When I was in middle school, Magic the Gathering came out. I don't know if there was anything like it before, but it was like a shot to the nerdo-sphere straight between the eyes. Already fans of fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, me and my buddies ate it up.
The tough thing about it, though, is its a hard game if you don't have a lot of money, which we, as children, had in short supply. We could day dream all day about the magical armies of monsters we would thrash each other with, but we only had the random cards that came in booster packs. If you had a good card, you would try to build your whole deck around it.
When we hit high school, we found there was already a prominent group of dudes there who were Magic players, and they were called the "Magic Boys." The Magic Boys, unlike us, were nerds. My friends, however, were Cool Guys.
Using our highly analytic minds, sharpened by years of Magic and D&D, we quickly surmised that it was better to not play Magic with the Magic Boys, as while they had Magic the Gathering tournaments in the computer lab every day (fun!), they also had bullies and no girlfriends (lame!). Keeping up competitively was monetarily challenging as well as a teen, so we decided to drop it. Our decks grew dusty.
Jump forward in time about ten years: the dudes I play board games with now, several of them from my high school days, are hanging drinking and shooting the shit. Someone half seriously suggests we get Magic cards and go at it. Target was still open and we were loose enough to say "fuck it, lets all by Magic cards." And we did. And it was fantastic.
Here's the difference between being a Magic player at 13 to being a Magic player at 29: now I have money to dump in this. As a kid I had all the time to day dream about the deck that could be, the one to kill all my enemies and piss on their corpses. Now I have less time for planning, but money to buy whatever card I want.
While we were once terrified that Magic would scare off girls, now our girlfriends are very curios about are new chosen hobby. One of the crew recently had a baby, the first from us all. We usually shit talk with each other daily over a google hangout, but I today posted the most hardcore, possibly evil burn ever:
"Rob, If you bring any 3 damage lightning spells for one mana I will go crazy on you, i dont care if your kid grows up without a father"
This is how hard we roll. Tomorrow I meet them all on the field of combat, and if I don't win I will at least make sure many dudes lose. It feels good to take back the name "Magic Boys" and make it ours.