The student lounge at Frederick Community College has become a haven. A haven for lovers of the 26-year-old fantasy card game, Magic: The Gathering (“Magic”). Students often gather in the nook with a fireplace, which has been dubbed The Fire Lounge, to partake in this fantastical experience.
What is Magic, you ask? Well, Frederick Community College student Austin Dye, who has been playing for “a year and two months” has the answer. “Magic: The Gathering is a card game played with friends where the goal is to deplete your opponent’s health with a combination of cards you like.”
Dye was the student who initially suggested the lounge be a gathering place for players, “After a bad experience involving the person who taught me the game, I decided I wanted to make it a positive outlet for myself,” Dye said when asked why he began playing Magic on campus, “At the same time I noticed other people were starting to get into the game so I thought it would be a good idea to form a little community of people who played.”
Magic: The Gathering was created by Garfield and Mark Elliot. Published in 1993 by popular role-playing game company Wizards of the Coast, Magic quickly gained a significant following that continues to grow to this day, thanks to players like Dye who, when asked what his favorite aspect of the game was, said “I really enjoy bringing other people into this hobby, sometimes more than I enjoy playing.”
This game has survived for several generations in no small part to fans who introduce this hobby to others. This is apparent to FCC student and friend of Dye, Keegan Santaroski who has
been playing Magic for over nine years. Santaroski was initially drawn to the game by a member of his family, “My brother introduced me to it” Santaroski said.
When asked what one would need to start playing Magic, Santaroski said, “Time to learn, money to buy cards and people to play with.” The fanbase has proven to be heavily diverse as well, “One of my favorite things about the game is the variety of people to play against” Santaroski said.
This heavily enjoyed pastime is fairly inexpensive, at least for a casual player. “A standard deck for casual gaming is pretty cheap, like $30 or $40, but if you decide to play competitively, it can cost over $500 a year” Santaroski said.
“But I think the most important thing you need for this game is a community of friends who already play,” Dye added. This is exactly what can be found in the Student Center (Building H) of Frederick Community College.