In The Conjurer’s Closet

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Magic is a welcoming community for the most part. With few exceptions, Magic players are socially tolerant and inclusive and it's very easy to be a part of the community. You don't even have to be particularly skilled at Magic to make an impact on the community, which is handy, because it's allowed me to have a career. Yes, this community is truly great.

However, we can live in Magic Christmasland all the time. Eventually the GP ends and we have to go home and back to our lives. What do you tell your family and coworkers about what you do all weekend? This was the subject of a great discussion on reddit this week.

I've always wondered what people think of magic players especially relatives. I'm in my early twenties and my family think it's a bit strange that I play "kids card games" I've tried explaining to them that average age of my play group is early twenties to mid and they still insist it's a kids card game. They've now stopped bothering me about it and just come to accept that I love playing magic and sometimes ask me how I got on in tournaments which is alright. so I was wondering
Tl;dr What does your family think of you playing magic?

The responses range from "my mother wouldn't let me play because she thinks the game is satanic" to "they mostly laugh at me" and everything in between.

What about you? How do you break the news to your friends and family? What do you tell them about your hobbies and what do they say?

Full discussion here

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Jason Alt

Jason Alt is a value trader and writer. He is Quiet Speculation's self-appointed web content archivist and co-captain of the interdepartmental dodgeball team. He enjoys craft microbrews and doing things ironically. You may have seen him at magic events; he wears black t-shirts and has a beard and a backpack so he's pretty easy to spot. You can hear him as co-host on the Brainstorm Brewery podcast or catch his articles on He is also the Community Manager at and writes the odd article there, too. Follow him on Twitter @JasonEAlt unless you don't like having your mind blown.

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9 thoughts on “In The Conjurer’s Closet

  1. “Magic players are socially tolerant and inclusive ” — Really Jason? This is funny coming from you. The most intolerant person in the whole community.

  2. not just ‘intolerant’, but the MOST intolerant, apperantly.
    Clearly this guy needed to let his feeling come out in a very unanimous and public channel, which indicates a lot of respect…

    So, on topic:
    My parents always thought it was a huge waste of time. They were afraid I was going to let down my studies because of it (proved them wrong). They were afraid I was wasting too much money on it and didn’t like it when cards arrived when I traded.
    Now they are like “Are you still playing that game?” But at least they realize that they can’t forbid me to play it.
    Traveling as a judge to some GP’s gave me some credits (being allowed to travel and get compensation for your hobby gives you some respect).

    People around me who are not into games, see this as a nerdy game. But as a judge, you can tell a different story about it.
    I’m also a demonstrator for board games. judging and demonstrating are two ways to enjoy my hobby and get something in return. Many people have more respect if you earn money with your hobby compared to ‘wasting’ money for it.
    If you think about it, that’s not right. 😉

  3. My dad used to make fun of it, even though he tried to learn the game when my brother and I did. He also used to be in a card club when he was younger and collected stamps (still has his collection). He would sometimes tell other parents me and my brother played and that it was usually only smarter kids who are able to, so when it was not to us he was bragging about it. He hasn’t made fun of it since I explained how I am trading for bulk cards at price X and am trading/selling them on at value 2X or better. Now he’ll ask every now and then how that is going, I think it reminds him of when he was dabbling in stocks.

    My mom never really said much, though she once observed it’s that game where everybody kept asking whether it was their turn already. She also understands the approach I’m taking to trading/selling, but she doesn’t really care for it much, though I think she appreciates that I’m trying to make the hobby pay for itself.

    As for others, I have no idea when our parents taught us to play cards, but we must’ve been quite young or I would’ve remembered. I’ve always been into playing games, so people are sort of used to me talking about them every now and then. In high school I spent many breaks playing Chinese Poker, whenever someone made a remark I pointed out there were about 5x as many girls playing in that group than guys, that usually shut them up. Colleagues are sometimes surprised I’m so into games, but, I work in IT, most have a bit of a nerd streak in them anyway so usually they understand. I even had a colleague dig up a Portal sampler for me that he once got at some event (he was a hardcore Bridge player himself).

    Btw, I’m not sure what the card game my dad used to play in the club and that he taught us at a young age is called in English or I would have named it. In Dutch it’s called “Klaverjassen” and it’s comparable to Bridge in difficulty. When I started my studies at the university I amazed the seniors, I was the first freshman in years who both knew “Klaverjassen” and its even lesser known variant “Kraken”, in fact I knew all the games they commonly played there (it included Magic) so I fit right in.

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