Finding Casual Play: Part 1

Today, I’ve been mulling around the idea of casual play and what it means. Honestly, it means something different to every person who reads it. That’s the conclusion that I’m coming to right now.

As you know, The Casual Planeswalker is a site geared toward the casual player, and I’m always trying to find things that interest casual players in their pursuit of fun, happiness, and that one really sweet combo.

The question always seems to come to a head at one point though. When is casual too competitive, and when is it not competitive enough?

You see, if everyone simply “didn’t care about winning” in the sense that we’re told to think about it, the games would be boring and lame. We’re told, to be happy with having played the game and that “sore losers” (and bad winners) are no fun. How are you supposed to want to play a game that you don’t care about winning though?

This concept is something I explore in my Magic: The Winning Mindset book more, but I want to take some time today to talk about mindsets and how we approach the game.

You see, there’s no right way or wrong way to go about playing Magic. That’s what makes it such a beautiful game. There is a way to take your opponent’s life total to 0, and there’s a way to mill your opponent, and there are victory-condition cards that end the game. I like to think about it like the late 90s Reese’s candy commercials. “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.” That statement has a dirty little secret that we don’t often think about.

If there truly is no wrong way to eat a Reese’s, then there is no right way to eat a Reese’s. The funny thing about the devilishly delicious little candies is that, despite having no right or wrong way to consume them, we still find great pleasure there.

How can that be?

Well, what the wonderful marketing department at Reese’s discovered was that the joy of candy doesn’t come from the way the candy is eaten, but from the process of eating it.

“Yes, Josh, I understand Reese’s candy are irresistible pieces of joy, but what does this have to do with casual Magic?!?!”

More on that tomorrow 😉

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