06 May Playing Games in Quarantine
Playing board and card games in a completely digital sense has always seemed unappealing to me. While there are tons of resources available that provide access to all sorts of games online, I have rarely played anything beyond the Hearts and Solitaire games that come preloaded on the computer. I am an incredibly tactile person. I love the feel of shuffling real cards and holding various components. Games, through the sense of touch, come alive in ways that a digital game can’t. Well, I put this to the test this past week when an old buddy of mine reached out and asked if I’d be interested in playing Magic the Gathering on a platform called Cockatrice.
We grew up playing Magic all the time together. We would spend hours making decks together, play them a few times, and then disassemble everything and start over again. Cockatrice essentially allowed us that same opportunity, but with access to every card ever made. The options are endless. Additionally, we were able to upload deck lists to get into games more quickly. The digital platform meant we didn’t have to mess with any cameras either.
As we hopped into a game room, I was a little concerned about how the game would feel compared to playing in my living room. If I am being completely honest, it was difficult getting into it at first. With no real shuffling, no real cards in my hand, and a lot of clicking, playing on Cockatrice was quite different from playing the traditional way. Having to zoom in to see card text and such just didn’t have quite the same natural feel as playing with physical cards. With all that said though, it did facilitate a space for my friend, one who I haven’t seen in a few years, to play a game we cherished growing up and do so pretty easily. Also, given that we could use any card, the games became pretty interesting and different from how games often resolved when we were on a very limited budget as kids.
As the world continues to navigate these trying times, the digital world is continuing to provide bridges to bring people together in unique ways. While I don’t often play Magic these days, Cockatrice provided a great platform to get it back to the table with an old gaming buddy. While I would rather be with people playing physical board and card games together, the digital format of games is helping me keep the love of this hobby alive. What platforms are you using to continue playing games? Do you prefer playing games with physical copies and cameras over a digital platform or completely digital games? And lastly, what are you doing to keep your hobby alive?
Thanks for reading and stay safe out there,