GdR2: Archivio Documentale online

Sezione Documenti a favore del GdR

Botta e Risposta

Pubblichiamo un divertente "post" comparso su un gruppo usenet. Gli autori demoliscono, con sarcasmo e ironia, il classico pezzo scandalistico. Anche se il bersaglio e' il noto GCC Magic, noterete numerosi riferimenti al gioco di ruolo. In corsivo l'articolo originale. In testo normale il commento.

BEWARE of MAGIC: The Gathering™

MIKE: It's like a card game ... FROM HELL!

Report by David L. Brown, Th.M.

TOM: What's "Th.M."?
MIKE: I dunno; George Lucas' next sound system?
CROW: The audience is listening.

© August 1995
May only be reproduced in full and must include this notice.
May not be reproduced for resale. May be carried on other non-commercial web sights
(sic sul testo originale ! NdRaistlin) provided the Logos web address is included.

TOM: Oh, don't worry; it will be... Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

CROW: Your one-stop shop for religious dogma.

GenCon is the annual gaming convention, sponsored by TSR™ (Tactical Studies Research) of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

TOM: Wisconsin: It's the cows.
CROW: (shuddering) Yeah, if it's from Wisconsin, you gotta know it's evil!
MIKE: Hey! *I'm* from Wisconsin!
CROW: (looking at MIKE) Or at least cheesy...
MIKE: Well, that's better... (does a double-take) Hey!

TSR, Inc. is the originator of the original Fantasy Role Playing Game, Dungeons & Dragons™.

MIKE: So you gotta *know* they're bad!
CROW: Actually, I've thought of them as 'evil' ever since they bought-out and sank S.P.I.
TOM: Yeah. Before they got bought out in 1997 by Wizards of the Coast, they were the Microsoft of the gaming world...

The GenCon Convention is the place to introduce new products to the FRP (Fantasy Role Playing) crowd because 15,000 to 25,000 people attend GenCon annually.

CROW: ...Soaked in Clearosil and wearing black T-shirts.

In 1993, when I walked into the convention hall where vendors have their booths, a crowd caught my eye.

MIKE: I thanked them, retrieved it and screwed it back in place.

There was a group of people sitting around a line of tables playing cards and the crowd was intently watching.

TOM: Would they play the red five on the black six? Or how about the jack of clubs on the queen of diamonds? The suspense was overwhelming...

I had never heard of or seen a "fantasy" card game before, so I asked about it. As it turned out,

CROW: ...this game was part of an insidious plan to bring down role-playing games.

Peter Adkison and his "basement" company, Wizards of the Coast, had driven all the way from Renton, Washington to introduce Magic: The Gathering™. I had no idea atthat point that I was video taping Gaming History.

TOM: But there he was: Rodney King, playing a hand with Mark Fuhrman...
CROW: Can't we all just get along?

At the 95 convention there were so many people packed around The Wizards of The Coast mega-booth that it was hard to get a decent picture.

MIKE: Hey guys! Look up there! Mega-booth! Your favorite actor!
CROW: (sighing like a teenager embarrassed by his mom) Geez, Mike! It's "MegaWeapon", not "MegaBooth"...
TOM: Yeah, Mike! And anyway, MegaWeapon wouldn't be *selling* anything at GenCon; he'd have to be the guest of honor!
CROW: Yeah!
MIKE: Gee; well, sorry...

People were buying, selling and trading Magic cards. It was easy to see why "Adkison's basement operation...has mushroomed from 6 to 250 employees, with operations in Glasgow, Scotland, and Antwerp, Belgium, in addition to Renton, Washington." (3).

MIKE: (holding up a placard) And the Russian judge gives it a "3".
CROW/TOM: (making soft crowd cheering noises)

A press release entitled Growing Globally tells of their international success.

CROW: I thought that was the title of the Dolly Parton

I was startled to read that there are more than 1/2 Billion Magic cards in circulation around the world with more to come. The company cannot keep up with the demand for the cards. There is such a demand for the cards that they are bought, sold, traded and even auctioned over the InterNet.

TOM: Ooooh! Guys! I got an idea!
TOM: I'm gonna make Magic: The Gathering Beanie Babies! Think of the market! Think of the collectible re-sale value!
CROW: ...Think of me retching violently...
MIKE: I dunno, Crow. Maybe Tom has a good idea here. Imagine a cute, little stuffed "Sera Angel" or even a plush "Lord of the Pit".
CROW: Hmmm... Maybe...
MIKE: Just think of it! Everyone can have their own little special-edition "Nalathni Dragons" perched on their shoulder!
CROW: Gamers and beanie-collectors will be knocking on your door day and night...
MIKE: You'll be incredibly popular...!
(TOM pauses, shuddering)
TOM: Uh, on second thought...

Now, lest you think we are talking pennies, I have seen bids on cards from $50 to $100.

MIKE: That's for sure... My 1975 Topps Nolan Ryan cost me at least $75!

I have heard report of cards bringing $200 and more.

TOM/CROW: (singing) Where'd ya go, Joe DiMaggio...?
MIKE: (sighing wistfully) Joltin' Joe has left and gone away...

For $1500 you can buy the Unlimited Series set and for $1000 the Legends series. Need I say more?

ALL: (decisively) No.

"Magic continues to grow and is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most elaborate strategy games in history."(1/5)

CROW: Hey! He said more!
TOM: Foul!

The root idea for the game came from Peter Adkison. You might say Adkison is a preacher's kid because his father was an Army chaplain.

TOM: (singing) He's just the son of a preacher-man...

But his mind was not on the things of the Lord.

CROW: No, Mr. Adkison had a life.
MIKE: Uh, Crow... Pete Adkison was a gamer.
CROW: Well, uh, I guess I withdraw my last comment.

"While in high school he developed a fascination with role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, and began developing his own games." (3) He organized a small gaming company that he ran out of his basement called Wizards of the Coast and he began marketing fantasy role playing games.

TOM: He called his basement "Wizards of the Coast"?
MIKE: Throw Momma from the train, a kiss, Tom...
TOM: Hunh?

That's where Dr. Richard Garfield, professor of combinational math comes in. He too was a fantasy role-playing enthusiast.

CROW: Thus making his corruption obvious and indelible.

He met with Peter over a pizza in Portland, Oregon,

TOM: (as Richard Garfield) It took me weeks to get the cheese out of my Reeboks.

to try to get him to produce the fantasy role playing game, RoboRally.

CROW: (in a Marlon Brando voice) I got an offer ya can't refuse...
MIKE: Considering that RoboRally is a board game and not a Fantasy RPG, Peter wasn't impressed with Richard's sales pitch...

Peter was not interested but said, "he really saw a need for a game that could be played quickly with minimal equipment, a game that would go over well at conventions." (2/4)

TOM: In short: Crack for gamers...

He suggested the concept for a fantasy card game and asked Garfield if he thought he could develop the game.

MIKE: But he just rolled around in his lasagna and punched-out Odie.

The rest is gaming history.

CROW: (in his Peter Graves voice) I'm Peter Graves. Thanks for joining us here on "Biography".


TOM: The new novel by Salman Rushdie.
CROW: Infidel!

I see at least four major problems with this game.

CROW: 1. I didn't create it...
TOM: 2. It requires imagination and strategic thinking...
MIKE: 3. It's yet another threat to my theological insecurities...
TOM: 4. the voices in my head told me it was bane of all mankind.

These conspicuous problems cause me to urge people neither to collect these cards nor play the game

1) The primary focus on the occult

CROW: (in an Austin Powers voice) Yeah baby, yeah! Stay in focus! Th' supernatural loves ya, baby!

2) The violent nature of the game

MIKE: Unlike Football, Boxing or Soccer...

3) The addictive nature of the game

CROW: Oh man... I need a fix. TOM: Yeah, well Tommy 'ere 'as a "Benalish Hero" for ya... Tommy looks out f'r his friends...
CROW: A...a "Benalish Hero"? C'mon, I need an "Icy Manipulator" at least!
TOM: Sorry bud, all ya can afford is a "'Hero"... Maybe a few forests.

4) The identification of the players with evil characters.

CROW: Who? Fred Phelps?

The Occult Focus & Violence Of The Game

MIKE: They're two -yes- *two* sins in one!

The Bible makes it clear in both the Old and New Testaments that occult practices are an abomination to the Lord.

TOM: But I thought that "Occult" only meant "hidden" or "secret".
CROW: So secrets are an abomination unto God? Wow. Better tell us where you've been hiding the macaroons, Mike.
TOM: Quick!
CROW: Before you get smited!
MIKE: (chuckling) Nice try fellahs. But that's one secret I'm keeping.
TOM: Darn.
CROW: (softly) I want a macaroon...

Deuteronomy 18:10-12
There shall not be found among you any... that useth divination, or an observer of times,

MIKE: ...nor be an observer of "the Post", "Enquirer", "U.S. News & World Report" or "the Minneapolis Star/Tribune"...

or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer,

TOM: Well, that lets out Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano.

or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD:

CROW: Gee, there sure are a lot of things in God's Creation that are an abomination unto Him.
TOM: Wouldn't you think He'd have had the foresight *not* to create such things in the first place?
MIKE: Guys, you're looking at this the wrong way. If you just think of God as a fussy artist who's never satisfied with His work, it all makes sense...
CROW/TOM: Hmmmm...
CROW: Hey...
TOM: Yeah!

Another scripture passage that points out just how seriously God views the occult and wizardry is Acts 13:10. The Apostle Paul indicts Elymas the sorcerer with these words -- O full of all subtlety (deceit) and all mischief (maliciousness), thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

CROW: Hmmm... Why does this "Elymas" sound familiar? Deceitful ... malicious ... enemy of all righteousness.
MIKE: Well, remember Mr. Bynum from "Gay?"? He had "E" as his first initial...
CROW: (shouting) THAT'S IT!

The fact is, we should not mimic things that are an abomination to the Lord.

TOM: But feel free to deride, mock and ridicule them!

No one should even pretend to be a child of the devil, an enemy of righteousness.

CROW: Take heed and repent, Linda Blair!

When they do, they pervert the acceptable ways of the Lord!
Perhaps you are wondering, are Magic cards really occult oriented? Read this quote carefully

MIKE: Whoa... Let me get my glasses here. (He bends over for a second and then sits back up again.) Hey, I can't see anything!
TOM: (sighing) Mike, did you put on your rose-colored glasses again?

(MIKE takes a pair of glasses off of his face, examining them.)

MIKE: Uh, yeah, I guess I did.
TOM: Mike, haven't you learned anything yet? Those glasses won't let you see anything clearly; just pleasant, nice and un-painful things...

(They all pause.)

CROW: Give 'em here! (he lunges at MIKE who holds them high)
TOM: No me! Me!
MIKE: No, no... I think I'll hang on to them if you don't mind.
TOM: (sobbing) But I want to read something nice for a change...
MIKE: Maybe later, Tom. (he puts the glasses away)

"Unlike Dungeons and Dragons, which became an infamous tool for occultists, Magic has not developed an outside mythology.

(All break down laughing)

TOM: (sputtering) Oh, I can see it now, devotees of the occult arts world-wide toss aside their copies of "The Golden Bough" for the "Dungeon Master's Guide"!
CROW: (in a TV-announcer/Dianetics voice) How can I gain experience and skill?
MIKE: Player's Handbook, page 88.
CROW: (still in the same voice) How can I find my way when lost?
MIKE: D.M.G., page 128.
CROW: (still in the same voice) What kind of dragon spits acid?
MIKE: Monstrous Manual, page 65.
TOM: Read "Dungeonetics" by L.Ron Gygax. Take control of your so-called "life".

(they all laugh)

MIKE: (recovering) Claire Danes played "D & D"?

'This draws on the milieu, the fantasy of Dungeons and Dragons' says Richard Garfield, the creative impetus behind Magic..." '4
The Washington Post, pulls no punches when it says unequivocally that Dungeons and Dragons was an "infamous tool for occultist." Why? Because

TOM: sells papers.

D&D derived its story line, symbols and characters from the occult and Pagan mythology.

CROW: I guess that means that Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Hans Christian Anderson had nothing to do with it.

But Magic: The Gathering™ developer Adkison does not think his game has that problem. Why?

MIKE: Well, apart from it not really *being* a problem...

Because he has gone to D&D for his story line, symbols and characters but not the "real" occult. What is he thinking?

TOM: (in a mother-like tone of voice) Young man, what *were*
you thinking?!!

Though he has a Ph.D. in combinational math, his reasoning is flawed. Since D&D is based on the occult and is a tool of occultist,

MIKE: ...if you buy that argument in the first place...

then Magic cards will be equally a tool for occultists because they are based on the occult also, the second generation occult data of D&D.

CROW: Ohhh! Tom! Tom! I'll trade you my "Lesser Banishing Ritual" for your "Pillar of Lights"!
TOM: I dunno Crow... How about you throw in the "Crowley Synopsis Of The Qabbalah" too?
CROW: Yeah, right! You just don't want me summoning my "Lord of the Pit" anymore...
TOM: Hey, you give some, you get some...

After reading two books about the game, watching the game being played, reading numerous news articles and reading scores of Internet E-Mail messages on the game, there is no doubt in my mind that Magic cards promote the occult and violence.

MIKE: Y'know, after reading two pages by this author, watching the actions taken by those who believe his article and reading numerous posts from the confused and bewildered Magic players who've encountered this rant, there is no doubt in my mind that "Beware Magic The Gathering" promotes blind religious dogma...

Just a word about God's view of violence -- GOD HATES THOSE WHO PROMOTE VIOLENCE.

TOM: (in a deep, God-like voice) They should be cast down and crushed without mercy!

Look at Psalms 11:5
The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Let's look at some more of the evidence.

CROW: Let's not, and say we did, Ok?

Georiga Pabst of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes,

MIKE: "Blue Ribbon is a refreshing, full-bodied lager..."

"Magic: The Gathering takes place in the mystical multiverse of Dominia where players become mighty wizards and, armed with beautifully illustrated cards of various creatures, artifacts and lands, cast spells and enchantment aimed at killing off the opponent." 3 (emphasis added)

MIKE: Emphasis? Hunh?

Georgia, in the above concise statement, hits the nail on the head.

CROW: She sure does!
CROW: Well, the cards *are* beautifully illustrated...
MIKE/TOM: Ooooohhh!
MIKE: I don't think that's the head of the proverbial nail that Mr. Brown is talking about, Crow.

Every player is a wizard or sorcerer and the goal is to build up enough magic energy to kill your opponent.

TOM: Oh, much better than the philosophy behind "Monopoly"!
MIKE: Hunh?
TOM: (exasperated) Monopoly: build up a financial empire, gouge your clients to the poorhouse and dance on their financial graves caused by foreclosure and mortgages!
CROW: Better to lead a life of pointless, poverty-stricken misery than die happy!
TOM: It's the American way...

Here's how it works according to the instruction book that comes with the cards

CROW: First, declare your undying servitude and worship to the Dark Master.

"There are two basic types of cards: spells and lands. Lands are easy to spot; they say 'land' in between the picture and the text box.

TOM: You might also notice the large, card-dominating image of a landscape.

Lands are the most common kind of card in Magic, since they usually provide the mana, or magical energy, for all your spells. You can lay out one land per turn, and you may use the land for mana as soon as it is in play." 5/5 Now, how do you kill your opponent?

MIKE: I dunno; force them to read this article until their eyes bleed?
CROW: Mike!
MIKE: (confused) What?
CROW: Oh, nothing. I've just always wanted to say that...
MIKE: (slowly) Oh... Okay.

Aimee Miller of the Washington Post wrote, "The rules of the game are simple: Each player starts with 20 'lifepoints.' You gain lifepoints by casting beneficial spells from land cards. You lose lifepoints when attacked by nasty creatures and charms. If you run out of lifepoints, you're exiled, which is a polite way of saying your dead.

TOM: I thought the euphemism was "Terminated With Extreme Prejudice"?
CROW: Welcome to the nineties, Tom.

Players stay alive by annihilating their opponents first." She goes on to say, "Want to crush your opponent in under five minutes? Stack the deck with deadly and destructive black and red Magic cards". (emphasis added)

CROW: Aimee Miller sure seems to be a master at strategy.
TOM: I'd have *never* thought of that myself!
MIKE: Come on guys, she's just a journalist who was looking for an angle. It's not her fault she doesn't really understand the game.
CROW/TOM: (in dejected monotones) We're sorry.
MIKE: I'm more concerned about the continual "emphasis added" statements. What emphasis?
TOM: Doctor F must've stripped those out accidentally when he shipped this up here.
MIKE: Oh, you mean the words "stack the deck" were probably underlined or something?
TOM: (sighing) Or something...

That brings me to the Mana (magical energy) Chart explaining the different kinds of Magic and how they can be used.

CROW: Oh, I've seen this one! Penn & Teller did it first!
MIKE: Then just applaud politely when he's done explaining it.

Black Magic is identified as the magic of death.

TOM: (in Grandpa Simpson's voice) Deeeeeaaaaath!

Let me share with you two quotes from the book, Mastering Magic Cards. "The magic of death is often a double-edged sword, however, malevolent to its wielder as well as its victim.

CROW: (in a dreamy, Doug Henning-like voice) The magic of death is mysterious and magical! With sparklies and rainbows and whiskers-on-kittens...!

Few people summon the awesome might of the Lord of the Pit without being ready to sacrifice their very worldly existence to wield its incredible power..." 1/30

TOM: Which, when taken out of context like this, sounds pretty menacing.

The second quote "A black necromancer wields the sacrifice, particularly the Dark Ritual Cards" 1/30

MIKE: I'll bet Ozzy Ozborne just loves this game.

Blue Magic is mental in nature and taps "the elemental forces of air and water." Friends, lest you think this is harmless let me tell you that occultists believe in and seek to tap into the power of what they call Sylphs (elemental spirits of the air). They believe that Lucifer empowers air spirits.

TOM: Say, did he just call Lucifer an air-head?
CROW: (in a valley-girl accent) Lahk, Oh-mah-Gawd! Flay me with a pitchfork!
MIKE: (chuckling) I think it could be better interpreted as "Lucifer blows"...
TOM: Geez, Mike! You're behaving like *such* a child!
CROW: We're going to have to give you a "time-out" unless you behave...

That is interesting in light of Ephesians 2:2
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

TOM: Translation: The old God of the air now lives in the hearts of children everywhere.
CROW: Really? Cool!

The truth is, the elemental spirits that occultists claim to communicate with, whether they be air, water, earth or fire spirits are demons from Satan's diabolical horde.

CROW: So ancient, Greek philosophers were actually Satanists for their part in developing the four elements concept?

I have personally interviewed a real witch who says she invokes earth spirits known as trolls (really demons) to assist her in her rituals.

MIKE: She was decked out in crystals and called herself "Elf-Song".

(See my pamphlet The Truth About Trolls for more information). Magic cards is conditioning children to be receptive to paganism.

TOM: (in an ominous tone) Magic The Gathering: gateway drug for the occult.

Green Magic draws energy from the forest and has vast destructive capabilities.

CROW: Just like the Brazilian logging industry!

Green or Ecological magic is in fact one of the most popular forms of witchcraft today.

MIKE: Darn those spell-casting environmentalists! They're diabolical!

Red Magic is the destructive magic of earth, fire, chaos and war. Chaotic magic is practiced by many today. There are Internet sights devoted solely to this diabolical from of magic.

TOM: (snickering) Yeah, ever since TSR came up with "Chaos Magic" in their rule books, every kid wanting to shock their parents has taken it up.
CROW: You think the founders of "The Golden Dawn" are rolling over in their graves right about now?

White Magic is used for protection, healing injuries and chivalrous war. Wiccans claim to practice only this "good" kind of magic. I know that is not true. I have copies of curses that "good witches" have spit out against Christians.

CROW: So, not having had his fill of offending gamers, he now decides to go after the Wiccans?
TOM: Well, if they can literally spit curses...
MIKE: (groaning) Don't give him ideas, Tom. He might decide to write a treatise on the arcane properties of Wiccan saliva...

And let me remind you that occult magic in any form is derived from Satan and his diabolical horde.

MIKE: Somehow, it's hard for me to picture Silver Ravenwolf, Starhawk or Scott Cunningham hanging out with a 'diabolical horde'.
CROW: Well, if they hung out with the "700 Club"...
MIKE: I don't think that's very probable, Crow.

Likely there are those who will protest, What's the big deal?

ALL: What's the big deal?!!

It's only a game!

ALL: It's only a game!!


TOM: Uh-oh.
CROW: Sounds like he's gonna tell us off...
MIKE: Brace for impact!

games are powerful tools for capturing the minds of children.

TOM: Then the Mi-Go take them and put them in jars on Pluto.

Games point the thinking of those who play them in a definite direction and if that direction is not a wholesome direction, there can be problems.

CROW: Why, the evils of "Candyland" alone are legion!

Listen to who is playing the game and what it is doing to them

(all pause, as if waiting...)

TOM: (singing) Listen... To the Sounds ... of Silence...

The Addictive Nature of The Game

"Magic addicts range from kindergartners to middle-aged professionals - the game's a favorite pastime for Microsoft employees.

MIKE: Ok, so maybe it *is* a tool of evil...

They also include a substantial number of female players in addition to the 'teenage', white male boys" Renee Shallis of Wizards of the Coast. 4

TOM: Don't you think that the author might be shooting his own argument in the foot here?
TOM: I mean what better way to get lonely, horny teenagers to do something than by telling them that teenage girls enjoy it too?
MIKE: Hmmm... Good point.

"Originally targeted to males in their teens and early 20s, Magic now has younger children playing ..."

CROW: Ga-ga-goo!
TOM: Ohhhhh... Isn't that cute? It's Baby's First Starter Deck!

"After the printing of Fallen Empires, there exists over 1,000 cards, and no one can claim to own all of them.

MIKE: (in an ominous voice) You can't eat just one.

Many of the veteran addicts are familiar with each and every one and can recite their name, abilities, casting costs, and color with no reference to aid them;" 1/5

CROW: I guess this means that sports fans must be evil too...
MIKE: Well, at least the ones who collect Baseball cards.
TOM: No, they're just misguided.

"The game has literally captured the imaginations of thousands and taken on a life of its own." 1/3 That is a major problem. When anyone becomes preoccupied with thoughts that are an abomination to the Lord God Almighty there is going to be trouble.

TOM: Right here in River-city!
MIKE: (sounding impressed) Nice Robert Preston, Tom...
TOM: Why, thank you!

According to Corinthians 10:4-5
we must reject thoughts that are contrary to God's word, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. If a person refuses to do that Romans 1:21 reveals the consequences

MIKE: They become guests on the Jerry Springer show?

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

TOM: (singing as Billy Ray Cyrus) Don't break my heart; my foolish, darkened-heart... You know I love the Lord so much...

A darkened heart is serious business!

CROW: You bet it is! It'll let me sacrifice a forest for 3 black Mana...

Let me issue a solemn warning to parents, Magic: The Gathering is dangerous because it conditions the minds of the players to be receptive to the occult and violence and those who really get into it become addicted.

MIKE: So don't let drugs or gangs distract you, the real danger facing kids today is Magic: The Gathering!

It becomes the focus of their lives.

MIKE: Unlike, say, Sports or Religion...

There is one final issue I want to deal with. That is

CROW: ...Hemorrhoids!

The Identification of Players With Evil Characters

TOM: Yeah, those "Samite Healers" are a corrupt and bad influence!
MIKE: I sure wouldn't want *my* children to identify with them!

Many of those who play Magic cards identify mentally with the Sorcerer they choose to play. That is dangerous. Consider these quotes:

CROW: "Four Score and Seven Years Ago..."
MIKE: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself..."
TOM: "Read my lips..."

"Part of the game's appeal comes from 'the ability to develop a character -- you get to be somebody else,' says Garfield...In Magic the deck you put together reflects your character -- your persona." (4)

CROW: Hey Mike, does the author mean that I can dabble in the Occult if it's part of my true nature?
MIKE: Well Crow, that's a pretty deep question. I suppose that depends on what religion you are.
CROW: Well, I worship the All-Mighty Dollar!
TOM: (butting in) ...sounds plausible to me...
MIKE: (sounding confused) What kind of Occult Arts are associated with that?
CROW: (snickering) Surely you've heard of ... voodoo economics? (chuckle)

(TOM and MIKE groan)

MIKE: Tom, remind me to have Pearl send us a transcript of Ronald Reagan's Inaugural Address, Ok?
CROW: Hey! I was only joking!
MIKE: You should have thought about that before you punned, Crow.

"...Magic is closer to role playing than any other card or board game I know of." 2/17

TOM: With the possible exception of Gnip-Gnop.

The best thing you can do, in my opinion, with Magic: The Gathering is to follow Acts 19:19-20 Many of them also which used curious arts (occult materials)

MIKE: Y'know, you'd think that if his argument were so strong, he wouldn't have to insert clarifications into his Biblical quotes.
TOM: But Mike, how else is the non-enlightened public going to know that "curious arts" is the same thing as "dark, evil items of the occult"?

brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

CROW: So, burn your books, cards and miniatures, holding up the Bible for justification as your parents lecture you about how much it all cost them.
MIKE: (in a fatherly tone) Junior! Why did you burn up all your Magic cards that your Mother and I bought for you?!
TOM: (in a kid's voice) Yahweh made me do it...

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

MIKE: Reprove the "unfruitful works of darkness"? Condemn "My Little Pony"?

Postscript -- Other fantasy card games & POGS

ALL: (incredulously) "POGS"?!!

Because Magic cards "struck gold" there are now more than a dozen new fantasy card games that have been introduced. Many of them add another element you need to be warned of, that is SENSUALITY. In my opinion women are portrayed in pornographic or near pornographic fashion.

MIKE: Of course, to this fellow, anything shy of head-to-toe robes and a veil would probably be 'pornographic'.
TOM: And we *all* know that women should never have sexual thoughts or ideas...

In fact, as I ready this research report for the printer, I talked to a New York attorney, who is researching Magic cards.

MIKE: Oh, she is? Y'know, I bet that whenever her boss comes by her desk, she's "researching" another "Friends" or "ER" web site.

She has nearly 1000 of them. She told me that there are definitely cards that are sensual and portray women in pornographic poses. Other fantasy card games include SPELLFIRE™,

TOM: The card game that revolutionized the industry!
CROW: How so?
TOM: It bankrupted TSR to the point where Wizards could buy them...


CROW: There can be only one!

WYVERN™, VAMPIRE™, BloodWars™,

ALL: Ewwwww!
TOM: Tremble before the might of my A-B-positive!
CROW: Uh, I tap my low blood-sugar to block!


CROW: Hey! That one's not trademarked! Dibs! Dibs!

EVERWAY™ just to name the ones that I have researched. I should say a few words about Pogs (also called milk caps).

TOM: (in a dopey, comical tone) I can never get the safety seals off my dairy deliveries in the morning! What's with that? And how about those child-proof caps? Don't get me started!

I am concerned about pogs for the following reasons. First, many of them have occult symbols on them. Some of them have drawings of pagan gods and goddesses.

CROW: Like "Nike", for instance.
TOM: Swoosh!

Many are death oriented, containing drawings of skulls, skeletons, etc. I have seen some that are sensual. Others have shamanistic figures on them or witches.

MIKE: Ooops! I *thought* it was too early for him to have given up on insulting the Wiccans.

But, there are many that have sports figures on them or even Hollywood stars.

TOM: Sir John Gielgud?!!
CROW: (shuddering) The horror ... the horror...

Even if your child collects only the good pogs, if he trades them with others, he will be exposed to the bad ones.

TOM: And, heaven-forbid, you might actually have to talk to your children about right and wrong.

Do you want that exposure?

CROW: Great, now he's sounding like a sleazy guy hanging out in the airport Men's room.

Second, The QVC home shopping channel announcer made the following announcement attributing it to an organization called the Pog World Federation

MIKE: And if it's said on QVC, it's gotta be true!

Every stack of pogs has its own aura.

(All of them start laughing.)

You concentrate on your ch'i. That is alarming because auras are rooted in Hindu beliefs and the ch'i is rooted in Taoism.

TOM: (recovering) I...Isn't it more alarming that Mr. Brown believes that pogs have auras?

Both have occult implications. Basically they are saying pogs have their own energy or life force and so do the players. To win you need to connect the two. That is the occult doctrine of pantheism.

CROW: And here I thought it was the Kindergarten doctrine of having a good time...

Finally, there is the element of gambling that concerns me. Do you want your child playing pogs "for keeps" as we used to say in marbles? I do not believe gambling glorifies God.

MIKE: (like a carnival barker) All right! I got a soul here on Red! Soul on red! Spin the wheel Crow!
CROW: Ohhhh... Too bad; Black! You forfeit eternal salvation!
TOM: Too bad Nelson, better luck next life...
MIKE: Oh, darn it...


CROW: Used, abused and discarded like cheap underwear.

1. Mastering Magic Cards; George H. Baxter & Larry W. Smith, Ph.D.; Wordware Publishing, Inc., Plano, Texas.

2. The Magic The Gathering -- Pocket Players' Guide; Wizards of the Coast, Renton, Washington.

TOM: Oh, I bet Wizards of the Coast is *so* proud to have been quoted in this article right about now...

3. Success of fantasy sci-fi card game is magical; by Georgia Pabst;

MIKE: Cousin of Illinois Miller...
TOM: Niece of Tennessee Coors...

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 6, 1995.

4. Under the Spell of 'Magic' by Aimee Miller; Washington Post; 7-27-94.

5. Magic: The Gathering -- Deckmaster's Instruction book that comes with the cards.

CROW: Hey, Brown missed his opportunity to show the relationship between "Deckmaster" and "Dungeon Master"!
TOM: I'm sure he'll get around to it in his next update...

A notation on my footnote numbering system: When you see numbers like 2/17, the first number represents the reference material used and the second number indicates the page number.

MIKE: Well, thanks for clearing that up here at the *end* of your rant...

(MIKE picks up TOM and starts heading out.)

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