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Magic in the TeenSpot

Seemingly out of nowhere, Magic: The Gathering has become a new obsession in the TeenSpot department at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. I always find it interesting which games become popular with our teens. Most of our regulars tend to be die hard Yu-Gi-Oh players, or fanatical about Roblox. I was a bit surprised (and very excited) to watch this new passion for the Magic: The Gathering card game to unfold.

It began with one of my coworkers bringing in her Magic: The Gathering cards. When another coworker saw them, he brought in his card collection. One by one, more and more teens gained interest. Staff began bringing in extra cards to build decks for our teens. One of our security guards donated an entire box – thousands of cards – to the department. We taught the teens to build their own decks and how to play. Now, nearly every day we have a mini tournament at our public desk. Staff from other departments have grown interested, and learned how to play. As someone who grew up playing Magic, it warms my heart to see so much interest in the game.

These tournaments are fun and a great way for teens who may not know each other to come together over a common interest. Many of our teens did not know that there is a book series based on Magic: The Gathering. These tournaments have provided a great opportunity for some readers’ advisory!   

If you think your teens might be interested in this awesome game, here are some resources to get you started!

  • Basics for those who are new to Magic
  • Tournament Rules from Wizards of the Coast
  • Magic: The Gathering Wiki
  • Are your teens more interested in online gaming? Play Xmage or Untap.in online, free!
  • Or play the official Magic: The Gathering online for a fee.
  • Check Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, and other online “yard sale” sites and apps for cheap, bulk cards.
  • Magic: The Gathering novels

–Megan Whitt, currently reading Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

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