I’ve always been drawn to the world of Tolkienesque fantasy. Sadly I arrived at the enchanted caverns of Dungeons and Dragons well after everybody else my age had left, being well into my twenties at the time and continued to be “behind play” for the rest of my life. In those pre-computer days it was essential to know like-minded nerds with whom one could cast spells and slay demons on a Friday evening. A thirty year old father of 2 did not fit the profile of your average wannabe gaming freak.
In the early 1990’s I came across a D&D trading card based game called Magic the Gathering (MTG). Unable to resist something totally new in fantasy gaming I picked up a few boxes of cards on our occasional trips into Edinburgh. Having left school some 20 years before the game’s release I realised that finding someone to play against was going to be a wee bit of a problem, this being a game designed for the mainly 13 to 20, unattached (and probably never likely to be attached) male population. This was nerdism at its absolute zenith. All I could do was stare at the pretty pictures…and collect.
A couple of years later Cap’n Jack and his friends reached the age where MTG was cool to play and so I found myself being slaughtered (on a regular basis) over the kitchen table by a group of 13 year old “Magic” fanatics. Looking at the pretty pictures…and collecting was looking like an infinitely more appropriate strategy. But like all things teenage the trend quickly disappeared and so the “Magic” cards disappeared into a box in the loft. I was left in the fantasy gaming wilderness once again.
But all was not lost!
Some years later a Magic the Gathering computer game appeared on the market…and so I was able to be slaughtered once more, this time by a AI opponent with a skill level akin to that of a 5 year old with learning difficulties. On the plus side I wasn’t being mocked by 13 year old upstarts. As PC operating systems “improved” the ageing game became unplayable and so, like the cards, was consigned to the loft of gaming obsoletion.
However a few weeks ago I realised I could download a new MTG programme onto my ipad and so began, once more, to get my rear-end kicked by a more up-to-date AI “with a skill level akin to that of a 5 year old with learning difficulties.” (sigh)
As I began to investigate the veritable profusion of Magic sites I began to delve more and more into the history of the game to my surprise found that I was in possession of cards from the original “Alpha” series. I even discovered an App for my ipad that would give me a monetary “buy” value for them. Very patiently I sorted out the cards and entered them into the App.
Wow! Not bad. A grand total of £1500. Nerd fantasy heaven…but I noticed that it hadn’t given a price for one particular card named Ancestral Recall. I did a bit more research. Ah…seems to be a rare one. I discovered it on US sites for $2000 (about£1500)!
So…it would appear that my better-late-than-never teenage obsession has proved to be, somewhat absurdly, of some value.
“In-your-face Antiques Roadshow…IN-YOUR-FACE!”