A Parents Guide to Magic: The Gathering

chandra child

Greetings parent! I’ll be your host today as I help you understand the game of Magic: The Gathering and answer a few questions you may have about the game. I’ve been playing for 20 years and have seen both sides of the game, both as a young player and a parent of a player.

Many of you may be concerned about the game itself or some of the themes and subjects included with the game. It’s understandable as you, the parent, are looking out for your son or daughter’s well being. We’ll look at both the good and bad aspects of the game for your child.

For starters, Magic is a collectible card game. This means that like other hobbies like baseball card collecting stamps, players are always looking for better, more expensive cards. Magic cards come in randomized packs and are often traded between players based on their playing needs.

The second part of the game involves playing a game with these collected cards. Each player creates a deck based from the cards they have collected. There are many different types of decks that all have various ways to win. No two games of Magic are alike and like paper-rock-scissors, some decks can have the edge over others despite a player having a deck of all rare or expensive cards.

I’ll just be frank, getting cards and making a deck can be an expensive endeavor. Many casual decks are cheaper but most highly competitive decks can be quite pricey. Purchasing random packs, another way to add to your collection are anywhere from $3 to $5 per pack.

The game is extremely complex and your youngster will be playing a game of chess with thousands of available pieces. Magic is a great exercise for their brains and helps them with problem solving, imagination, vocabulary, resourcefulness and overcoming social anxiety.

In addition to the time and effort involved in collecting and playing the game, your child will be often thinking about the game. Daydreaming about what cards to put in their decks next and what new cards will come out in the newest batch of random packs. To younger players, this may be a distraction when it comes to homework or school so keep an eye on slipping grades.

The card game has a background story as well. Players take the role of fantasy wizards, casting magic spells and summoning various monsters and creatures to do their bidding. Many of the themes covered by Magic have been seen on many fantasy movies like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. The wizards your player portrays are really no different than many of the super heroes that grace the covers of comic books or Marvel movies. If your child has seen these movies without issue, Magic should be generally fine with them.

Most of these creatures are very tame to the minds of younger players, however, like in many fantasy movies and themes there will be occasional devils and demons involved. Your son or daughter will have the opportunity to play with cards depicting these evil creatures. Players will never be forced to play with these cards to win. Make sure your potential player is mature enough to handle these themes before shuffling up.

Although these images are in the game, they come seldom and there is no mistake they are evil creatures. The line is not blurred when the story is involved or is their any ties to any current real world religions. I’ve personally never felt the pull towards any demon worship or alternative lifestyle because of any Magic card, nor have I ever met someone that blames Magic for springboard to Satanism. People that have made claims to Magic being dangerous from a religious standpoint have no understanding of the game or the effort Magic has put forth to distance themselves from any modern day religion.

Magic has also taken strides to remove some of the more racy fantasy art found in many fantasy themed artwork. Female characters in the game are portrayed in a much more heroic fashion and not sex objects. The most sexual content you will find in the game is some mild cleavage on occasional female characters.

Despite Magic trying to take the high road on their card’s artwork, some opponents your child faces in games may not. Card protectors, cases and as playmats can be designed with sexualized pictures and artwork. Sometimes players may even draw or paint these type of images on their cards. This is usually frowned upon at game stores and the playing community in general. If this is a concern of yours, take a trip down to your son or daughter’s game store where they purchase or play Magic and scope out the environments your young player will be spending their time. Any good gaming store welcomes parents.

Magic is a great game. Don’t believe me? Have your child teach you how to play. Experience all the things I’ve been telling you about and more! Playing Magic with your child is a chance for your family to connect. It has enhanced my family time and it will yours as well.

Swing Last,


Like this article? You can contact Aiokii in the comments below or follow him on Twitter or Facebook. Aiokii can also be found on MTGO, hit him up for a game sometime. Also, take the time to check out Reddit Budgetdecks for cheap discussion and deck ideas.

One response to “A Parents Guide to Magic: The Gathering

  1. Pingback: MTG Blog Spotlight: A Parents Guide to Magic: The¬†Gathering | Elspeth for the Win·

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