to encourage young players starting off in Collectible Card Games (CCGs), including Magic: The Gathering.

Parents often visit Pojo in search of understanding what their kids are "getting into." If you are one of those parents, great! You are obviously a caring Dad or Mom, and hopefully this series of articles will help and guide you as you share your child's interest in one of the most intelligent and rewarding card games available today! You are the ones that I am creating this series of articles for.

Why Magic?

Magic is a great game for any kid to get involved with. Kids play it for a variety of reasons. Some enjoy the competitiveness. Some enjoy the fantasy aspect of the quality artwork and the game. Some play because their friends are playing and they want to be involved. Others just love games and gaming in general, and Magic is a well-developed, challenging game that will fill their needs.

Whatever the reason they chose to begin playing, there are longstanding benefits that they probably aren't even thinking about. Magic develops many skills, including reading and math. One of the greatest benefits is the development of logic. I often liken Magic to Chess in that sense. You are not just thinking of each move as you make it. You're also thinking of what will happen 2, 3, 4 or more plays ahead. You are considering what your opponent may or may not do, according to what cards he or she has on the board and how much mana they have available. Magic makes thinking FUN, without even thinking about it! (pun intended)

One concern that I hear from a lot of parents visiting our gaming store is whether this is another "Pokemon" type of fad that will disappear in a year. I answer by giving a brief history of M:TG. Magic is the original CCG, started in 1993 by the mathematician, Richard Garfield. It has a large secondary market where cards are bought, sold and traded at completely reasonable prices, not at all fad-driven. Wizards of the Coast has done an excellent job of developing the game, and has invested a lot of time and money into research and development, including extensive play testing. They have also invested in huge prize pools that reward outstanding players of all ages, including large scholarships for Junior Super Series players (under age 16), and fun prizes for casual tournament players, including free T-Shirts, Booster packs and Token cards.

As a Card Shop owner, I've seen fads come and go, I can vouch that this is not a fad with volatile prices and stock, but instead a reasonably priced, stable and longstanding game that should be around for many years to come.

In upcoming articles, I'll be covering other aspects that parents will want to consider, including:

- Finding a Good Local Card Shop & Places to Play 

- Teaching Kids (or Adults) How to Play 

- Caring for Your Cards 

- How Parents Can Be Involved 

- Purchasing/Trading Cards

I hope you enjoy this series of articles and I look forward to encouraging you as a parent of a young Magic: The Gathering player!

Until next time...

 ~ Christine





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