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February 2006


The Philosophy of Yu-Gi-Oh

For years, Yu-Gi-Oh has been a game of skill, intelligence, luck, creativity and strategy. The philosophy of the game has expanded and challenged our minds to think in various ways not only in the game but outside of it as well; if has affected multiple aspects of many lives whether it be social, mental, psychological or spiritual (Yes, I said spiritual!) and the practicality of the game is able to associate regularly with daily life.
Yu-Gi-Oh challenges the mind and how it thinks as it is pitted against the obstacles of everyday life. We humans think everyday regardless of what it may be about, the mind itself is always active and in Yu-Gi-Oh, it is no different. When we think in Yu-Gi-Oh, we devise strategies in our decks, plan, simulate and carry them out much like we do in life or we recklessly “wing it” and play things out to see what happens. You could play Graceful Charity and ponder what cards to discard to go for the final push or you could completely destroy the whole entire field with Chaos Emperor Dragon and search out a Kuriboh via Sangan to humiliate them. Whatever the case may be, we still think in Yu-Gi-Oh like we do in everyday life. Every thought, every move, every decision we make affects what happens in the future, in every trade, in every card played and in every card that you put into your deck. The mental awareness that this game brings is able to dignify us with adaptation of new ideas as well as conserving traditional ones. Having said that, it allows us to be creative and display the innovation which lies in each of us, much like we do in reality such as developing improved technology and orthodox alternatives adaptations to life. Mentally and naturally, our intellects come into play (or not) during every step of the course, by doing so, we develop new ideas and implement new strategies into the game hoping to be able to generate something new. No deck is perfect, much like a philosophical argument, we can only be more right or wrong and hence no one can ever be perfect which causes us to strive to continue thinking and experimenting.
The game is an extremely social game; it deals with being able to associate with people. Regardless of how shy or energetic you are, this IS a people game. Manipulation and being able to discover anyone’s “tell” is a great asset to learn, only through the process of people could such a skill be accomplished. Relating to reality, finding a “tell” enables one to see if one can tell if someone is telling lies, honesty or truth (there’s a difference between truth and honesty) which many of us could use in our future careers or if you want to be a step ahead in the gossip/rumours that could be floating around. The social aspect is more then just dealing with people as well as trying to read them, it is also a great way of connecting with new friends and establishing bonds between one another (I met my best university friend from Yu-Gi-Oh). Fortifying friendships and creating new relationships with people is an astounding experience and this is one thing Yu-Gi-Oh accomplishes. With the diversity of personalities and personal preferences, there will always be a new experience for every person you play and being able to learn from every one of them can only increase your social skills and behaviour towards it. The association of people can never cease to exist for it is a main staple of what all collectibles card games are all about.
The warfare that ensues between opposing teams or players nowadays can run amuck and could even get out of hand like warfare filled with manifold grudges and bedlam! The psychological aspect of the game plays an important role; it tests the moral fibre of oneself and being able to keep a light head during intense psychological mind games that could occur. If one thing is for sure, paranoia and mind games can definitely throw someone off guard and off their game. Of course, grudges make for a more heated and more interesting contest when we let people go at each other with nothing except their rage; however being able to tap into someone is a skill we all use. We always try to tap into other people on their feelings, experiences, stories, thoughts or anything else that could be on their mind. Trying to help one another or just simply trying to influence someone to do your bidding. Intensification and psychological warfare go hand-in-hand when trying to get into someone’s head; I personally love to cause a friendly feud to make things more interesting (provided no one really gets hurt). Being unified together with your mind and soul is always one way to keep in tact of yourself for anything that could be thrown against you.
Now, you’re probably asking, how can the philosophical grounds of Yu-Gi-Oh make this game spiritually influenced at all? Or if you’re not THAT intellectual and/or lazy: WTF does spiritual have to do anything with this ****? The game taps into the ethics which generally relates to what religion you may be from. I personally don’t mind a little friendly trash talking but never do I steal or get in the way of anyone else’s trades. Yu-Gi-Oh is like a business and it has its ethics. I don’t watch the show but I know from hearing about The Apprentice, Donald Trump still has his ethics in tact with his millions or billions of dollars. Generally, the game is more of being able to use your moral values from a religious standpoint (and/or strictly from your own beliefs). As most people know, 1 of the Ten Commandments from said by Moses from God is “Thou Shall not Steal” and I believe in that whole-heartedly. Much like an senior citizen who needs a hand while carrying groceries or helping a cat from atop a tree, most of us would probably assist them as our ethics or values may tell us, even if you’re atheist, they have ethics too and good hearts too! Your moral values and beliefs are what exploit yourself as the good-hearted (or bad) person that you are.
The characteristics of the Yu-Gi-Oh and the philosophy behind it display practical and sensible uses in everyday life. Its aspects of it outside the game as well as the inside can be cited to modern behaviour. Critical thinking and being able to think on your feet are versatile in correlating to any action we do. The philosophy of Yu-Gi-Oh as a game shows that there it is actually more then just a game but is appropriate to being a way of life since it can reference to its practicality and what we do on a daily basis.


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