Why Don’t I Play MTGO?

23:38 Tue 21 Nov 2006
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I’ve had trouble figuring this out. I love playing MTG. And when I first encountered MTGO I worried that I might spend too much money and time on it. Yet I haven’t logged on in more than a year.

Something about the experience doesn’t appeal, but what? Since I’ve played in more-or-less random drafts offline many times, and done fine, and draft every week with the sfmagic group, I don’t think it’s because of the tougher online opponents. I don’t tend to do well online, but don’t know whether to see that as a cause or an effect of my reluctance to play.

Sometimes I suspect the time commitment. A draft, if it goes well, takes about three hours or more. This seems like too much to me, most of the time I think about it. But I happily spend that much time playing MTG with friends when given the opportunity.

I think intangible elements, such as the inability to see and talk to one’s oponnent, plus the non-tactile nature of the cards, push me away from it. But it represents a major path to improvement, and I would have an easier time getting better if I played online.

Perhaps, though, I should consider this a gift horse. In a conversation about hobbies with Steven R. Donaldson and my friend Lev a week-and-a-half ago, I realized that over the last few months I’ve spent significantly more time writing than I’ve spent doing any MTG-related activity. I don’t want to play MTGO instead of writing, so it might be unwise to perform any more oral examinations.

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