I walked into a game store which seemed vaguely familiar. The place was packed with people buying, showing off goody bags, talking, and playing with a palpable excitement. As I pressed through the crowd, I had to duck around vertical banners for a new game that I didn’t quite recognize. On the tables were little stands advertising the same game. They featured images of post-apocalyptic characters and proclaimed “Now available”. Looks like I walked in on a launch party! Gamers were laughing all around me, shuffling cards, nudging friends, and having a great time.
A large crowd at the back of the store caught my attention, so I moved that way. As I drew near, I could see an opening centered around 2 people facing off across a table. Listening to the copious side-talk, cheering, and jeering, it was clear this was an important game. “This is for the championship!” Oh.
On my left side was a wiry man confident that he, with superior skills, strategy, and sharp tongue, had the game in hand already. His serious demeanor was echoed by the cards in his deck – they looked like pages out of a “Mad Max” comic book. To my right was a heftier young gamer who seemed happy enough just to be there. A whimsical, lighthearted nature was made overt by his big smile and the colorful images of little anime-style monsters on his deck. This truly was a showdown – between a killer out to show that he’s the best and a goodly kid just having a fun day.
I had seen this game played out across several Slots, progressively earning more points and jockeying for the top position. After a bit of back-and-forth, these two used all of their actions to discard their hands and remove all but the last Slot in a show of ultimate cockiness. Without a hand, these would-be-champions could only top-deck a card for the last slot. Wiry Guy was mocking and trash talking while Happy-gamer was quite and sure. They both played the top card from their decks. . .
And the store errupted! People were cheering for Happy-Gamer and clapping him on the back while others oooooh’ed at Wiry Guy’s epic loss. I couldn’t help but feel excited for Happy-Gamer. At the same time I was dumbfounded by the joy that filled this little building.
That was a great game. I should definitely make. . .
And I woke up.