Today I want to discuss my response to one tweet in particular:
- At least for the majority of Magic players, playing with physical cards is a social experience. You interact with other people face-to-face, often in ways that are only marginally related to the game itself. The online experience is exactly the opposite. While there may be some limited social interactions, for the most part playing online is purely about the game.
- When playing with physical cards, both players are responsible to have a fundamental understanding of the rules and to enforce them to the best of their ability. This is particularly true with any form of sanctioned play. Playing online, however, the players are freed from having to enforce any of these dynamics, and instead can focus exclusively on their own line of play.
- When dealing with physical cards, the economics of the game are much different. Cards are generally worth more, but it is harder as a seller to get full retail value. Trading cards becomes an effective way at times to get around this problem. Online, cards are generally less expensive, and you have immediate access to buy and sell just about anything in your collection.
However, I will add this caveat, and I believe this is the spirit in which the comment was made. Magic Online can be a great tool for pros and semi-pros to practice, playtest, and perhaps even earn some sweet prizes. Given the level of investment that Wizards has made in professional play, it makes sense that Magic Online should support those who wish to use it towards that end. There should always be the option to play Limited and Constructed in Sanctioned events such that the digital experience is as close as possible to the physical experience. But it also need not be the only option for playing online.
If you've got thoughts on this, I'd love to hear him in the comments below.