Magic the Gathering

15-45 Min
Phenomenally successful card-based fantasy game that is a multimillion dollar invention in an age of multimedia diversions. Invented by Richard Garfield, a doctoral student in mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania and first released in summer 1993, Magic requires only a pack of cards and an opponent: each "wizard" is dealt a random selection of cards that are used to cast spells and summon creatures in an effort to drain the opposing wizard's "life force". The catch is that no two packs of cards are alike; rare cards with special powers are randomly distributed in limited-edition sets, encouraging players to keep buying. The strategy works, by 1995 nearly one billion cards had been sold. This new gaming genre has attracted dozens of imitators, including an immensely successful Star Trek line and the Spellfire series from TSR, the makers of Dungeons & Dragons. Like Dungeons & Dragons, Magic is now a brand-name fantasy universe that has been spun off into novelizations, comic books, and computer games.
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